Title

Managing uncertainty in service production with mobile systems - Case waste management company

Abstract

Today’s growth of the service sector as a whole has created demand for more efficient service

production. Many services require interaction between customers and service personnel,

whereas some can be automated into self-services. In this study, we focus on services, that are

neither purely human facilitated, nor purely automated, and contain uncertainty in the

production process. Based on resource centric theories of strategy and research on

uncertainties in service production, we introduce a research framework to evaluate efficient

solutions for service production. Our research framework looks at environmental and

informational uncertainties, and how an organization can adapt to these by utilizing technology

or skilled labour. Illustrated with a case company, we show how mobile information systems

can be used to manage service production related uncertainties, which are also typically

barriers to standardization. The case study demonstrates how informational uncertainty could

be more easily controlled using the new system. The job satisfaction of the workers was

increased and their turnover and training time was decreased. Additionally, customer

complaints were reduced and invoicing became more efficient. These enabled the company to

enhance the efficiency of the service production processes further, moving closer to

standardizing and automating the service production process within an uncertain environment.

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