5-Theme: services and systems. Plan 1.Service system.
2. Types of service design.
A service system (or customer service system, CSS) is a configuration of technology and organizational networks designed to deliver services that satisfy the needs, wants, or aspirations of customers. "Service system" is a term used in the service management, service operations, services marketing, service engineering, and service design literature. While the term frequently appears, it is rarely defined.
One definition of a service system is a value coproduction configuration of people, technology, internal and external service systems connected via value propositions, and shared information (language, laws, measures, etc.). The smallest service system is a single person and the largest service system is the world economy. The external service system of the global economy is considered to be ecosystem services. Service systems can be characterized by the value that results from interaction between service systems, whether the interactions are between people, businesses, or nations. Most service system interactions aspire to be win-win, non-coercive, and non-intrusive. However, some service systems may perform coercive service activities. For example, agents of the state may use coercion in accordance with laws of the land.
Another definition for service system states that a service system consists of elements (e.g., people, facilities, tools, and computer programs) that have a structure (i.e., an organization), a behavior (possibly described as a business process), and a purpose (or goal). A service system worldview is a system of systems that interact via value propositions.
A much simpler and more limited definition is that a service system is a work system that produces services. A work system is a system in which human participants and/or machines perform work (processes and activities) using information, technology, and other resources to produce products/services for internal or external customers. Co-production occurs in work systems in which customers are also participants, e.g., many work systems that provide medical care, education, and consulting.
Usages of the term service system (bold added) are provided below:
The earliest known usage of the phrase service system in a book title is Stochastic Service Systems by John Riordan.
Usages from Quinn and Paquette (1990) Technology in Services: Creating Organizational Revolutions. MIT Sloan Management Review. 31(2).
"Properly designed service technology systems allow relatively inexperienced people to perform very sophisticated tasks quickly—vaulting them over normal learning curve delays."
Examples: "Domino's Pizza ... industrial engineering and food science research automated the making of a pizza to as near a science as possible, eliminating much of the drudgery in such tasks, yet ensuring higher quality and uniformity. Then, finding that its store managers were still spending fifteen to twenty hours per week on paperwork, Domino's introduced NCR "mini-tower" systems at its stores to handle all of the ordering, payroll, marketing, cash flow, inventory, and work control functions ... Federal Express ... Its DADS (computer aided delivery) and COSMOS II(automated tracking) systems give FedEx maximum responsiveness."
Inferred definition: Service systems, also known as service technology systems, are designed to allow inexperienced people to perform very sophisticated service provisioning tasks quickly.
Service systems range from an individual person equipped with tools of the trade (e.g., architect, entrepreneur) to a portion of a government agency or business (e.g., branch office of a post office or bank) to complete multinational corporations and their information systems (e.g., Domino's Pizza, Federal Express). Hospitals, universities, cities, and national governments are designed service systems.
The language, norms, attitudes, and beliefs of the people that make up a service system may evolve over time, as people adjust to new circumstances. In this sense, service systems are a type of complex system that is partially designed and partially evolving. Service systems are designed to deliver or provision services, but they often consume services as well.
Every service system is both a service provider and a customer of multiple types of services. Because service systems are designed both in how they provision and consume services, services systems are often linked into a complex service value chain or value network where each link is a value proposition. Service systems may be nested inside of service systems (e.g., staff and operating room unit inside a hospital that is part of a nationwide healthcare provider network).
Service system designers or architects often seek to exploit an economic complementarity or network effect to rapidly grow and scale up the service. For example, credit cards usage is part of a service system in which the more people and businesses that use and accept the credit cards, the more value the credit cards have to the provider and all stakeholders in the service system. Service system innovation often requires integrating technology innovation, business model (or value proposition) innovation, social-organizational innovation, and demand (new customer wants, needs, aspirations) innovation.