I provided background, just briefly answer all the FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS.
Question : Can an organization offer “too much” service? Should management ever consider lowering the standard of customer service? Provide real-world examples to support your reasoning.
My Answer: Management should never consider lowering the standards of customer service (Gourdin, 2006). This is due to the fact that customer service has been found to be very essential to the operation of an organization. It is apparent that the most successful organizations are those that practice an effective customer service as they have been able to maintain a competitive advantage over their rivals (Gourdin, 2006). Effective customer service helps the organization build customer loyalty. In addition its results lead to increased sales and the organization acquires a positive reputation to the community. Besides, when the organization performs well, the employees also are at an advantage in that they enjoy increased salaries, improved compensation package and training as well as development (Gourdin, 2006). As a result they feel motivated and they deliver more to the company and the company is able to remain competitive in the global market.
I would like to use American Airlines as a great example of good customer service. Two months ago I purchased a non-refundable ticket for my son to return home from vacation. Something happened to where he missed his flight and the ticket was never used. I called to find out if there was anyway I can get a voucher being that the ticket was not used, I understood that the ticket was non-refundable. Being that I purchased the ticket online they could not help me with attaining this voucher. The representative explained that I should send the airlines an email. So I went to the website and proceeded to explain my situation in an email. I received a conformation email that they received my email and will respond no later than 10 business days. The dreadful 10 business days that no customer wants to hear. So I patiently waited and received a response within three days and they granted me a voucher. I was to grateful and would continue to make any and all my travel arrangements with American.
As far as offering too much service, I would have to go with AT&T. When your contract is coming to an end and you may want to go with another carrier the customer service representative would offer their kids to keep you as a customer. I would say that it is all the glitz and glamour with what one company offers over the other. When the bottom line is they all do the same thing.
Follow up question :
What are some elements of effective customer service?
Question: Describe the concept of deregulation as it applies to transportation. In what ways can a government directly affect a carrier’s operations? Do you believe that privatization leads to competitiveness in transportation? Provide your own statement of beliefs about a correct balance of government and free-market control in related transportation issues. It may help to compare and contrast two different industries.
Answer: Deregulation involves the process of formulating rules and its regulations by the government or even removal or amendment of existing rules by the government in order to make the market forces constraints. However, the concept of deregulation does not imply removal or elimination of laws against property rights but rather it reduces the control of government on how the business is operated. Transportation on the other hand is the movement of goods and people from one place to another (Gourdin, 2006). It is important to note that the two concepts are often employed by any government in order to control the growth and performance of the economy.
Deregulation concept may affect transportation in which case the government controls the operation of the transport industry for the benefit of the public and the transport operators. The government may impose rules governing the carrying capacity of the passengers’ vehicles thus affecting the performance and efficiency of the transport industry. For instance, in case of a disease outbreak, the government issues quarantine of people and animals making their movement to be limited hence affecting transportation. The government may also increase or decrease the costs of some essential transport related products like fuel thus affecting the entire economy. The government may also impose importation duty to transportation vehicles making the cost of transportation to be extremely high thus affecting the performance of the nation’s economy.
Privatization is the process of changing the ownership of the business from being owned by the public sector or basically the government or the state, to being owned by individuals, private enterprises and other profit making organizations. In this context, privatization may lead to competitiveness in transportation sector. This may be realized by ensuring that individuals and other private enterprises are entrusted with the role of running things in the transport sector. Consequently, they will try to outdo one another with the sole of increasing their profit and thus their pricing will be competitive in the favor of their customers. This is not unlike when the government has the full control of the sector and fixes the prices with no negotiation.
The efficiency of the private sector will be realized when the government puts in place the correct measures aimed at controlling the respective industry. This will serve to protect the government from be exploited like is the case in most free market economies. This will create favorable market conditions and an efficient business environment.
Follow up question:
Do you think privatization is the right choice in every situation?
Question: The text discusses a number of innovations or developments occurring in logistics information systems. How do you think these advances will work together to improve customer service and/or reduce costs?
