Performance Objectives of an Operation
Organizations can have broader operation goals because operation management affects 5 various classes of stakeholders namely; customers, suppliers, shareholders, employees, and the society (Cokins, 2004; Van Der Knaap, 2006)). With a special focus on customers, a business ought to be concerned with the satisfaction of its clients’ demands for speedy and dependable products and services at an affordable price. As such, firms should be keen to observe the five common operational performance objectives (Ehsalem, 2016). The Dabbawala service has not failed in observing the importance of operation performance as seen in the following discussion questions.
‘Quality’ entails an organization being right in the provision of services such that they are not involved in any flaws or errors (Our Everyday Life, 2016). Therefore, enhancing quality benefits the customers as it leads to their satisfaction and also benefits the organization through decreased costs as a result of lesser flaws and errors (Roy, 2005). According to study on Dabbawala, people are widely accepting the service in Mumbai because it meets their expectations. The transport of the lunch boxes is error free such that everyone gets their specific lunch box without being lost or tampered with in any way. The customers are thus satisfied with the company in its efforts to achieve quality.
‘Speed’ is an objective that implicates minimizing time spent as much as possible to the benefit of both the company and the customer by being fast in operations (Slack, Johnston and Brandon-Jones, 2011). The Dabbawala service gives their customers a speed advantage by ensuring that the lunch boxes reach the offices in downtown Mumbai by midday to 1 pm without any delays. Meeting the timelines is a remarkable thing that has gain dependability and trust by the customers.
‘Dependability’ just like speed is based on time; as such, the objective is to ensure that clients get their required good or service at the exact time the organization promised to deliver (Slack, Johnston and Brandon-Jones, 2011). This is the main objective Dabbawala is founded; the company has assured the customers that they can be able to get their Dabbas or lunchboxes by 12-1pm without any delays regardless of the weather and traffic in the city. By ensuring that they get their feed by the time lunch time clocks, the company gives a dependability advantage to its clientele.
‘Flexibility’ is grounded on the ability to change or transform especially now that there are continuous changes in demands and preferences by customers (Oxbridgenotes.co.uk, 2016). Dabbawala as a service company has not achieved much regarding service flexibility externally though there are changes internally. For instance, customers are now able to book deliveries using SMS or website technologies.
‘Cost’ involves meeting the affordability of the customers by offering products and services cheaply (Greasley, 2008). Dabbawala is cost efficient since it allows for its customer to pay for its services monthly, and the cost is highly affordable. This is convenient hence attracting many workers in Mumbai to use their service.
Dabbawalas’ service is a creative idea that seeks to give eating solutions to the working individuals in the city of Mumbai amid the heavy congestion, especially by traffic. As seen from the excerpt, their main objective is to ensure that clients get their required good or service at the exact time it has promised to deliver. As such, Dabbawalas’ services offer such an amazing dependability.
The service is highly dependable given the state of affairs in Mumbai; crowded with huge populations making commuting hectic and inconveniencing. Since people often want to eat meals cooked to perfection and to meet their preferences, they go for the Dabbawalas’ service, which enables them to eat delicacies from their home without the hassle of commuting and spending not time.
Dabbawalas’ service is also highly dependable because of its ability to meet the timeline such that people get their lunch during the lunch break between 12 to 1 pm without delays. The company takes advantage of the under-utilized capacity on commuter trains in the mid-morning (from 10 am to 12 mid-day) to transport the lunch boxes to Mumbai because this is the time when the trains are not congested.
Then again, the users of the Dabbawalas’ service are assured they will get the exact lunch box sent from their homes; not tampered with and having all the content as sent. This means that the company is careful not to lose any item or have it damaged; as such, it makes the service very reliable. Interestingly, the company can deliver even during severe weather conditions.
The Dabbawalas’ service may offer such an amazing dependability at the moment, but it is highly vulnerable to various potential threats. These threats may not be affecting the business at the moment but they may a significant impact on its operations in the future. These threats are discussed as follows.
There is a huge dependency on train transportation to deliver lunch boxes from homes to workplaces, and this could be a source of a threat. High dependency on trains means that if there is a technical problem at a particular time with the trains, there will be no delivery of the Dabbas to the City of Mumbai. It could be better if the organization had an alternative transport, but unfortunately, trains are the only means. However, the threat level is low as the trains are less likely to stop operating even for a day.
The company is essentially low-tech, meaning that a huge fraction of its bookings is done manually whereby delivery men who could walk barefooted are the main movers of the business. The modern society is highly embracing technology; as such, the company risks of being slacking behind in adopting technology in its service delivery (Krajewski, Ritzman and Malhotra, 2010). Improving to use technologies may make things faster and more convenient than they are now.
In addition, the Dabbawala service involves a long supply chain with a lot of intermediaries hence the potential for a mishap. Getting the lunch boxes delivered from homes to offices involve the following parties; collectors from homes who often use bicycles, sorting staff who bundle the boxes, train staff who ensure loading and offloading of the lunch boxes, staff for sorting for dispatch to the offices, and finally local dabbawalas to distribute to the offices. Involving all these parties poses a risk of a possible mishap. To sum it up, the company may not be experiencing threats at the moment, but there are loopholes that could affect its operations currently or in the near future.
To sum it up, it is through improved quality, speed, dependability, flexibility, and cost efficiency, that Dabbawala has been able to achieve tremendous growth in the city of Mumbai and consequently a growing customer satisfaction. Observing these objectives further may lead to increased performance and high growth in the future. Therefore, firms in the current contemporary business environment should seek innovative ideas to enhance their operations and achieve the greatest level of customer satisfaction just like Dabbawala is doing.
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Our Everyday Life. (2016). Performance Goals for Operations Managers. [online] Available at: http://oureverydaylife.com/performance-goals-operations-managers-17214.html [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].
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Roy, R. (2005). A modern approach to operations management. New Delhi: New Age International.
Slack, N., Johnston, R. and Brandon-Jones, A. (2011). Essentials of operations management. Harlow, England: Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Van Der Knaap, P. (2006). Responsive Evaluation and Performance Management: Overcoming the Downsides of Policy Objectives and Performance Indicators. Evaluation, 12(3), pp.278-293.