Fast Company


COLLABORATION IS A MUST FOR SERVICES For products most collaboration takes place in the design and manufacturing phase. During that time there are different departments involved in designing and building the products. E.g. marketing, R&D, design, logistics, supply chain and manufacturing. But once the new products are ready to be sold, when they are in stock and on the shelf, the product itself is fixed. Every time the product is sold, it is exactly the same product. For services this is different as there is an ongoing need for collaboration. Of course there is the collaboration in the design and building phase, but also when the service is being delivered. At the point of delivery a service is every time being build for the customer. Although the processes and procedures (as in a Service Delivery Kit) are standardized, it is still the customer service employee who is the real-time ‘vehicle’ for delivery. For instance when an engineer is being dispatched to fix a hardware problem with a customer, he needs ongoing collaboration with the helpdesk (which gives him the customer info and analyzed the problem), with logistics (to send the right parts), with 2nd line support ( to help him solve the problem) and with sales (to keep the customer informed on the progress). All service contain professional (PRO) requirements (what should be done and how), but also personal (PER) requirements (what behavior is needed). The smoothness of this cross-functional collaboration determines the end result which the customer experiences. This means that management should give a higher weight (in the performance evaluation) to this collaboration than to single minded focus on the department only. Many of today’s problems are so complicated that only a team approach can find the solutions for the customer. Are you fully stimulating collaboration across silos?


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