Answer: The logistics information system enhances evaluation of actual data, in addition to facilitating the process of data planning. Innovations occurring in the logistics information system are useful in the way they enhance easy-to-use planning operations that are useful in forecasting function as well (Gourdin, 2006). Various software has been developed to support logistics information system. One of the innovations made in this area is Sales and Operations Planning (SOP) which when combined with Release 3.0 have been found to enhance efficiency and accuracy in central planning and forecasting in business operations. The use of Logistics Data Warehouse enhances easy customization of logistic designs to meet the specific needs of the organization. This tool has also been found efficient in allowing the customization of the set-up data based on the forecasted requirements of the firm.
Since the logistics information system uses edifying key records, it makes easier for the firm to meet its customer’s specific needs accurately. More so, as a result of the flexibility of the logistic tools, it becomes easier for the firm to control target criteria without making unnecessary costs. As a result, the logistics information system can be considered as an efficient tool for cutting down unnecessary costs, which in turn facilitates increase in profitability in the firm. It is also important to note that, the logistics information system facilitates decision making through controlled and planed production scheduled on the basis of the forecasts acquired (Gourdin, 2006). Generally, the importance and usefulness of logistics information system remains outstanding in the way it enhances internal planning, while at the same time facilitating customer satisfaction through timely delivering of products. It can thus be concluded that, since logistics information systems can enhance the evaluation of actual and planning data, it is easy to meet firm’s requirements sustainability.
Follow up question:
Compatibility is often an important feature of an information system. Do you think compatibility with other information systems is an necessary feature of a logistics information system? Why or why not?
Question: What trade-offs must a purchasing manager consider when evaluating quality levels of the goods offered by different vendors? What are the potential advantages of reducing the number of vendors supplying the organization?
Answer: Trade-off situations occur during the process of product development and procurement where various alternatives are provided. Purchasing managers are usually faced with the challenge of choosing the kind of trade-off while evaluating quality levels of the goods offered by the vendors. In this regard, trade-offs in the procurement process is significant for purchasing managers to consider. Specifically, environmental requirements for a product are very important for purchasing managers to consider (Gourdin, 2006). In this case, the managers need to evaluate the most critical environmental requirements for the products they wish to purchase. For instance, energy requirement, air pollution control and specific storage conditions for the product they wish to buy are very crucial to be considered. In this regard, purchasing managers need to reduce the number of vendors supplying the organization in order to reduce any chances of receiving products which are not conformable to the organization’s environmental conditions.
Another critical trade-off that purchasing managers need to consider is product development process. Since product development processes are complex and reversing is usually difficult and costly, purchasing managers need to have fine details of the products they require in their organizations to avoid mismatch in the purchased products with the requirements in the firm. In this regard, it is important to reduce the number of vendors supplying the organization in order to avoid any chances of acquiring products which does not meet the specific requirements in the organization. This forms a basis for purchasing managers to learn how trade-offs can be identified and avoided. By reducing the number of vendors, it becomes easier for purchasing managers to acquire the products which suit their organizational needs.
Follow up question:
Do you think there is a need for government in determining environmental requirements? Why or why not?
Question: Review the material in Chapters 13 and 14. Briefly outline the steps required to develop a logistics quality process. How can logistics service quality be improved? What types of measures can be used to effect such improvement?
Answer: In order to adequately develop and improve logistics service quality, a service provider should adopt the concept of total quality management. It has been noted that total quality management is an effective approach for improving performance as well as quality. This is important in ensuring that service quality expectations of customers are attained. In this case, the overall quality measures adopted by a company including quality design, development, maintenance, control, improvement and quality assurance should be addressed. The service provider should be vigorous in ensuring that all quality measures in all levels of the company should be attained. With this in mind, all quality issues concerning logistics within the company will be addressed. Through total quality management, the issue of supply chains will receive higher attention in the sense that all aspects of the supplies will be adequately scrutinized. This is vital for enhancing overall quality aspects of the services. An organization should set quality standards that must be observed by its suppliers and partners. This will help in ensuring that the overall quality expectations of the company as well as its customers are attained (Gourdin, 2006).
Follow up question:
Do you think technology has changed the customers’ perception of quality? Why or why not?