Service productivity beyond labor: measure the inputs that matter

RESER 2011 Hamburg

The XXI. RESER conference on September 8.-9. 2011 in Hamburg, Germany saw more than 100 contributions exploring and explaining all sorts of aspects of service productivity (www.reser2011.de). Common denominators for most of the issues concerning service productivity seem to be efficient processes and resources. The process component defines the activities and necessary transformations, including the integration of external factors, to achieve targeted results. The resources of the service provider are one of the most important inputs to facilitate these processes.

Resources are important: measure the input
In the Service Productivity beyond Output / Input blog post Paul G. Huppertz kindly commented and added the »service triathlon«, stating that service providers have to »first establish and keep up service delivery readiness; secondly keep up and adapt service delivery capacity; and finally render each triggered service explicitly to the triggering service consumer.« I do agree, especially on the first two points. From a business model perspective the service delivery capacity is determined by the available resources. These are the service provider’s own resources, but may also include the resources of other partners of the value creation network.

However, it is not only the number of staff deployed but many more factors that should be taken into account. As an example Dr. Maria Savona stated at the panel discussion at the RESER 2011 conference: »Productivity gains – in services as well as in all sectors of the economy – should be measured not only against labor inputs but also in terms of time-saving and energy-saving innovations. This could be a way forward to understand what there is ‚beyond productivity‘: nowadays unfortunately labor is not as a scarce resource as time and energy are. We should take this into account when searching for new ways to conceptualize productivity, in services and beyond. This is indeed a challenge for economists.«

Which measurements do you currently use to determine the productivity of your service offerings? Feel free to share your thoughts with us about certain indicators and the importance of resources for the productivity of services. We are looking forward to your comments (registration takes less than one minute!).

Florian Kicherer

Florian Kicherer

Florian Kicherer hat das Institut 2012 verlassen.

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