Tom’s Auto Service (TAS) is a company that provides oil change and lubricant change services for vehicles. It has 32 stores, each of which is equipped with the necessary technology and goods. The given case study describes how TAS arranged its operations management to build a competitive advantage and provide customer value. The key concern is associated with the need to improve the current performance and reward it. This paper will analyze the case study, focusing on customer benefit package, a service delivery system, and processes to conclude with relevant recommendations.
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The customer benefit package of TAS consists of several components. First of all, the company provides efficient primary technical service, which is important for customers who need rapid and high-quality service. Second, TAS offers peripheral services and products that may be of interest to customers. Third, 90 – days guarantee shows that the company is responsible for its work. In addition, the customer waiting area, where they may drink coffee and look through recent magazines, is larger than that of competitors (Collier & Evans, 2017). The last element of the benefits package is certified employees who receive training and pass periodical checks. The mission of TAS is to ensure quick oil-change and related services to meet customers’ needs. Its strategy is the provision of repair and competition with rivals based on the following rank order of priorities: goods/services quality, time, flexibility, and price.
The so-called “design” features of the service-delivery system include servicescape (TAS facilities score high) and appropriate flow of service process design as all employees are appropriately trained. Also, employees are dressed in uniform and have to wash their hands after every work done to look clean. Technology advancement used by TAS is Wi-Fi that is highly appreciated by customers. The special checklist is implemented to make sure that all the necessary services are properly provided. The main service-encounter design feature is the contact with customers who may observe the work through special windows. In TAS, there are also service guarantees, recognition of customers who may use discount cards, and empowerment as customers may receive services for free if they are dissatisfied for any reason.
Since TAS has 32 stores, it is important to standardize its performance processes. In particular, employee reviews, a reward system, vehicle diagnostics, inventory management, and marketing processes may be listed. The importance of the first two processes refers to a fair system of checks and rewards for performance. The process of vehicle diagnostics should be standardized to ensure that employees properly follow all the milestones of the work. The last two processes are essential for attracting and keeping customers loyal to the company.
The survey data analysis shows that there is an issue of communication between customers and mechanics (Collier & Evans, 2017). It is recommended to improve the hiring process to choose customer-friendly employees, while current mechanics should be trained on how to interact with customers. Also, one more improvement opportunity that should be noted is a reward system based on remuneration and non-financial incentives that should be developed to stimulate employees to work better.
TAS is an auto service company that has a lot of benefits compared to its competitors. A wide range of services and products, the speed of work, and the waiting area are the main advantages, while the interaction with customers is a problem. Therefore, the company’s CEO should pay attention to training employees on proper interaction skills and hiring customer-friendly employees, which should be accompanied by a specific reward system with a focus on communication.
Collier, D. A., & Evans, J. R. (2017). OM6: Operations + supply management. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.