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Management Of Technology In Service Firms

R. M. Haynes, E. Thies
Published 1991 · Economics

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Abstract The service sector is receiving increasing attention with respect to technology implementation and productivity issues. At the same time, industry management remains concerned that the integrated nature of real world business is not adequately covered by academicians and their theories. This paper addresses these issues in a unique manner by examining the results of an industry gathered survey in light of three proven service models. Specifically, data collected by a major financial services provider during a customer survey associated with two automated delivery systems, automated teller machines and self-service gas pumps, was made available. Next, three theoretical models were selected reflecting the integrated nature of the service delivery process. Functional disciplines included operations, marketing and human behavior. The actual management of technology issue was considered from the perspectives of productivity, effectiveness, efficiency and quality factors identified in these models. The customer acceptance and utilization of automated teller machines has been substantially less than the success of self-service gas during the 1970–1990 period. Comparing the issues of technology management during the implementation of each offers valuable insight into factors requiring consideration when designing automated service delivery systems. Management implications are identified within the framework of lessons learned from studying these two specific technology applications. The contrast in the success of the implementation of technology in the two service sectors studied was linked to three key factors. First, the process must be well defined and measurable characteristics identified prior to changing the system. Second, the goals of the marketing and operations functions must be coordinated with respect to implementation strategy and established capabilities of the system to change. Finally, the technology implementation must consider the needs of the customer and potential tangible benefits, so that customers will utilize the new system at volume levels that justify the initial expense of the technology.
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