Village Volvo ÃÂ New kid in townÃÂIntroduction:In today's market place the consumer has loads of choices as to where to have their vehicle repaired. Taking this into account, village Volvo operations strategy is designed to create sustainable competitive advantages by providing unique and value added services and un-compromised service standards, to Volvo car owners, where on-the-go convenience, reliability, using state of the art strategies for the customers is a pivotal consideration by two former combined 22 experienced authorized Volvo dealers. Fig-1 the model of Service Profit Chain adopted by village Volvo ownerÃÂsSource: Heskett, Sasser, and Schlesinger, The Service Profit Chain, 1987, p.19Operations strategy:Operations strategy is top-down activity and a pattern of consistent decisions that has been noted in Village Volvo for achieving convincing competitive objectives that may include constant interaction with customer, growth, stability and long-term returns. Village Volvo Car Care Center is dedicated to consistently providing the best in customerservice and delivering the highest quality automotive repairs while always being responsive to the customers' needs and finally, strives to be an energetic, profitable, and dynamic company that will move into twenty first century as the leader in total automotive repair.
Fig-2 shows the village VolvoÃÂs operations strategyInternet Source: Nature of Services, (2006), ÃÂOpen Systems View of Services OperationsÃÂ Viewed at 01-01-2006, available at Operations Strategy is the total pattern of decisions and actions which set a role, objectives and activities of the operation so that they contribute and support the village VolvoÃÂ business strategy. (Slack and Chambers, Harland and Harrison, and Johnston, 1998). With skilled manpower such as GM/AC Delco Service Specialists, ASE certified technicians PPG Paint products and certified worker, AAA Approved Auto Repair, AAA Emergency service, Old fashioned service with the technology of today, Informative, Courteous, and Neighborly Staff and effectively designed operations strategy like for example express drive through bay where in particular time customerÃÂs in rush hours may come and check their cars for routine tune-ups and oil change, this high level of flexibility at village Volvo stands a swift response among workers to customers, however for extensive checkups, worker along with customer will take a short span of test drive is to understand both mechanic and owner, the main area of attention and recognizing the flaw in the car. Attaining the preliminary diagnosis, while discussing with the customer before repair has been done, service manager will assess the projected cost which customer would incur, given customer estimated cost by service manager before any repair of vehicle, customer can be able to reflect their own finance(s), including customer will feel by no means cheated at any point because he /she can confirm the estimation given by manager with other non-volvo service providers and most importantly the estimated time by manager to repair and deliver the car on time. This also helps customer to re-schedule his / her daily work. Furthermore consideration of providing shuttle service will be added advantage. However shuttle service is not enough to satisfy customerÃÂs need, because village Volvo might loose potential customer, if he/she consider repairing their vehicle(s) near their work place or home, therefore owner must consider home picking service replacing with another car or dispatching a taxi service until vehicle repair has been finished.
Capability of leveraging added value services in operations can be a critical differentiator for a village Volvo to stay competitive, in addition better customer profiling and prediction of customer behaviors can facilitate target marketing, cross-selling and up-selling into the existing customer base, village VolvoÃÂs CCVD (customer car vehicle dossier) is evident manifestation to achieve companyÃÂs bottom line benefits, whereby maintain the database of ownerÃÂs vehicle and alert post cards for tune-ups and oil change due-ups is one of the decisive operations strategy for village Volvo which can be operations strategy for retention of client and customer loyalty with village Volvo. Also it will be rather easy for bay mechanic to diagnosing the problem in car more quickly and fixing it keeping the CCVD updated. In addition maintaining the Volvo vehicle CCVD has other advantages as well, like for example if some one want to buy a used a Volvo car, with reasonable cost customer would be more than willing to pay for service looking at the history of the vehicle helps customer to make a decision easily even the car is out of warranty status thatÃÂs what sets Village Volvo apart from the rest is because of itsValue added intangible services to make village Volvo as differentiated operative strategies. Moreover distinguishing it self from Volvo dealers, A flexible strategy must be taking into consideration, like for example owner must consider towing service for entering the extended-stay in the market place. Which offer 24/7 customer call center with damaged-Free towing and recovery service, whereby focus on meeting the demand of a regular local resident Volvo clients, as well as towed vehicle drop-ins from local and freeway traffic traveling towed to village Volvo facility. Also establishing relationship with a few major local tow truck companies for referral business of stalled Volvo vehicles. This significant operational strategy allow village Volvo to become a reputable company among other competitors, in addition, other JIT service like help-desk, may also a noteworthy service operation, attaining customer's inquiry regarding problems with a ownerÃÂs vehicle involves the help-desk support personnel to record the description of the problem, classify the problem, retrieve similar previous cases from the case database and develop a solution by reusing or revising previous case solutions. Also customer observation area placed, right in front of the bay area that client can observe and monitor, because some clients tend to have this behavior to look and understand the problem of their cars while work-in-progress, however if the client feel fatigue some how than carÃÂs owner can be seated in the waiting room, completely equipped with cozy environment, equipped with vending machines, Astro cable service, comfortable sofas and chairs. , Fig-2 shows the degree of customer Interaction and customization.
