Course Manager

Course Overview

Services lie at the hub of economic activity in many societies. In our society, and in that of other industrialized economies, the service sector employs a large and growing proportion of the work force. As a result, managers must learn how a service strategy can contribute to a competitive advantage for their organizations. This course focuses on three basic themes:

  • The customer is a participant in the service-delivery process (customer as co-producer).
  • In services-producing (as opposed to goods-producing) firms, marketing and operations are quite closely linked. Service provider personnel perform both marketing and operations functions. Thus, strategic planning in services must involve both marketing and operations. Moreover, people issues related to customer contact are critical for success in services.
  • Information technology has an important role in service design, promotion, productivity, and quality improvement.

Course Objectives

The objectives of this course are:

  • Learn how to identify opportunities for customer service improvement and cost reduction in the service industries.
  • Develop specific tools to support quality and productivity improvements in services industries.
  • Build on what was learned in Operations Management (OPMT-505) with specific focus on the services side of operations.

Course Outline

You will study eight themes over an eight week period:

  • Week 1: Service Sector and Service Strategy
  • Week 2: New Service Development and Innovation
  • Week 3: Servicescapes and Service Quality
  • Week 4: Service Improvement and Service Facility Location
  • Week 5: Service Supply Relationships and Globalization of Services
  • Week 6: Managing Capacity—Demand and Waiting Lines
  • Week 7: Capacity Planning and Forecasting
  • Week 8: Service Inventory

Student Evaluation

Your grade will be based on your participation in group discussions (forum questions, coach’s questions, and case studies) and on the successful completion of two assignments.