Are New Android and iPhone GPS Apps Going to Hurt the Mobile Auto Services Industry?

Right now, many privacy right activists are very alarmed that mobile smart phone devices are spying on their users. Of course, those that create the software which allows third parties to know the GPS coordinates of smart phone users claim that the ability for the phone to do this has lots of advantages, for instance; it allows the consumer to have instant information about sales, and the locations they might frequent the most.

But let’s switch-gears from all that on-going saga and controversy and talk about the challenges mobile apps are for mobile auto service businesses. Now then; will all these new android and iPhone GPS marketing apps become a disadvantage for mobile auto services? Yes, and no, but again, Let me explain.

It would seem to me that making it more convenient and easier for consumers and customers to get auto services on sale, or pop in to get an auto detail, or an oil change when no one is waiting in line, or perhaps even a carwash might hurt those mobile services that would have come to the customer and done the work on-site. Seriously, consider that for a moment.

If the consumer is busy driving around, and they get a message on their smart phone that there is no one in line at the quick lube, and therefore the proprietor of the oil change facility is willing to give a discount to get additional customers in – then the lady driving a Lexus may just drive in to save the money right then and there. This same lady with a Lexus is perhaps the a perfect customer for a mobile oil change company catering to the middle and upper middle class. You see that point?

Now then, there may be a way to combat this, and that would be for the mobile auto service company to also create apps that might tell their clientele, customers, and consumers where they are, causing them to pull into a parking lot and get in line with whatever customers the mobile auto service company is are already working on. This means they might get extra vehicles per stop, and therefore they will become more efficient and make more money in the same amount of time.

What I’m saying is this; all of these new android and iPhone GPS apps which are now available in the auto services industry will change the way business is done in the future, and it will give an advantage to those companies whether fixed or mobile that partake in these new technologies. Therefore you need to be on board, and adapt, or die. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Customer Service In The Service Industry

Service industry depends almost solely on the strength of customer service provided; customers are hard to please one must note. While a natural aptitude in those desirous of joining this industry does help, training is necessary for them to be able to understand priorities of their profession better and develop them into efficient customer care executives.

The training largely makes communication skills better. Higher the level of skills the customer service staffs of a company possess, better the company’s image they create. It is by giving customers efficient service with regard to whatever their queries that the base of loyal customers can be enlarged. Customer service courses are available at most centers and those desirous of pursuing a career in this line will be well advised to take up such a course.

To its customers, a company is assessed mainly by its customer service staff as they create a direct link with the customers. Whether they sit across the table and resolve customer queries or do it on phone, professionalism on their part is highly desirable; of course politeness does go a long way towards customer satisfaction and business growth. In order to ensure that the customers do return to the company for their repeated or fresh needs, it is the treatment meted out to them by the concerned staff that holds the key.

To this end, the employees in this segment must do a course in customer training. By joining these courses, you do get valuable inputs to develop you into an efficient customer care professional. The courses are available in classrooms as well as online. The syllabus of such courses covers areas like identifying the needs of the customer, refrain from talking about matters that do not concern what the customer does not need, common mistakes committed by staff in dealing with customers and lots more.

You must try to make the best use of training material and guidance to rise to leadership level in this line of profession. The realization that the customer is the lord and it is for a customer service official to satisfy him rather than raising unwanted counter queries does sink in when one does a good training course in this line.

The company that you join has certain specific info that you should have while dealing with company’s customers. It is therefore necessary that apart from the training course that gives you general guidance in the line, you need to be further exposed to training by the company that you start working for. Of course, even after you are settled in a new job, you must continue absorbing useful traits from your experienced colleagues.

Evaluating the Potential of Internet Business Services

Internet Business Services are thriving. Every day there are more and more consumers logging on and now cost-effective to carry on business services via the internet.

To operate an Internet Business Service you will need less operating costs as you no longer require a brick and mortar store and you can now have specific niche businesses or items that would have failed if they had been in a traditional business setting. Best of all, Internet Business Services will allow you the freedom to be able to work from anywhere – the office, on the road, at home…anywhere!