Service FactoryÃÂAirlinesÃÂTruckingÃÂHotelsÃÂResorts & RecreationService shopsÃÂHospitalsÃÂAuto RepairÃÂPrinting shopÃÂRepair ShopsMass ServiceÃÂRetailingÃÂWholesalingÃÂSchoolsÃÂRetail Aspects of Commercial BankingProfessional ServicesÃÂDoctorsÃÂLawyersÃÂAccountantsÃÂArchitectsSource: Schmenner, R, W. (2003), ÃÂProspective for service managers: IMD International Institutefor Management Development, IMD, Switzerland, and Viewed at 29/12/2005, available atCustomer participation is critical operations strategy for village Volvo, moreover customer must be integral part of village VolvoÃÂs value-adding service work flow which simultaneously improves their level of satisfaction also helps reducing the potential losses and the cost of product-service bundle. (Ex. ATM, Personal fitness consultant, self-service gasoline, obtaining a patient history).(Womack, 1990), In addition with proper feedback from clientÃÂs, mechanic job would be rather more easy to fix the cumbersome problem of the automobile, similarly worker must rely on clientÃÂs input in order to conduct their business. Moreover possible offering of a mini course to educate the instant survival techniques when customer vehicle is out of order and find him/ her self middle of no where, including how automotive systems work and what can go wrong and significantly clientÃÂs accomplishment of 200,000-mile Volvo medal on weekendÃÂs further evident the involvement of customer is a promising operational activity for village Volvo doing business as usual. This intangible service oriented perception is the true back bone operations strategy for village Volvo.
The ability to satisfy customer requirement today, however, does not imply an ability to satisfy customer expectations in future, because customer expectation change over time. Thus the day-to-day business like village Volvo must attain certain implicit service standards and beyond the tangible requirement of job pre-requisites like free estimates of pre-losses of new vehicle, helping the settlement of insurance claims, courtesy vacuum cleaning, probing air bag system, abrasion of car exhaust system, scrutinizing alternator belts. Furthermore, referring the clients to other network service provider must be explicitly enhanced (Ex, Body works, Alignment & Balance, Tire rotation, Winterizing, Timing belt, Custom car designed), thus network relationship, contribute great deal of market extending operative strategy, similarly a satisfactory results from other service provider leads to satisfaction of customer referred by village Volvo, specially when customer pay to get the service for the first time.
Village Volvo also committed about Method of service delivery work flow. One of the main operations strategies of village Volvo is to make car looks tidy, when the car bayed for repair and service, because the last thing client want to see the black patches in his / her car after completion of work, in addition the facility of village Volvo must be neatand clean. Drained waste fluids such as waste oil, antifreeze, and solvents are stored in separate drums or tanks, oil filters are punctured in front of customers and drained oil drum must be disposed properly. A licensed transporter picks up and recycles solvents or disposes solvents as hazardous waste and if a flammable solvent is used, the parts cleaner has a fusible link that locks shut in the case of fire.
The number of issues must be addressed as well the company is solely focusing on Volvo vehicles therefore recruiting the newer mechanic or staff worker can be a point of concern(s) because, owners need a worker who had a working experience, engaging on Volvo vehicles for quite number of years, therefore careful co-ordinate staff selection process must be keep in mind and avoid the turnover in village Volvo which can be very costly In deed. (Quade, 1999), suggest that in order to have happy, satisfied and loyal customers, employees must be happy and satisfied. When things are going well for them, they will convey that feeling to their customers. Making your employees happy is the key to reducing costly turnover and repetitive training. Village Volvo owner must designed a reward and recognition operation strategy, like bay mechanic of the month, well-mannered worker of the week and performance base bonuses, allow workers and staff try to win among each other creating the company culture of competition. Other issues like not repairing the car during heavy contact hours is questionable, given a scenario of getting one or two worker take a day off because for some domestic reasons, the other mechanic have to replace those workers, to comprehend those worker owner must deem working with 7 to 8 and 5 to 6 not to create any hap hazard situation. Therefore service manager must have contingent operation strategy in situation like these. Mentioned above service manager to re-schedule there appointments and substitute out of order vehicles to other temporary vehicles until repair has been done and telling the customer the ambiguity the company is facing on the day worker took day off.
Conclusion:As we move into the new economy characterized by globalization, the Internet, and the dynamic market conditions in a highly competitive environment; businesses are struggling to differentiate themselves via agile responses, superb customer relationship, effective supply chain management and innovation through better business intelligence. Companies are collecting all sorts of operational data and performing various kinds of analytics on them. Two former authorized dealers seem compassionate about their work their decision and operative application are the model of todayÃÂs stream lined business conducts. Village Volvo is more than willing to satisfy their Volvo customers, providing TQM, JIT with effective supply chain service, therefore, this modern days buzz words help great deal of their operations strategies being reputable and differentiated from others.
References:Heskett, Sasser, and Schlesinger, The Service Profit Chain, 1987, p.19Nature of Services, (2006), ÃÂOpen Systems View of Services OperationsÃÂ Viewed at 01-01-2006, available at Schmenner, R, W. (2003), ÃÂProspective for service managers: IMD International Institute for Management Development, IMD, Switzerland, and Viewed at 29/12/2005, available atSlack, N and Chambers, S and Harland, C and Harrison, A Johnston, R, (1998), ÃÂOperations Management: Financial timesÃÂ 2nd edn, Prentice Hall P-77..