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K.S. Dixit* et al. / (IJAEST) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED ENGINEERING SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGIES Vol No.

10, Issue No. 2, 285 - 299

Operational Challenges in Automobile Industry: A critical review of literature


K.S. Dixit1*, J.P. Modak2 and M. P. Singh3 Lecturer, Automobile Engineering Government, Polytechnic Nagpur, Sadar, Nagpur, India, 440001 2 Dean (R&D), Priyadarshani College of Engineering, CRPF Campus, MIDC, Hingna Road, Nagpur, 440019 3 Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Priyadarshani College of Engineering, CRPF Campus, MIDC, Hingna Road, Nagpur, 440019 * e-mail ID: dixit_kishor@yahoo.co.in, Cell no. 09922411129 Abstract Time management has probably become the most important aspect in 21 st century, with automobile sector being no exception. The intricacies related to scheduled maintenance of vehicles have not made the job of providing best service any easier. The behavioural aspects associated with the overall process also provide numerous challenges. Furthermore, the lack of adequate knowledge and unavailability of specific literature was the main precursor of this study. This review was carried out to assess the past research efforts and its validity for possible application and formulation of novel approaches for sustainable growth of service quality in industry in general and automobile sector in particular. The literature was reviewed by following the standard methods of content analysis and the results are presented under appropriate subsections. Keywords: Automobile sector, scheduled maintenance, service quality Introduction
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can save customers money in the long run. There are procedures and checks that the car needs at varying intervals. All vehicle manufacturers have developed a maintenance schedule and service intervals that are specific to each car model, however, many times it is difficult to follow regular maintenance checklists. Regular maintenance of vehicles is vital to obtain optimum performance for longer duration. But, often the maintenance schedule demands some extra efforts to be put in by the vehicle owners, automotive dealers, manufacturers, etc. However, it is very difficult

The critical time and effort put into keeping up with scheduled maintenance

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to expect all the before mentioned dimensions to behave in a well coordinated way. The lack of co-ordination results in less customer satisfaction that affects the overall bottom line of manufacturer and dealers. Hence, to assess the evolution of research efforts in this domain a systematic review has been carried out to find the research gaps and probable future studies for sustainable growth of the automotive sector. Methodology The literature review was carried out to identify the previous research efforts

the research gaps. This review presents the underlying pattern of evolution of thoughts and ideas in the selected domain i.e. automobile service sector. Similarly, to the extent possible, care was taken to reproduce the original terminology used by the authors, to preserve the originality of the views. The literature review addressed various issues encompassing the field of service quality evaluation, especially in relation to automobile sector; however, related and relevant literature was also used

valid. This chapter is an effort of deductive reasoning methodology that was carried out to identify various issues encompassing the service quality in automobile sector.

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Automobile Sector - Service quality Ruyter (1997) have reported that service quality should be treated as an

antecedent of service satisfaction. Goodale et al., (1997) analyzed the perceptual linkages between empowerment and employees' perceptions of the service quality that they are able to provide for the organization. Authors reported that the intrinsic rewards for quality service was highly associated with perceptions of service quality and the extent to which service providers believe members of the organization value exceptional customer service (i.e., a service quality culture exists in the firm) had a

for theorization, so that the conclusions of this study would be more reliable as well as

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and directions related to the main area of this research. The objective was to identify

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strong, positive relationship with perceptions of service quality. Andaleeb and Basu (1998) studied the relationship between customers' overall evaluation of service quality. The findings indicated that the empathy demonstrated by the service provider was important only when the service was not under warranty. Fairness and reliability were found to be important when there was no warranty and their effects were heightened by the presence of warranty. The influence of responsiveness and convenience were significant and remained the same for products with or without

necessary cause for a good climate for service, which is reflected in customer satisfaction. They further stated that climate for service rests on the foundation issues, but in addition it requires policies and practices that focus attention directly on service quality. Hays and Hill (2001) reported that higher levels of both employees motivation/vision and organizational learning positively affect perceived service quality by the customers. Brady et al., (2002) reported that the service quality in

to the gap-based SERVQUAL scale. Snipes et al., (2005) stated that employee job satisfaction is a relevant factor in service quality improvement. Employees who feel

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satisfied with their jobs provide higher levels of customer satisfaction. This study concludes that certain job satisfaction facets may have a larger effect on service quality than others. Lin (2007) has reported that improvement in service quality has a positive effect on the attitude of consumers toward the perceived value in the future. Gil et al (2008) reported that service encounter directly and significantly affects perceived service value which is the final antecedent to customer satisfaction and secondly, that the level of employment satisfaction moderates its effect on service value. Liu et al., (2009) reported the utility of comprehensive quantitative (normalized

automobile industry should be measured using a performance-only index as opposed

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warranty. Schneider et al., (1998) stated that employee work and service quality is a

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service level achievement function) and qualitative (hierarchical model) perspective based evaluations for service quality of technical operations. Authors concluded that the quantitative and qualitative evaluations together form a comprehensive solution which is universal, customer-oriented and flexible. Chiu et al., (2011) applied the Taiwan Customer Satisfaction Index model to the automobile industry in Taiwan. Authors concluded that the total service time and certain operational procedures are needed to be modified to increase their competitiveness.

