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Planning for Service Operations Versus Manufacturing

The case study was:
Service operations often face more difficulty in planning than their manufacturing counterparts. However, service does have certain advantages that manufacturing often does not. Explain service planning difficulty, and the advantages and disadvantages. Give your recommendations to management.

The solution provides recommendations such as staggered scheduling of service employees and the use of alternative workers; such as temporary employees. The examples are explained in detail; by utilizing a plumbing business. There is a contrast of planning that occurs in manufacturing; where most organizations produce what is believed to match consumer demand. The major disadvantage with this planning approach is most products have a "shelf life" where they fall out of demand and/or become obsolete.

Solution Preview

The difficulty in planning operations for a service organization is the often unknown of demand. For example, a plumbing company likely does not know exactly how many service call requests come in each day. To pay for a certain number of plumbers to be at the ready and not enough jobs to keep them all busy results in employee costs from which there is no utilization. However, if there are not enough plumbers to take the service calls and customers have to be turned away or scheduled ...

Solution Summary

When an organization provides a service, rather than a manufactured good, there can be difficulty in planning for supply to fulfill demand. Planning concepts may include the use of "on call" personnel or temporary workers; who come in for a define timeline to complete a specific goal. This solution is over 300 words and compares the service industry to those that manufacture a product.