That being said, not all Small Business Internet Services prosper. You can still sink a lot of money into your business and have it flop. There is homework involved for the Internet entrepreneur as you have to research the business you are considering as there is so much competition out there that it may be infeasible to try to go head to head with a company or in an industry you have no chance in turning a profit it.

Use concrete data to contribute as the basis of your Internet Business Services. Likely the main factor over all to be considered is the demand for the Internet Business Service you want to create.

Here is a scenario: You are considering an Internet Service Business to sell contact lenses in the Philippines. What is the average gross margin on sale? What are the price points to be considered? Is there enough volume in terms of population demographics to support the need? If you can not get enough traffic there is no need to be in that business.

Be very wary of your competition. Who are other Internet and non-Internet Business Service providers that cater to the same need? There could be few competing Internet Businesses in your niche, but if there is not enough traffic to begin with, you are better off to find another niche

How do you intend on making your money? Will you be acquiring your revenue from online sales, affiliate commission revenue, advertising revenue, email marketing…?

After you have done your homework and determined what niche is a fit for you and you are sure of the likelihood of success with your Internet Service Business get to work on your site. Make sure it is unique, interesting and useful. Launch it-and let the sales roll in!

But the next question is who is going to build your Internet Service Business website and how are you going to pay for the construction of the site and all that goes along with it? Today there are options for financing your website. You will likely need to put some investment into the site construction and development but if you finance the site, you can make the site much more professional and high-end and then pay for it over time as your sales come in.

Sustainability, Operations and Supply Chain Management in Manufacturing and Service Industries

Tourism is a huge and dynamic industry that is comprised of a wide variety of service businesses that reflect the same dynamics and priorities that a manufacturer would have for operations planning (OP) and supply chain management (SCM). One such service business is the cruise ship sector in which vacationers travel via these types of vessels to various destinations.

While manufacturers produce tangible products and wastes, service companies also produce waste, but their products are intangible. For example, the product that a personal trainer might produce is a healthier client. Operations Managers (OM) in both industries share similar interests in eliminating waste and delivering quality products.

The two main intangible products that the vacationer (end user) buys, and a cruise ship company “manufactures” and delivers, are pleasure and relaxation – the total experience that allows vacationers to “suspend” their everyday reality for a period of time and immerse themselves in pleasurable experiences. The mission of the cruise ship industry is to deliver this experience to them in a way that surpasses their customers’ expectations, and it depends a great deal on the manufacturing industry to make this possible.

Comparable Dynamics and Priorities in Manufacturing and Service

The movement and connection of goods and services from the point of origin, or the original source, to the end user is referred to as “the supply chain”. Supply Chain Management is a part of the Operations Management that involves the effective management of many inter-firm processes such as:

  • Supplier/Vendor relationship management
  • Order Processing
  • Information Systems management
  • Sourcing and Procurement
  • Production Scheduling
  • Inventory Management
  • Warehousing and Distribution
  • Customer Services
  • Environmentally sustainable practices

Just as in the manufacturing industry, in the cruise ship industry it takes the coordination of a variety of resources – financial, material and human – working together to manage these processes in order to achieve organizational goals.

Operations Management involves the management of all the activities that produce an output (a product). In operations management a multitude of processes must be managed in order to produce and distribute products and services. Policies must be formulated; daily operations must be managed, and so must the use of human and material resources. OM also demands the effective utilization of technology and communications systems to allow for timely ordering and delivery of materials and products, and the servicing of customers and stakeholders.

Policies in both the manufacturing and service industry sectors might include social and environmental impact considerations such as the use of resources and the disposal of wastes. Religious, cultural, political and legal issues such as human rights, use of child labor, wage and hours; human resource impact issues such as age, gender and other forms of discrimination must also be considered.

In a manufacturing situation these considerations would impact the goods and services that the cruise industry might use. Some of these goods include foods, linens, toiletries, furnishings, packaging, electronics, fuel, etc. All of these products are outputs of a manufacturing process that a cruise ship might use and all of these products impact the environment from the original source to the end-user.