Bailey (1992) highlighted importance of technical information, especially in view of it being a vital link in the technician's ability to accomplish his tasks and understand technology. Flood (1994) reported that integrated systems should be deployed to get optimum benefits of various technologies for the organizations. Chung and Hung (1996) reported that the economic design of x- control charts in a situation, where the duration time that the process remains in the in-control state

indicated that the proposed model under a preventive maintenance policy has a lower expected total cost per hour than those reported previously. Miyazaki and Kijima

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(2000) put forward a model classifying complex situations, including technology management on a two dimensional space, i.e., object-related and human-related complexity. The authors reported that the automobile sector has been undergoing radical changes due to growing internal and external complexity. Their results were based on the data collected from the Japanese automobile sector (chosen companies were Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi Motors, and Mazda). Okada (2004) reported that dynamic industrial transformations in the 1990s significantly changed the nature, content and extent of skills development at domestic suppliers of automobile industry.

follows a general distribution which has an increasing hazard rate. The study results

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Technology management

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Furthermore, he stated that various institutional mechanisms created by assembler firms played a critical role in upgrading skills at suppliers, transforming the supply chain into a learning chain. Karwan and Markland (2006) suggested that IT-enabled approach to designing a service and operational service alignment is the key to avoiding results that have long been labeled a dilemma in the service sector. Williams (2007) argued that most current initiatives (evidence of higher-order learning amongst stakeholders; changes in infrastructure and institutional practice; changes in

ownership structure; and changes in modes of produceruser interactions) do not unify these key elements of a product service systems in a single coherent system they do not constitute complete versions of product service systems, and therefore, fail to deliver the full range of envisaged benefits in contributing towards system innovation. Orsto and Wells (2007) stressed that main concepts of technological regime, such as automobile design, material selection, and the economic fundamentals are primarily

commercialisation. Yousefi and Hadi- Vencheh (2010) based on the results of study using Multi-Criteria Decision Making concluded that safety and price are the

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customers most important criteria for automobile selection. Cardilo (2011) stressed a need to learn and evolve with technological advancements and embrace standards and legislation to lead the automobile industry. In house performance Das (1987) reported that ergonomically designed manufacturing work system proves to be effective and efficient in terms of manufacturing processing time, safety, training time, and worker productivity, satisfaction, and job attitudes. Stamper (1989) outlined an approach to suggest practical enhancements to established support

responsible

for

deciding

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the orientation of today's

T
car

vehicle design, manufacture and end-of-life management; changes in vehicle

assembly

and

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systems in a way that is realistic and achievable. The approach utilizes following key areas i.e. tools supported by engine manufacturers, procedures to update these tools in the field and techniques which can be employed to facilitate more standard support. Gary (1992) studied Quality and Productivity of car service in future. Authors perceived that those vehicles that have the best service records will outsell their competition and auto repair like television repair will become a non-issue for the future. This may mean that the need will be for fewer but better skilled and more

training programs and insisted that automotive manufacturers, aftermarket suppliers and mass merchandisers must build sufficient profit into their products and services to support required training. Gahrs (1992) highlighted need of recruitment and retainment of automotive service technicians. Author also stressed that in order to be competitive, the image, pay, benefits, and working conditions of the automotive repair technician will have to be improved by the automotive service industry. Das and

population anthropometry (adequate posture, work height, normal and maximum working areas, lateral clearance and visual requirement) is given due importance

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while implementation of various components of the workstation. Jasch and Lavicka (2006) reported that the two major cost drivers in Styrian automobile cluster in Austria are the purchase costs of non-product output and the costs related to lost working days because of sick leave and accidents and the overtime pay to make up for these lost working days. Furthermore, it has been observed that the work of the Environmental Health and Safety department helps to reduce these costs significantly. Zhu et al., (2011) reported that the fault losses can be further reduced by the optimization of maintenance interval and maintenance duration.

