RAC Motoring Service
The above mentioned managerial flow chart clearly depicts the clear identification of job design, cell allocation and through put of information from the top through the service mangers to the patrols that are responsible for providing the services to the customers. The main essence of successful services providing is in the timely transformation of information to the product i.e., service, because the production and consumption of a service tends to be simultaneous. RAC design has these advantages and is quite suitable for the type of service they are providing to their customers.
RAC is also facing some disadvantages in terms of huge costs in expansion and rearranging of existing layout, lower utilization of their patrols and they need more equipment to full fill the demand. As the demand is fluctuating, they are relying heavily on the contractors to full fill this gap and contractors are not very well equipped to full fill the customer’s requirement in terms of technology and professional know-how.
At present, RAC is using the cell design to carry out their operations and provide service to their customers. The process initiates after receiving the call from the customer by the call receiving unit, then it is transferred to the
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Contractors. It can be shown in the following figure.RAC, definitely needed to improve in its call taking and dispatch process. In order to improve these two key areas, RAC has to rely on the most advance and easily available satellite technology. The use of this technology is not very complex and expensive. However, they need to improve their call centres and patrol’s communication systems. The system works on simple routing of calls during peak hours directly to the patrols of the relative geographic cell. It can be done through the GPS and GIS (geographic information system). How it works? It works on the simple principle of call placing through routers or gateways. RAC already has a call centre and modern call taking facilities. What they have to do? RAC has to issue their customers with a plastic card having their customer number, vehicle number and the cell number in which they are located (house location).
When the customer call at the call centre and gives the vehicle number and customer number, system will locate the vehicle on the GPS and prompt to the available patrol on its screen in the closest locality, with the help of this call transferring, it saves time of the call transfer from the call canter to the service manager then to the patrols. The respective service manager is monitoring all this GPS and GIS and if the patrol is not available, call can be transferred to the contractor.
Each patrol is provided with fully equipped vehicle to provide the service to their customers and they are responsible for the look after of these vehicles. They are not bound by the management to return their vehicles after the end of their shift. This is an important factor in the employment contract because patrols are not pressurised to return to the head office to hand in the vehicles to the next patrol and they can continue to work beyond the end of their shift. This has given patrols the chance to earn the overtime and they exploited this opportunity to earn more money while doing fewer jobs. Patrols can wilfully “log off” from the system if some difficult job been asked to do and service manager has to transfer that job to the contractors. This is the main weakness in the RAC’s employee contractors. The patrols are deciding their own operations and service mangers are only performing large number of odd jobs that patrols are kept on road. This is not the operations mangers duty to ensure the patrol performance; his duty is to make sure that patrols are meeting the set targets, are they productive? If not. How to improve the design to get productivity? Etc.
RAC has a good design to run the service they are providing because the main reason is that they have clearly defined the areas to target, assigned resources to each “cell” and have well trained front line staff to meet the challenges. The front desk (patrols) is equipped with state of the art technologies and professional training. The main problem with the design is the “lack of planning and control” of the patrols by the service mangers. However, service mangers are toys in hands of the patrols. They are using them to replenish consumable items, provide them uniforms and make sure the cleaning of cars done properly. On the other hand, service mangers should be sitting in their offices and controlling the operations from their, like proper operations manger. The most important thing is to be done is the re-scheduling of the shift roaster. The new roaster should look like as follows