Read the 1-888-Junk-Van case (in your Harvard Course Pack) Working with your team write a 2-3 page analysis of Junk Van’s strategy and the alignment of each option with that strategy. You may use the collaboration tools in the Canvas groups (or any other online tools) to help you share files, have online discussions, or launch synchronous online meetings. Problem/Issue Statement 1-888-Junk-Van operates in the waste collection industry. Waste collection is generally perceived to be a “rough” business, characterized by unreliable customer service and a lack of professionalism. It was also considered to be a commodity service, and so as competitors increasingly entered the market prices began to fall. Achieving operational efficiencies in this challenging environment was difficult enough for global companies that benefited from significant scale economies, but was almost impossible for local companies like the Canadian based Junk Van run by Marcus Kingo. To reduce high fixed startup costs, Kingo opted to create a simple virtual business model. As business grew, however, so did operational complexity, and inefficiently and errors became common place. Drivers relied on instructions deliveries through an email system, and when this information was incomplete or incorrect, customers suffered the consequences. Information holding errors were pervasive and the business was losing customers. The key problem is to find an affordable IT system that met Kingo’s operational requirements and allowed the business to grow. While the system had allowed 1-888-Junk-Van to grow initially, information errors and inefficiencies were now negatively impacting operations and increasing costs. The scope of the problem is that since the business model is a virtual business model with no brick and mortar store locations, all communication and information transmission would be electronic meaning if there were communication error’s they would greatly affect the business. Kingo could not afford to keep wasting time putting out these fires in a very competitive job market. The case touches of a few of the symptoms which include: Simple administrative tasks (e.g. contracting helpers, going back to the customer site to collect money) took up a lot of the driver’s time. Even though some templates existed for drivers to send their information to the data clerk, they rarely used them, so delivers data consolidation was very time consuming. Customer service quality was suffering, which damage the company’s reputation. Errors in customer contact information, forgotten emails, manual calculations, and billing mistakes caused negative customer interactions. The most serious problem originated with the data clerk who would accidently send the wrong version of the database to the morning operation, and as a result some jobs were already booked no longer showed in the database and did not make tier way onto the spread sheet used by the drivers. Fixing the database was extremely time consuming and meanwhile no new reservations could be taken as there was only one live copy.
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- Fall '18
- Marcus Kingo