PHYSICAL EVIDENCE Generally a service transaction involves the interaction of the service provider with the customer in a service

environment. Services like hotel services and hospitals are delivered in physical environment created by the service firm. Physical evidence is termed as the social environment along with the tangible cues. Physical Evidence includes all the efforts taken by the service provider to tangibilise their services, they include: 1) Physical Facilities: On the basis of physical evidence like building, furniture, equipment, stationery etc the potential customers forms an impression about the service organization. Physical evidence include essential evidence and peripheral evidence. In every services. the quality and Standard of the essential evidence will be of major influence in the customer’ purchase decision. Peripheral evidence can actually change hands during the service transaction, they – stationery, brochures etc. Though services can be performed without these items, still they – used to enhance the corporate image. 2) Physical Environment: Another factor influencing consumer expectations of service quality and satisfaction is the physical setting or the service environment within which the service takes place. The important elements of physical settings are: i) Ambience-. The ambience of the physical setting includes temperature, lighting, noise, music, scent and color. All these factors affect the way the people think, feel and respond to a particular, service setting. ii) Space: People need space around them to feel comfortable. Ease of access, good visibility, proximity of linked services will help to make the customer feel comfortable. iii) Decor & Artifacts-, Decor: Signs, symbols and artifacts are the important components of decor. Signs represent the first encounter the customer ahs with the service firm. It influences the first impression. Sign can be used as labels for directional purpose e a. parking, entrance and exit, to communicate rules of Behaviour e.g. no smoking. Symbols are used to judge the expertise of the service provider. 3) Social Settings: The appearance of the service personnel is the major aspect of the social setting that influences the consumer’s attitude about the service personnel. The concept of appearance shows whether the employees appear to be friendly and approachable, caring, professional and confident. As a marketing mix element, physical evidence can be used as facilitator, socialize, differentia tore shaping first impression and build corporate image and identity. SERVICE PROCESS The service process refers to how a service is provided or delivered to a customer. Delivery system is a creative process. it begins with a service concept and strategy to provide a service. In order to achieve these objectives, various alternatives must be analyzed and identified before a decision is made. Designing a service process involves issues such as location facility, design

equipment selection and adequate service capacity. 4. On the other hand the marketing people prefer customization to match customers’ needs. Process Flow Decision: i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) Blue prints. Operational issues have to be considered while designing the service quality process. People Decision. Conversion/Materials Decision. 2. . procedure and job definitions for service providers. ii) iii) The decisions on designs and facility layout should satisfy the objectives of both Operational people are interested to improve the productivity as the cost of production per unit will reduce. iv) Operation people want a standardized service since it keeps the cost lower and is easy for implementation. measures to ensure service quality. extent of customer involvement. Front and back Office. Specific Equipment Decision. v) vi) Manage the queues in such a way that it is possible to use the available space. Flow charts. i) In order to achieve economies of scale and perform consistently the— operation people would prefer to process in a batch while the marketing would prefer to cater to individuals so that the customer feels as being treated specially. 1. Basic Technological Decision. Planning The following strategic decisions and design elements must be considered in the Service planning process. Layouts Benchmarks. Operational employees feel that the job design should minimize error and standardize tasks.and layout for effective design and layout for effective customer and work flow. 3. making efficient use of approach. vii) The operational personnel lie to manage capacity in such a way that wasteful underutilization will not take place.

Modify or Move Facilities and Equipments: Sometimes it may be possible to modify the existing capacity to meet the demand fluctuations. Hospitals and Airlines often pay their personnel to be on stand-by. ground personnel etc. Cross training employees to do the tasks in various operations creates flexible capacity to meet demand.STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING CAPACITY & DEMAND The demand may be too high or too low. 3. 3. 2. 4. Hire part-time employees. Rent or share facilities. Cross Training Employees: Some services consist of various operations. Request over-time from employees. Customers’ Involvement: By converting certain operations to self-service like buffets at restaurant and fast food joints the firm can divert its own personnel to other functions. Schedule vacations. Selfservice firm lose a certain measure of control over service quality when the customers are asked to perform key functions. At the time of underutilization. A ready part-time labour pool is available from college students and others who are interested in . airlines share the same baggage handling equipments. the new Boeing 777 aircraft is so flexible that it can be reconfigured within hours to accommodate extra numbers of seats allocated to one. When the demand is too low. we see at supermarkets when the queues develop at the cash registers. In the same way during slack periods some of the cashiers are busy stocking shelves. Thus the plane can be quickly modified to match the demand arising from different market segments. 2. Subcontract or outsource service. 5. For an example. two or three classes. 4. Performing maintenance. labour. It is a common practice for some airlines to lease their aircraft to other airlines during the off season. For an example. 3. An airline is a good example. At times when one operation is busy the other operation may be idle. 5. renovations. it may be possible to find other use for the capacity. 2. Lay-off employees 1. At the small airports. Schedule employee training. the managers call on stockers to operate registers until the queues reduce. facilities and equipment’s. Another source is off duty personnel placed on stand-by. Using Part-time Employees: Part-time help can supplement regular employees when the peaks of activity are persistent and predictable. When demand is too high the capacity can be altered by: 1. the capacity can be altered by: 1. Cross train the employees.supplementing their primary source of income. . 6. Sharing Capacity: A large investment in equipment and facilities exist in a service delivery system. 4. They are there to be ready for work if needed. Stretching time.

A law firm. Its capacity can also be increased by shortening the length of the time in serving the customer. facilities and equipments are asked to work harder so that demand can be met. a lawyer or a hairdresser all sell their time. Depending on the type of service. .depending on the nature of the service being provided. Labour: The labour intensive unit the number of service providers is large. This cannot be an option if the time does not match the customer’s needs.g. 1. This has transformed operations performed by the clerical staff. Time capacity can be increased by operating for longer hours. utilities. In some cases it is easier to hire and fire. In case of. consulting firm or a repair maintenance contractor all fare the same problem. This can be avoided by imply increasing the working hours of the regular staff at the time of high demand and paying overtime. Here. Delivery may involve physical or electronics distribution channels or both). Under such circumstances no new resources are added but people. Airlines are limited by the number of seats in the aircraft and so on. Stretch Existing Capacity: In order to match the demand of resources can be expanded. the trucks or the planes required to service demand may have capacity limitations. telecommunication.For an example. Time: The primary constraint on service production is time.6. For employees vacations and training can also be arranged during this period. Telecommunication companies face equipment constraints when everyone wants to use the telephone lines at the time of peak hours. cyberspace and Time:. Place . Equipment: Equipment may be critical constraints for service firms. 3. maintenance and renovations during off periods. Especially during festivals. ‘a consultant. At certain times the demand for their organisations’ services cannot be met as the staff is already operating at peak capacity. E. Efficient management of resources needs that the firm should consider the changing capacity by increasing it to meet higher demand and contract it when the demand is low. service firms are faced with various constraints. labour or staffing levels can be the primary capacity constraint. 2. Schedule ‘Down Time’ during low demand: If during the peak period.Delivering product elements to customers involves decisions on the place and time of delivery as well as on the methods and channels employed. 7. Managing Constraints on Capacity: Demand cannot be controlled perfectly. Facilities: Most of the service firms are faced with the problem of limited facilities. 4. people. But it can be costly if the employees require extensive training in order to provide service. summer and winter vacations the delivery service providers are faced with this problem. health club. restaurant capacity is restricted to the number of tables and seats available. Delivery services. equipment and facilities are being used at maximum capacity then it is necessary to schedule repairs. Education institutions like schools and colleges are constrained by the number of rooms and the number of seats in each class. Time is a major constraint from the point of view of individual service provider. transportation.