Sengupta (1996) provided a conceptual basis for a good workstation design, where

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productive technicians. Cerny (1992) stressed a need of performance based technician

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Customer satisfaction Hensel (1990) has stressed the need to create a supportive internal service climate, reinforced by recruiting, training, and motivational approaches that serve to enhance service workers' desire and ability to meet and exceed customer expectations. Waldman and Gopalkrishnan (1996) have reported that customer perceptions would be a function of a combination of operational, organizational, and human resource factors that have been associated with total quality management. Ugboro and Obeng

are facilitated by top management leadership and commitment to the total quality management goal of customer satisfaction by creating an organizational climate that emphasizes total quality and customer satisfaction. In the context of the automotive industry, Devraj et al., (2001) reported that product and service quality simultaneously affects consumers' purchase intentions. Anton et al., (2007) have reported poor service quality and low firm commitment undermine consumer satisfaction and have

have a strong effect on switching, both directly and indirectly through satisfaction. Brown and Lam (2008) reported that there is strong relationship between employee

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job satisfaction and customer satisfaction and perceived service quality. Authors used path analytic model and concluded that customer-perceived service quality

completely mediates the relationship between employee job satisfaction and customer satisfaction. Dabholkar and Abston (2008) have proposed a conceptual framework

that highlights the role of internal marketing as a tool for enhancing the competitive advantage gained by strategically considering the customer contact employee's role as external customer, which ensures customer satisfaction. Adela (2009) reported that every company and every team is concerned today about the service quality in

only an indirect effect on switching intentions, price unfairness and anger incidents

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(2000) reported that employee empowerment and improved levels of job satisfaction

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automotive industries because of there is a perfect correlation between the level of the First Time Service Quality and Customer Loyalty. Modeling approach/ Service quality models Onyebueke et al., (1987) developed a PC based mathematical and rapid prototyping technique for anthropometric accommodation in a maintenance environment using the principle of simulation based design. The model has wide scale applicability, especially when maintenance is required in a confined environment.

body size to an assignment. Li et al., (1991) developed an enhanced fuzzy neural network based decision support system for managing automobile spares inventory in a central warehouse. Their results (after evaluation with the real word data and experimental results) indicate that the developed enhanced fuzzy neural network outperforms other five models in fill rate and stock cost measures. Oke and CharlesOwaba (2006) studied the uncertainty in the development of a model that schedules

transform the human expertise into IF-THEN rules. Authors claim that the approach has the advantage of revealing semantic uncertainty with the associated non-

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specifying measures of the process. Ben-Daya and Alghamdi (2000) reported that the integrated hazard rate condition may be used to greatly reduce the number of decision variables at the expense of a reasonable increase in the expected total cost of preventive maintenance. Gaurishankar and Sahani (2003) studied the maintenance of an operational system consisting of a number of independent and identical units. Authors concluded that reliability analysis is critical factor to determine the effect of preventive maintenance and repair on the float factor determination. Zapf (2004) on the basis of their study concluded that the efficacy of service process designs for

both preventive maintenance and operational activities. Authors used fuzzy logic to

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This analysis technique developed prevents sending a maintenance crew with wrong

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handling customer requests within a communication center are dependent on the process characteristics, such as the level of difficulty (standard versus special requests) and the communication channel (synchronous versus a-synchronous requests). Martnez and Martnez (2010) studied past work in the conceptualization and measurement of perceived service quality models proposed in the last 25 years. based on their study, the authors concluded that there is a need to develop more creative models of service quality, which should help in quantitative analysis to

and Itoh (2011) described the performance modeling and the optimization of concurrent service systems. On the basis of study results authors proposed the novel Client Server Petri net model editorsimulatoroptimizer, which has practical implications for an automobile purchase concurrent service system. Moghaddam and Usher (2011) developed a new optimization model to determine the optimal preventive maintenance and replacement schedules in repairable and maintainable

a need to delineate building blocks for end-user charging services of electric cars. They suggested that these building blocks can easily be transformed into objectives

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and constraints in a charging schedule optimization problem formulation. Pattada et al., (2011) presented an interactive, fault model-based prototype diagnostic tool that can assist service technicians in isolating the root cause of vehicle problems and performing corrective repairs. Authors claimed that this tool will enable correct and efficient first-time repairs leading to a reduction in warranty costs and repeat visits.

has seen tremendous association with the innovative measures taken by the industry to

systems using exact and metaheuristic algorithms. Olle and Carl (2011) have reported

Service quality is the backbone of automobile sector. The growth of this sector

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minimize the limitations that characterize the most widely used models. Gonsalves

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manage and improve the service quality. The phenomenon of globalization has made the industries view customer satisfaction in entirely new way. Those industries, which have given this aspect (customer satisfaction) its due importance have witnessed sustainable improvements in their bottom line. However, the recent advances in the field of service sector have put forward innumerable opportunities for improving service quality, which was evident from the limited literature (of service quality in automobile sector) availability. Based on the literature, it may be concluded that the

(automobile sector) is very dynamic. It was also evident from the literature, that the major factors that govern the service quality are time, cost, skills of technicians, quality of technical manuals, organisation culture, workplace design, economic condition of the region, etc. Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank management of Priyadarshini Colleges of

The authors also wish to thank Dr. Atul Kulkarni, Director, DataSol Consultancy, Nagpur for his help in editing of the manuscript.

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