Chapter 9

Report
CHAPTER 9
Balancing Demand
Against
Productive
Slide © by Lovelock, Wirtz and Chew 2009
Capacity
Essentials of Services Marketing
Chapter 1 - Page 1
What is Productive Capacity?
 Productive capacity can take several forms in services
Physical facilities designed to contain customers
Physical facilities designed for storing or processing goods
Physical equipment used to process people, possessions, or
information
Labor
Infrastructure
 Financial success in businesses that are limited in
capacity depends largely on how capacity is used
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Essentials of Services Marketing
Chapter 1 - Page 2
From Excess Demand to Excess Capacity
Four conditions potentially faced by fixed-capacity services:
 Excess demand
 Too much demand relative to capacity at a given time
 Demand exceeds optimum capacity
 Upper limit to a firm’s ability to meet demand at a given time
 Optimum capacity
 Point beyond which service quality declines as more
customers are serviced
 Excess capacity
 Too much capacity relative to demand at a given time
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Essentials of Services Marketing
Chapter 1 - Page 3
Addressing Problem of Fluctuating Demand
Two basic approaches:
 Adjust level of capacity to meet demand
 Need to understand productive capacity and how it varies
on an incremental basis
 Manage level of demand
 Use marketing strategies to smooth out peaks, fill in
valleys
 Many firms use a mix of both approaches
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Essentials of Services Marketing
Chapter 1 - Page 4
Capacity Management Strategies
 Capacity is fixed, but more people are served at the same
level of capacity
 Stretch and shrink:
Offer inferior extra capacity at peaks (e.g. bus/train standees, stretch
servers at restaurants)
Use facilities for longer/shorter periods (e.g. extended bank hours)
Reduce amount of time spent in process by minimizing slack time
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Essentials of Services Marketing
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Adjusting Capacity to Match Demand
 Schedule downtime during periods of low demand
 Cross-train employees
 Use part-time employees
 Invite customers to perform self-service
 Ask customers to share
 Create flexible capacity
 Rent or share extra facilities and equipment
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Essentials of Services Marketing
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Demand Varies by Market Segment
 Demand may seem random, but
analysis may reveal different
predictable demand cycles for different
segments
 Keep good records of transactions to
analyze demand patterns
Sophisticated software can help to track
customer consumption patterns
 Record weather conditions and other
special factors that might influence
demand (i.e. competitor actions)
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Essentials of Services Marketing
Chapter 1 - Page 7
Predictable Demand Patterns and
Their Underlying Causes (1)
Predictable Cycles
of Demand Levels
 day
 week
 month
 year
 other
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Underlying Causes of
Cyclical Variations
 employment
 billing or tax
payments/refunds
 pay days
 school hours/holidays
 climate / weather
changes
 public/religious holidays
 natural cycles
Essentials of Services Marketing
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Demand Management Strategies
 Take no action
 Let customers sort it out
 Reduce demand
 Higher prices
 Communication encouraging use of other time slots
 Increase demand
 Lower prices
 Communication, including promotional incentives
 Vary product features to increase desirability
 More convenient delivery times and places
 Inventory demand by reservation system
 Inventory demand by formalized queuing
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Essentials of Services Marketing
Chapter 1 - Page 9
When Demand Exceeds Supply:
Inventorying Demand
 Ask customers to wait in line (queue), usually on a
first-come first-served basis
 Offer customers the opportunity to reserve or book
capacity in advance
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Essentials of Services Marketing
Chapter 1 - Page 10
Waiting In Line
 Almost nobody likes to wait
 An average person may spend up to 30 minutes/day
waiting in line—equivalent to 20 months in an 80 year
lifetime
 Not all queues take physical waiting in a single
location
Queues may be physical but geographically dispersed
Some queues are virtual
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Essentials of Services Marketing
Chapter 1 - Page 11
Alternative Queuing Configurations
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Essentials of Services Marketing
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Virtual Waits
 Customers despise having their time wasted while
waiting
 Virtual queues can eliminate the need to wait
 Customers register their place in line on a computer /
phone, kiosk, etc.
 System estimates the time customer will need to wait
 Customers return later to claim their place when
alerted by the system
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Essentials of Services Marketing
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Perceptions of Waiting Time
1. Unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time
2. Solo waits feel longer than group waits
3. Physically uncomfortable waits feel longer than
comfortable ones
4. Pre- and post-process waits feel longer than inprocess waits
5. Unexplained waits are longer than explained waits
Sources: Maister; Davis & Heineke; Jones & Peppiatt
Cont.
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Essentials of Services Marketing
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Ten Propositions to Make Waiting More
Bearable (2)
6. Unfamiliar waits seem longer than familiar ones
7. Uncertain waits are longer than known, finite waits
8. Unfair waits are longer than fair waits
9. Anxiety makes waits seem longer
10. People will wait longer for more valuable services
Sources: Maister; Davis & Heineke; Jones & Peppiatt
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Essentials of Services Marketing
Chapter 1 - Page 15
Benefits of Reservations
 Controls and smoothes demand
 Data captured helps organizations
Prepare financial projections
Plan operations and staffing levels
 Benefits businesses. Allows management to make sure
some time is kept free for emergency jobs
 Pre-sells service
 Informs and educates customers in advance of arrival
 Saves customers from having to wait in line for service (if
reservation times are honored)
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Essentials of Services Marketing
Chapter 1 - Page 16
Characteristics of Well-Designed Reservations
System
 Fast and user-friendly for customers and staff
 Answers customer questions
 Offers options for self service (e.g. Web)
 Accommodates preferences (e.g., room with view)
 Deflects demand from unavailable first choices to
alternative times and locations
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Essentials of Services Marketing
Chapter 1 - Page 17

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