Service Productivity beyond Output / Input

RESER 2011 Hamburg

How to maximize output with given inputs? How to reduce input and still achieve a stable output? Can both be achieved at the same time? Engineers have managed to solve this for machines. Current machines are for example able to produce more units per hour and yet consume less power than the previous models. If one wants to profit from that increased benefit there quite literally is a price to pay for this gain in productivity: the price tag on that particular high-end machine. Does the same hold true for »high-end services«?

Thinking about service productivity quickly brings us to a lot of »it-depends-on’s«. Service productivity depends on exactly whose productivity you have in mind. Are we talking about increasing the productivity of the service provider or the productivity of the service consumer? Ever called the help-line of your telecom provider? Think about the voice computer at the very beginning of your call. Does it increase your productivity? Maybe. Does it increase the productivity of the call center? Most definitely (or at least that is the intention).

Service productivity – the whole is more than the sum of its parts

Service productivity depends on whether the service we are examining is a stand-alone service, like a legal consultation, or a product related service like machine maintenance. Thus is service productivity something that is being bought largely for itself or is the service a vehicle to ensure the productivity of something/someone else. Think about the machine: it has a (hardware) productivity of its own. Hard data about output / input. A service like a 24hrs repair team ensures that the productivity of that machine will be restored within a negotiated period. The owner of this machine can calculate his overall productivity by combining the machine’s productivity and the service of the machine manufacturer to restore this productivity should it ever be unavailable. Are service providers really able to provide hard data about their services yet? Service productivity depends on the required degree of interaction, e.g. information that needs to be shared, access that has to be granted, etc. Yet who is to provide that information? Is it the service consumer’s responsibility? Is it up to the service provider? Straight to another »it-depends«: Do you want to give that information away in the first place (provider) or would you be delighted if you never even had to provide that information in the first place (convenience of the consumer)?

Join us on September, 8.-9. 2011 in Hamburg, Germany for the XXI. RESER conference entitled »Productivity of Services NextGen – Beyond Output / Input«. A total of 28 workshop sessions, two top-notch keynotes, a plenary discussion, and a lot of answers to those »it-depends« are awaiting you. Registration is still open. Please visit for further information.

Florian Kicherer

Florian Kicherer

Florian Kicherer hat das Institut 2012 verlassen.


2 Kommentare

  1. Serivce Producutivity = Servuctivity = number of services rendered per reference period. The output of each and every service explicitly rendered to the triggering service consumer is that the service-specific benefits have been effectuated to the service object the service consumer has designated.
    Each and every rendered service must have the quality, i.e. „stable output“, which has been committed in the service contract based on the clear, complete and consistent service specification with 12 practical attribute values. Thus, its not about „high end services“ but about every service of one type each time rendered in the same quality.

    The comparison with machines leads to the imagination that there are service automats which must effectuate the service-specific benefits to the service object designated by the triggering service consumer.

    Service rendering is very dependent, in particular because it is a real time transaction each time. It must be thorougly prepared and performed based on a service screenplay or service score so that the „service orchestra“ can perform each service rendering as committed. The latter must be done in the course of the service triathlon
    1. Establish and keep up service delivery readiness
    2. Keep up and adapt service delivery capacity
    3. Render each triggered service explicitly to the triggering service consumer

    It’s all about service quality and service rendering and in the second line about servuctivity.

  2. Dear Paul,

    Thank you for pointing out the Servuctivity wording. I am also glad that you pointed out the necessity of a stable quality level. Obviously it would be comparing apples and oranges otherwise.

    The actual service delivery is crucial in each service setting. The foundation this is built upon: thoroughly designed processes, apt resources, and a defined service strategy. I can see what you refer to with the service triathlon. Needless to say that before you jump in the water, or even before you even start training, you do need a goal: a service strategy.

    Service quality levels need to be defined. Service processes need careful planning and designing. The parameters of service interaction have to be clear. The goals that a particular enterprise pursues with its services need to be set. Thus service productivity will be a part of the strategy.

    As for the strategy itself: I do not think that there is a one size fits all solution. Some enterprises will benefit from improving the productivity of their service consumers by actually reducing the service providing units‘ very own productivity. Some will benefit from just the opposite (ever called a hotline of a telecommunications provider and struggled through the automated voice system?!?).

    Looking forward to hear your thoughts. Other readers of this blog are highly welcomed to join in as well.


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