Organizations in both industries need to develop a sustainability mind-set and identify where waste being generated in their companies and along their supply chains; the reason why and when, at what stage it is being produced.

So, for example, the OM of a cruise line that is socially and environmentally conscious, and who wants to improve their SCM and incorporate a closed-loop method of operation in her organization, might be considerate of the inputs that a manufacturing company utilizes in its production process and in the processes that it utilizes to convert the raw materials into products; the timely deliverance of those products; the quality of customer service after the product is delivered, and the impact that disposal of these products have on the environment.

Likewise, manufacturing companies (whose products the cruise lines use) also wishing to do the same might, in turn, be considerate of the inputs that their suppliers utilize in their operations. As mentioned before, these inputs include – but are not limited to – various impact considerations previously mentioned.

This backward view of the supply chain links the end user of the services of the cruise ship to the beginning of the supply chain – and that includes all the companies that, working backward, might make up the chain to the original source. An original source might be cotton growers and the policies they have in place that might affect the methods that they use to grow, harvest and supply the converters of the cotton.

Questions that an Operations Managers might ask, for example, are:

· Ate the cotton growers using harmful, earth polluting chemicals in growing the cotton?

· Is child labor being used in harvesting?

· Are working conditions safe, and are wage and hours legal and fair?

· Are materials being delivered on time – and if not, what are the reasons that are preventing this?

These questions impact the management of the supply chain and organizations can gain or lose competitive advantage if they do not consider such questions because, in the case of a cruise ship, for example, an enlightened vacationer might hardly be impressed that the soft cotton sheets that she uses on the cruise line were made from cotton picked by children who live in slums and who earn mere pennies a day for back-breaking labor – and are denied an education because of these poor labor practices.

These types of considerations and decisions faced by a cruise line Operations Manager will affect his or her own company’s financial bottom line and will also affect the operations management of their down-line suppliers, as it also would in manufacturing. One can easily see that the considerations and activities of Operations Managers in service industries easily affect supply chain management in their organizations.

Maintaining a Competitive Advantage

Today’s consumers are more sophisticated and keenly aware of the global impact that their actions have on the environment and many consumers already take actions to reduce their “carbon footprint”, that is the contribution to the environmental impact of human beings and their activities upon the planet.

For example, the more waste one leaves behind in one’s daily activities, the larger one’s carbon foot-print. This idea has been capsulized in the term “going green”. Consumers are not only modifying their own habits in order to minimize waste and thus reduce their carbon footprints, but they are also holding corporations accountable for their impacts on the environment. This has put pressure on many corporations to go green by embracing more environmentally friendly processes in their operations.

Cruise ships are like floating cities that can generate as much as “…30,000 gallons of sewage, 250,000 gallons of kitchen, bath and laundry waste water and 10 tons of garbage — each day”. Effectively managing the inputs that create this amount of waste begins with effective management of the supply chain. Effective management of the supply chain begins with effective operations management.

Socially and environmentally conscious organizations that develop a vision and a mission articulating a clear objective to take responsibility for ensuring the sustainability of all inputs that go into their products will have a competitive advantage over those who don’t. So a cruise line, for example, that establishes a culture of “world class supply chain management” into its operational processes can gain significant competitive advantage over its competitors because “supply management directly affects the two factors which control the bottom line: total costs and sales”[2] (Burt, Dobler, Starling. 2003, p. 10).

For example, a cruise ship line that is an early entrant into World Class Supply Management practices will most likely emerge as a leader in the practice and, as such, will stand to hold “40 -60 percent of the market after competition enters the picture” (p. 11). The quality of its offerings will also improve as it utilizes the sustainable goods produced by manufacturers. Since quality usually commands premium prices, this can help firms gain market share. Today, a more informed and enlightened public demand higher quality goods and thus supports organizations that deliver quality.

Additionally, consumers are demanding more and more that corporations go green as much as possible. Building sustainability into the supply chain will improve quality and increase customer satisfaction. Organizations that do not build sustainability into their operations will find that it will cost them more (in the loss of market share) to NOT do so. By building sustainability into their practices early, both manufacturing and service organizations can expect to gain and maintain a competitive advantage.