In the course of rendering service to clients, it demands that the organisation is intimated with its customers to know how to effectively satisfy them. The Footsteps business engages in rendering services to tourists on visit to historical sites. The report looked at those internal structures of the organisation, such as, the specialisation of members of the organisation, division of labour, centralisation of authority, the clash between the introduction of modern management techniques and the orthodox style of management that hitherto embarked on.
The Intimacy theory and the Total Quality Management are the theoretical frameworks for this report. Tourists visit to historical sites was blueprinted; showing the sequence and flow of activities. A SWOT analysis is used to analyse the internal strategy of the organisation. Recommendation such as the use of modern management techniques, recruitment of qualified experts to man its operational functions. Also, it is recommended that there should be decentralisation of authority so as to encourage innovative ideas from members of the organisation. The report ended by taking a look at the reflection of the learning process of the group member.
If such organization is a business concern, the quality of services it makes will position it to have an edge over its competitors. Good interaction with customers and clients would enable an organization to increase i8ts efficiency and effective services. In this view, Osuagwu (2002:14), has it that “marketing managers need interactive marketing; to deliver consistently high service quality and achieve client satisfaction, every organizational staff must be exposed to the theory and practice of Total Quality Management.
” Intimacy theory relating to marketing and services to customer, has the perspective that, “ the basic unit is the personal consumer rather than the business- to- business one…. Altruistic concern for the consumer rather than equitable exchange” (Stern, 1997) This report will therefore concentrate on those internal factors that support the external procession in Footsteps Business. Blueprint of a unit of its service would be carried out. And based on this, recommendation for its effective and efficient service delivery would be proffered.
OVERVIEW OF FOOTSTEPS BUSINESS Footsteps business is an entrepreneurial business venture, in the tourism industry. Roger and Judith Ironridge established the business in 1983. The couples are both history graduates and teachers, who later on due to their love for their profession established the Footsteps Business. The business is based on exploration of historical site, based on extensive research work. Clients are giving the opportunity to tour these sites, so as to satisfy their curiosity.
The Footsteps Business, employed the service of Tour Guides , who lead customers to the tour sites. Other family member were enlisted to the business as it began to expand.. Thus Izzy, the daughter to the Ironridge, a master hold in Business Management, and Max, her fiance, who specializes in technological development and e- commerce, were introduced to the business. This is due to the lacuna in contemporary management skills in the Ironridges. The introduction of the duo brought with it contradictions in the management of the organization.
This is as a result of the orthodox management practices, whereby Roger Judith gave more concentration to researching on historical sites, and neglects the adoption of modern management business techniques. Hence, the entrepreneurial strategy of the business did not give room for the expansion of the business. The expansion of the organization, led it to establish other service accessories to its clients. These include provision of restaurants and Inn services to clients on tour. Also, themed holidays were embarked upon.
The Footsteps Business made tours to places like Lincoln, York and Edinburgh. Here, guests were guided to excellent history and culture of the place they visited. INTIMACY THEORY AND TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT, AS IT APPLIES TOINDUSTRIAL SERVICE MARKETING. Several theories abound for industrial service marketing. The focal point here will be on the Intimacy theory and Total Quality Management. In order for an organization to satisfy the wants of its clients, it become expedient that the organization through its management form a bound of intimacy with those who are end- users of their services.
According to Berry and Thompson (1982), the rationale for introducing the intimacy theory is in threefold: first, it accounts for the influence of emotion in relationships as well as that of cognition; second, it allows insight into the deterioration of relationships as well as into their formation and maintenance; and third, it emphasizes the association between relationship stages and persuasive communication that enhance the services firm ability to apply relationship management to advertising as well as to personal sales.
The intimacy theory is considered as most generalizable to services marketing than other relationship theories. In this view Stern (1997), Dwyer,, Schurr, and Oh (1987) have it that , in business- to – business relationships, economic theories ( social exchange and equity ) are grounded on assumption of rational behavior and mutual acceptance of reciprocity The term “intimacy” is derived from the Latin word ‘initimus’, meaning “inner” or “inmost” (pertiman and Fehr 1987:15).
Oden (1974:3), sees intimacy as a “… knowledge of the core of something, an understanding of the inmost parts, that which is indicative of one’s deepest nature and marked by close physical, mental, and social association”. Thus, for efficient and effective service delivery, it requires that the level of intimacy between the service organisation and their clients is very high. Also, the perception of consumers’ needs by the organisation, through its intimacy with the clients, would bring about corrective measures and proffer other way of service improvement for the organisation.
Total quality management is a management techniques that recognises and upheld the satisfaction of customers through the operationalising a quality service delivery, in every stages of an organisation’s strategy and process. Randall (1993:7), has it that “total quality management (TQM) is an operational philosophy based on the premise that providing customers with good quality services (or products) on a consistent basis”. This is crucial for the survival and prosperity of organisations (Ibid. ) Total quality is a business strategy in that it shows managers how to operate within a business by focusing on customers.
Total quality management focuses first and foremost on consistently satisfying customers and their needs. ” The primary focus is the customers, not the competitor as in competitive strategy” (Osuagwu, 2002: 867). the practice of TQM is gaining recognition because the forces of competition around quality have been set in motion. In this view, Cole (1993) has it that “those firms that achieve only partial success in implementing TQM may fall behind in the competitive struggle because competitors are improving quality rapidly.
Success comes to those firms that can fully internalise and adapt the new TQM strategy to their own business environments. Theorising the intimacy theory and total quality management to Footsteps Business Strategy, it is seen that the level of intimacy of the Footsteps Business to its customers is not too high. The entrepreneurs concentrate themselves more with researching in historical sites. The customer – management intimacy is left in the hands of the tour guards. Total quality management (TQM) is not fully practised.
In the aspect of research on historical sites the Footsteps Business carries out quality research on this, but in its administrative aspect, due to the lack of application of modern management technique it is seen that there is lapses in the administration of the organisation. The application of the intimacy theory and TQM to the Footsteps Business would result in the improvement of service delivery to the organisation’s clients. BLUEPRINTING OF SERVICE ORGANISATION. “The focus of many blueprinting efforts is on short- term exceptional improvement in specific organisational units.
Often the primary objective is cost reduction or isolated solutions to customer complaints” (Baum, 1990:45) Blueprinting is carried out on a unit of an organisation activity, so as to see the sequence flow of activity and way to proffer solution in the improvement of the organisation’s activity. Randall (1993:9), has it that “ The perceptual blueprinting technique was designed to identify the service delivery system as perceived by customers and employees, and to identify any failpoints in the system which results in poor service quality being delivered”