Use of Technology in Business Re-Engineering
The study brings about many issues encountered by Diversified Manufacturing, Inc.: some explicit and others merely implied implicitly. Field Service Divisions are important parts of organizations operating in manufacturing industries. As technology becomes more and more involved in the production process and the after sales services, it is crucial for companies to develop their Field Service business processes. In the DMI Field Service Case, the company has troubles meeting the customer demands in a timely manner. The quality of the service remains as an important task to improve for the DMI Company and reengineering process of the FSD brought up many issues. Re-engineered Process
The current process flow of DMI Warranty is very simple. Every step is done by its employees, except for dispatching calls to regional center via computers software. There are only sixty-four employees at the call center, which is a relatively small number in respect to 3500 calls they receive per day. In the existing system, there are 3 waiting points. First one is just right after the customer calls, and call taker input customer information (location, name, machine type) into the computer.
This waiting time can be reduced in two ways; the customer can enter their personal information by his/herself via phone (by dialing) using an automated system or giving every customer a personal security code that can be used to pull all the information of the account holder in a few seconds. Second waiting point occurs when the tech personnel calls the dispatch center. It is stated that technicians complain about waiting on the phone too long just after lunch, late in the day or early in morning. The basic solution to this could be increasing the number of dispatchers and had available personnel to cover the phone so that there would always be someone there. Last waiting occurs while the techs wait for the needed parts to come. Again, the basic solution is to increase the inventory level of each technician. However, that can be costly. So the current system can be assumed as optimal about inventory and shipping.
The key points of Business Process Re-Engineering are that solutions have to be radical, fundamental and dramatic. By doing three changes, we can reengineer the processes. First of all, DMI has to implement the database system that every customer has a personal security code in which necessary account information is stored. Once there is a call, the customer enters his code through the automated phone system and then requests a call taker. With this system, call takers can avoid waste time entering necessary information. Once a call is received, if call taker cannot solve the problem, he/she enters the information to a DSS, which finds the closest and suitable technician and assigns him to the job by entering call information into the database where a tech can see. Plus, every technician should have a personal code and a work phone instead of a regular phone so that they can achieve the newly assigned jobs, close the previous jobs, access clients’ information and account information. Also, the management can locate them by using the GPS module in iPhone. Therefore we remove regional dispatch centers. It is up to the management that these 24 dispatchers are fired or continue as call takers in Denver. Evaluation and Improvements
After evaluated DMI’s service guarantee. There are much needed improvements on inventory (available parts for repairs), target on response time for each service calls, travel time should but cut down, or accelerate by locating the nearest tech available within the city/region, and lastly is the quality of services provided. Performance Measurements
DMI should measure the field service performance to meet the customer demand on time, improve the quality of service provided by the technicians and be more efficient in fulfilling customer requirements. In order to measure performance, the company needs to overview certain aspects of their business process and spot the problematic areas in their operations cycle. The utilization rate is a good indicator of performance for the field service decision, which is decreasing for DMI, 2.1 service calls per day on average. The decreasing trend shows that the company is doing poorly in helping their customers and therefore receiving fewer calls per day that may be interpreted as the company losing their customers to other competitors.
DMI should focus on utilizing their technicians by providing them more sophisticated training, and focus on their IT practices to reduce wasted time between transferring to different departments. Another indicator of performance is the number of techs available when a service call is received. In Field Service Division at DMI, the number of techs is not sufficient enough to handle the workload, so the company should hire more techs in order to meet the customer demand and respond the service calls faster. In addition to that, the techs are not doing well in using the return parts, indicates that the company is not doing well on return logistics. Travel times along with the response times are also good indicators of performance. In order to perform better and acquire a better position in the market, the company should focus on these issues. Strategic Issues
DMI and its FSD are facing numerous strategic issues and they need to make important strategic decisions since there are competitions emerging in the market. The company is not doing well on customer satisfaction; therefore there is a high chance that fierce competition will put them out of the market. The company should set its operations objectives by carefully considering of their current performance. The percentage of customers who are happy with their products and services should increase and in doing this; use of product development teams is essential.
The company has troubles understanding the main issue, however; they have an effort to solve their problems. The reengineering teams formed by the company, involving individuals from different departments show that they are ready to adopt a systematic view that will help them improve on their business related issues. It is emphasized in the case that the area service managers try to meet each of their 20 techs once a month, which is not enough. Evidence shows that communication between the top management and the employees at the bottom is a crucial element in understanding the problems.
Physical gaps between the departments should be avoided and this is an important strategic issue for the DMI. Focusing on Operations Management Cycle of the company will help the company improve customer satisfaction, financial performance and reduce the interdepartmental problems. In order to gain competitive advantage; the field service division should assign a distinctive competence that will differentiate the quality of their services from other companies in the industry. As stated earlier, an analysis over the issue shows that the company should develop better training practices for their technicians and call takers in order to be more efficient and keep their customers happy. There is a need to work closely with the customers and fulfill their requirements therefore the company should adopt a customer oriented approach.
Schroeder, R., Goldstein, S., Goldstein, S., & Rungtusanatham, M. J. (2010). “The Field Service Division of DMI.” Operations management, contemporary concepts and cases. Irwin Professional Pub. 448-450. Print