New Service Development

1. Prepare a service blueprint for Commuter Cleaning.

Physical Evidence  

                         Bag                 Location                  Accuracy of Bill                              Clean          


Text Box: Pay at pickup

Line of interaction ——————————————————————————-à

Line of Visibility ———————————————————————————à

Line of Internal Interaction ——————————————————————à

Text Box: Counting and recording cloths for billing

Text Box: Clean clothes 

Large Dry Cleaning

2. Identify at least three potential fail points (failures) in the service design (blueprint) and make suggestions for improvements in these potential fail points. 


The first potential fail point of the blueprint is the overreliance on part-time employees, particularly college students, who are paid slightly above the wages for typical part-time service jobs (Case 3.2). While relying on part-time employees can be beneficial for startups, there also adverse effects of the part-time workforce model. The nature of the business, commuter cleaning, is relationship-oriented and requires dedicated employees to build a good relationship with customers. Part-time workers might be less devoted to the business as it does not play a significant role in their lives as it is with a full-time job. Besides, the company is relying significantly on college students, which may translate to higher turnover despite offering them a slightly higher package. College students are likely to look for better-paying jobs when they graduate, leaving the company in a limbo of development of new employee relationships every season. Besides, part-time employees do not spend much time in the business and do not feel as connected to the company culture.

I would advise the company that instead of hiring more students part-time and paying them above the average part-time wages, the management should consider reducing the number of part-timers and employee some staff permanently. The higher rates paid to part-timers should be restructured to pay full-timers. This will help the company to build a strong team to push the company goal forward with dedication and determination, and also ensure reliability and employee retention.

The second issue is the timing for operations. The first shift (6:00 AM to 9:00 AM) does not take into consideration clients who might be late to work or those having a day off and need to drop and pick-up their shirts the same day. I would advise the morning shift be extended to 11:30 AM to accommodate such categories of clients and reduce the costs of delivering the cloths to the drying cleaning section in bits. The evening shift also ends so late, not giving the station customer adequate time to sort out the laundries and have everything set for clients who come from work as early as 5 PM. I would recommend that the delivery be done with by 3:30 PM to allow for adequate time for sorting out the garments. Adjusting the second delivery timeframe from 3:30-5:00 PM to 2:00-3:30 PM provides room for correcting errors and also avoiding traffic as the delivery is around the city (Case 3.2).

The third potential fails point for this business blueprint is narrowing down the service to only cleaning shirts. Even though it helps the company to simplify the operations, it can be a potential source of competition as a new venture may quickly come that incorporate a whole laundry package. Besides, ladies may not only want their shirts to be cleaned but the entire package comprising of shirts and trousers/skirts since they are won in pairs. The best option is to readjust the plan to incorporate laundry as the whole service to avoid losing customers.

  3. What general (generic) approach (es) to service system design is (are) used by Commuter Cleaning. Present and explain.  

The company is adopting a customer-contact approach to service design. The customer-contact process entails separating the service delivery into low and high contact customer operations. The low contact or sometimes referred to as back-office operation is operated as a plant, exemplified by a contracted cleaning plant located in the remote area. The high-contact or front office serves as the service point, as exemplified by the drop-off and pick-up by customers at the commuter train station point (Service Management Course Materials). The customer contact approaches is applied together with a production-line approach, where the laundry services are provided in a controlled environment to guarantee quality. The delivery systems are standardized and a timeframe allocated to every operation in a bid to ensure consistent delivery.

4. What competitive advantages do the service design offer? Explain.

 The principle advantage of the customer contact approach is that it allows for customer convenience as the dropping and picking points are located where the customer must be on regular working days. Also, providing customers with personal bags for laundry alongside the billing methods helps to minimize the transaction time for the customer. The separation of activities in the customer contact approach can result in customer perception of personalized services. It also helps to achieve economies of scale by processing the services in large volumes. The production-line approach, on the one hand, allows the company management to separate operations and improve performance in each section, which ultimately translates into a better, cost-effective, and more efficient services to the customer.  


MGMT 362 Service Management Course Materials: New Service Development

Chapter 3. New Service Development. Case 3.2