Service Operations Management

5277 Words22 Pages
J. Service Science & Management, 2009, 2: 255-264 doi:10.4236/jssm.2009.24030 Published Online December 2009 ( 255 Service System Decoupling for Mass Customization: A Case Study in Catering Services Jue CHEN1, Yunhong HAO2 1 The tourism school, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China; 2School of Business Administration, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China. Email: Received April 17, 2009; revised June 19, 2009; accepted July 28, 2009. ABSTRACT The paper examines the key issues on system decoupling in service operations of mass customization by conducting a case study in catering services. It firstly justifies the effectiveness of applying concept of mass…show more content…
According to the customer contact approach proposed by Chase and Tansik [1,6,7], customer contact activities should be decoupled from non-contact activities to do justice to their different design requirements and maximize the efficiency of the service delivery system. Consequently, service organizations consist of a front stage and a back stage. In the back office customer contact is passive or nonexistent, service processes may be designed with manufacturing-like principles in mind [6]. The process may take advantage of standardization and automation to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. While in the front stage customer contact is high and active, it brings about unavoidable inefficiencies, and the human relation skills become a dominant factor in designing the process [6]. Study [8] adds that moving some of the back-stage functions from developed areas (or even countries) to underdeveloped regions may increase greatly efficiency because of the reduction in labor costs and taxation. 2.2.2 Decoupling for Speed, Quality and Sales Opportunities However, back-stage tasks need not only be viewed as tasks where
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