Share
Explore BrainMass

Operations Strategy for Jay Evan's business

Using the available resources, discuss specific service issues Evan's organization is realizing. At a minimum, efficiency, responsiveness, quality, and costs should be discussed. Customers have provided some input regarding a number of issues that have been surfacing more frequently than in the past.
If you use sources to support your discussion, please cite your sources.

-Assess a operating service delivery system for a specific industry
-Diagnose service problems and propose solutions.
-Evaluate proposed services and their fit with existing services

Business Info is as follows:
Scenario:

Five years ago, Jay Evan decided he wanted to start his own technology service business. He rented some office space, purchased some computer and network equipment, and installed a telecommunications circuit to the Internet. Almost immediately, he started to acquire customers who wanted him to host their business applications and for him to be responsible for the operational availability of the applications. In other words, Jay would provide the space, servers and local area network equipment, connectivity to the Internet, and an around-the-clock operational support staff. His customers would provide the business application software, and they would manage it remotely.

During the first 5 years, Jay's business grew substantially. He had to relocate his offices three times, add computer and network equipment, increase the bandwidth and connectivity to the Internet, and hire numerous administrative and technical support staff.

As Jay needed to add computer hardware, he would negotiate with local retail stores and purchase the lowest cost equipment. If he needed additional communication services, he would go to the local telephone company to add the bandwidth and connectivity he believed he needed.

Starting his sixth year in business, John has over 30 major long-term contracts, a 20,000 square foot data center, over 400 servers; and 100 full-time employees. Additionally, he hosts 50 major business applications for his customers.

The organization configuration is fairly simple. John has set up an extremely flat organization in which the majority (approximately 80%) of the staff are technical or operations support (network, server, applications, operating systems, and database). Additionally, there is one contract, five helpdesk, one project manager, and five administrative support staff. Jay does all of the marketing and sales and personally negotiates each contract.

The cost structure is set up as follows:

-Floor space (includes utilities, rent, water, and so forth): $100/square foot (John pays $25/square foot)
-Hardware (servers): Actual cost of each server as well as the number of servers required (customers reimburse John for parts)
-Labor: $25/hour as required for break/fix, updates, and so forth
-Internet connectivity: Cost per month spread across all contracts
Each month, hours are tabulated and additional costs are billed to each customer.

Over the past several years, Jay has been one of the few providers in this hosting business; however, competition is now starting to challenge his company from a cost, efficiency, quality, and the kinds of services provided. Additionally, existing customers are starting to complain about slow response times, degradation of services, poor quality, lack of communication, and rising costs. In the past, when a customer made a request, the organization has accommodated for that request. As of recently, Jay is taking responsibility for nearly half of the customer applications to include updates and changes.

A number of the customers have told John that they will have to reduce their effort with him if the service-related issues are not corrected. A couple of them have sent correspondence to John stating the following:

-Response times: When they provide updates and changes, the support staff is taking longer and longer to implement the changes.
-Service degradation: The availability of the hardware platforms is trending downward. Where the platforms were available around the clock, they are now suffering from some frequent and long outage periods.
-Quality: When updates and changes are implemented, they are often not installed correctly and have to be reinstalled.
-Communication: Whether changes to the platforms or coordinating outages, the support team does not notify the customers and the issues are beginning to impact their revenue stream.
-Costs: In the past, when additional equipment was needed, Jay purchased, installed it, and billed it back to the customer each month. Also, the cost of support over the past few years has been steadily increasing.

Jay is now beginning to wonder whether he should outsource or even offshore some of the functions and services he is offering to an organization that specializes more in a specific area. He has contacted a number of outsourcing organizations as well as an organization in India that might be able to run his service center help desk. The cost seems to be less expensive than what he is able to provide to his customers. Also, he thought it might be a good idea because he is starting to expand his company to global customers. He now has two smaller contracts with European customers, and this appears to be an area that is going to grow.

Your task starts with assisting Evan with an assessment of his current business situation. Then, you will assist him in developing an operations strategy that can be used to improve his operational performance and business profile. The overall goal of assisting Evan is to help him assess and determine how each of these areas impacts his business and recommend some solutions so he can optimize his operations and competitive profile.

Solution Preview

The response addresses the queries posted in 1315 words with references.

//This paper will help in covering the service issues which are faced by the company. In order to start the paper, first the company's current situation will be analyzed and operations strategy will be discussed which helps in improving the business performance.//

Jay Evan started the business of providing technology service to the business enterprises. The company was growing at a high rate in the initial five years. Therefore, the company increased its resources like increased the bandwidth of the Internet connection, added more computer hardware and hired more employees. The structure of the company is flat, in which most of the employees are technical staff, and other employees are help desk, supporters and marketing of the product is done by the Jay Evan only. The company's process is very simple and liberal which helps employees in performing in an efficient manner. This helps in expanding the business. As the time is moving, the company is also increasing its prices and the company faces many operational issues which is reducing the company's profit.

The operational issues include responding slowly, services are degraded, sometime installed wrong software are installed, not guiding the customer for the changes in the software and support cost is increasing. All these issues are affecting the revenue of the company. Operating service delivery system states the parts of the operating system which are compulsory to execute the service idea. This system comprises of many variables like managing the quality provided to the customers, policies of the management and quantity required by the customers. All these factors are supported by the company so that the company is different from their competitors.

Initially, the company's business expanded, but after some years company faced some issues which affected the operating service delivery system of the company. For example, the changes and the updates were implemented to the customer's system, but many times the company's employees updated wrong ...

Solution Summary

The response addresses the queries posted in 1315 words with references.

$2.19