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Evaluate the competitive position of RAC Motoring Service in terms of its operations-based strengths and weaknesses.

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Introduction

Q1. Evaluate the competitive position of RAC Motoring Service in terms of its operations-based strengths and weaknesses. A1. RAC Motoring Service had been established in the vehicle breakdown and recovery industry for over hundred years and had owned patrol force, which was developed to rescue and fix customers vehicles at the roadside. RAC has a long history and experience of providing roadside assistance to its customers. However, the change in the dynamics of the industry has a great impact on its operations. The case analysis showed that RAC has certain strengths and weaknesses that are simultaneously effecting upon efficient operations. They are discussed as follow Strengths > RAC has a strong brand name and a large customer base, which gives them a good profitability. > They are known to provide a high quality services at a premium price. > Investment in state of the art technologies to improve efficiency, i.e., call receiving and patrols. > Construction of eye-catching signs of the control centres at highly visible points at the motorways system, signalling their presence as a modern service provider. > RAC employee 1350 patrols that are highly professional and capable to repair the broken down vehicles. > The biggest asset and strength for RAC is their experience and able patrols having capabilities to understand and to solve roadside problems. They have wide experience of mechanics and state of art technology to provide solutions. > The patrol turnover is remarkably very low, at around three percent. > Each of the patrols has its own car and they are not worried about handing it in even after finishing their shift. Patrol can carry out its repair work without any pressure and give them opportunity to earn over time. > RAC has divided its operations in geographic cells that have helped them in allocating number of patrols according to the demand of that particular "cell". This helps them to decrease the dispatch time, attend to the broken down vehicle and fixed it in time by transferring the task to patrol of that particular "cell." ...read more.

Middle

This system can be implemented by minor adjustments in their call centres, patrol's communication tools and increasing participation from the service managers in controlling the available and upgraded recourses. Q3. How could the employment contracts, payment system and working practices be redesigned to help to increase the patrol productivity, to increase PAR and to reduce waiting times? What resistance is likely to be faced, and how should this be best be countered? A.3. In 1999, RAC was employing 1350 patrols, which were equipped with state-of-the-art vehicles and professional know-how to solve the mechanical problems. These patrols were working in three shifts, which work as follows > Earlies 7:00 to 15:00 > Mids 11:00 to 19:00 > Lates 15:00 to 23:00 Each patrol is provided with fully equipped vehicle to provide the service to their customers and they are responsible for the look after of these vehicles. They are not bound by the management to return their vehicles after the end of their shift. This is an important factor in the employment contract because patrols are not pressurised to return to the head office to hand in the vehicles to the next patrol and they can continue to work beyond the end of their shift. This has given patrols the chance to earn the overtime and they exploited this opportunity to earn more money while doing fewer jobs. Patrols can wilfully "log off" from the system if some difficult job been asked to do and service manager has to transfer that job to the contractors. This is the main weakness in the RAC's employee contractors. The patrols are deciding their own operations and service mangers are only performing large number of odd jobs that patrols are kept on road. This is not the operations mangers duty to ensure the patrol performance; his duty is to make sure that patrols are meeting the set targets, are they productive? ...read more.

Conclusion

This is a vital step towards the improvement of the patrol's professionalism, attitudes and productivity. This training programme emphasis on the service improvements, simulations to work on the response side of the patrols and involve them in the constant improvement process. Patrol's participation is very important in the implementation plan because they are the front desk personnel and vital organ in RAC's service providing body. > The other important recommendation is related to the contractors. These contractors can also be involved in the training programmes with the patrols. This will improve their technical skills, know-how about the new technology and they can learn a lot from their fellow patrols. This will help the contractors to improve their efficiency, skills and knowledge about services they tend to provide to customers. > Another option for RAC related to the contractors can be is to brand them under RAC. This will improve two things, first, the perceived service level of the customer will increase and, second, this will help the RAC to increase the efficiency of the system. This offer can be linked with the performance level of the contractors and give them an opportunity to improve their over all technology and efficiency. The most encouraging aspect of RAC is that they are willing to invest in the improvement of the system, which is an encouraging sign but they cannot go for acquisition because of huge spending. They want to improve PAR, productivity and efficiency of the existing design. Overall, there are always trade offs in the above-mentioned recommendations but they have to change their present set up of payments and contractors. The union will challenge this because the new plan will cut down the fun time for the patrols and will full log off option. The top management should be ready for a tough resistance from the union but the new wage system of increasing the fixed job rate from GBP6 per job to GBP10 per job for major jobs will some what act as diluter of situation. The rest of the overtime rates for Saturdays and Sundays are fine. 1 ...read more.

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