Commuter Cleaners Essay

1.0 Learning Issue

1.1 How to measure high-quality cleaning service?

High-quality cleaning service include individual examination of each garment, appropriate advanced cleaning methods, and environmentally friendly.

High-quality cleaning service provide by Commuter Cleaning is that reliable and convenient. Location site at commuter station can convenient customer who does not has time to go the traditional dry cleaners. Office worker who live in the suburbs of large metropolitan areas has greatest need for a quality dry cleaning service. Beside that, Commuter Cleaning has a trained professional staff guarantee value customer that all of the buttons will be sewn on properly, creases are to customer specification, and French cuffs are folded.

1.2 Differentiate between Commuter Cleaning and traditional dry cleaners?

Commuter Cleaning

Traditional dry cleaner

Location

Commuter Station

Retail shop

Payment

Monthly billing

Each time that items are picked up

Paying Method

Cash or Credit card

Almost encourage paying cash

Service

Same-day or next time service

Depend on customer required

Promotion

Price specials, discount on certain days, and coupon

Discount above certain weight requirement

Competitive advantage

Convenient and reliable

Accessible to customer and build strong relationship with customers

Drawback

Lack communicated with customers

Lack of location and waste time to go to shop

1.3 How to measure hub-and-spoke system?

The hub-and-spoke system is a system of connections arranged like a chariot wheel, in which all traffic moves along spokes connected to the hub at the center. The model is commonly used in industry, in particular in transport, telecommunications and freight, as well as in distributed computing (Wikipedia, 2008).

At this case, Commuter Cleaning delivery system is hub-and-spoke system which similar to the one that FedEx uses for package handling. Customers will have the convenience of dropping off their laundry at numerous neighborhood commuter stations. All dry cleaning will be picked up and delivered to one central plant, and once the shirts are clean they will be returned to the customer’s drop-off point.

1.4 What is drop-off point?

Drop-off point is a place that customers dropping off and retrieve their laundry, such as at their numerous neighborhood commuter stations. The facilities for laundry pick up and drop-off need not be large. The building or room at the station need only be large to accommodate racks for hanging the finished dry cleaning.

1.5 What is Commuter Cleaning customer services representative’s responsible?

When Commuter Cleaning first introduced the services into a city, customer service representative will be at the station facilities to answer questions and perform the paperwork necessary to initiate service for interested customer. All employees will have the title “customer service representative” to stress the function of their jobs. When customer initiate service, they will collect all necessary information, including name, address, phone number, location from where they commute, and credit card number. After that, one customer service representative will be responsible for customer billing. If a customer is late in paying, a customer service representative will call and remind the customer.

1.6 What is database?

A database is a collection of data organized in a manner that allows access, retrieval, and use of the data (Shelly G. B., 2006). With database software, often called a database management system (DBMS), users create a computerized database: add, change, and delete data in the database: sort and retrieve data from the database: and create forms and reports from the data in the database (Shelly G. B., 2006). DBMS of Commuter Cleaning typically contain aggregations of data records or files especially customer profiles, such as name, address, phone number, location from where they commute, credit card number, and customer’s transaction for each month.

1.7 How Commuter Cleaning create a stable work load to control fluctuation in demand?

One method of controlling demand offer by Commuter Cleaning is through price special and promotions. Offering a discount on certain days of the week is common practice for dry cleaners, and one approach would be to offer special prices to different customer segments to entice them to bring in their laundry on a certain day. For example, Friday may be the busiest day of the week and Monday and Tuesday the slowest. The customer base could be divided and each segment offered a discount price on a particular day. Beside that, Commuter Cleaning also offer a variety of coupon that search from website (refer Appendixes I) which can print and use when bring in their laundry. Other ideas include providing a complimentary cup of coffee to anyone bringing in laundry on Monday. These promotions can be implemented once demand fluctuations are observed.

1.8 What services are provided by Commuter Cleaning?

Commuter Cleaning provide same-day or next-day service for shirt laundry and use modern Ajax Equipment to press them. Besides provide laundry service, the following table is a list of others services provide at Commuter Cleaning:

Services

Content

Dry Cleaning men’s fashions

From fine Versace suits to weekend docker. Commuter Cleaning handle all of the garments with state of the art equipment, a trained professional staff and attention to detail.

Dry Cleaning women’s fashions

Escada outfit and Nantucket Red shorts are all handled by Commuter Cleaning trained professional staff. Every detail from pinning shoulder pads to covering those special buttons that make the garment special is taken care off.

Tailoring service

Commuter Cleaning offer same day tailoring at all location from professional staff of three full time tailors. Every location is equipped with a private changing room for customer convenience.

Leather and Suede Cleaning

Commuter Cleaning offer leather and suede cleaning at all of locations. Their leathers are done by a company that specializes in leather cleaning only. There is a link on the link page to their website. Usually the service takes one week.

Table and Bed linens

Clean and press all types of Table linens and Bed linens. Unlike many cleaners, Commuter Cleaning does not use a mangle or machines to press the fine linens. All of the linens are pressed by hand, and customer can see the difference.

Shoe Repair

Commuter Cleaning offer shoe repair at all locations. From just a polish to complete soles and heels, they do it all. Service times vary depending on the complexity of the requested service.

Comforter Cleaning

Clean both down and poly filled comforters and bedspreads. Commuter Cleaning large capacity machines, whether washer and dryers or dry cleaning machines can professionally clean comforter so it looks, feels and smells like new.

1.9 Commuter Cleaning also offer home delivery for some inconvenience customer. What is home delivery?

Besides provide Commuter Dry Cleaning (KIOSK), Commuter Cleaning also offer home delivery in all of Westchester County NY and in Fairfield County, CT.

The service is like going to the cleaners twice weekly, without customer

having to waste time. There is no extra charge and credit card is billed at the end of the month for the work. There have 5 step of home delivery:

Step 1

On Sunday night, customer fills his or her Commuter Cleaners bag with dirty clothes.

Step 2

On Monday morning before leaving for work, customer leaves the Commuter Cleaners bag on the porch and then goes to work.

Step 3

Commuter Cleaning driver stops by the house and picks up the blue bag. The driver brings the clothes to main plant in Stamford Connecticut where they are processed.

Step 4

On Thursday, the clean clothes are brought back to customer home and left where they have instructed to leave them; front porch, back porch, garage or alcove. The Greenwich customer has left another bag on the porch. The driver picks up this bag and brings it to the main plant in Stamford for processing.

Step 5

On Thursday night, the customer returns home to find that his or her freshly clean clothes have been delivered and are waiting for them. At the end of the month, customer receives a statement detailing all charges to the credit card. In one month customer has saved the time wasted on eight trips to the dry cleaner.

1.10 What is the meaning of the “encounter cascade”?

Service encounter defined that period of time during which a consumer interacts directly with the service organization (Shostack, 1985).

Encounter Cascade is a process of service encounter the customers had undergone. Early events in the encounter cascade are very critical. Each individual encounter is potentially critical in creating a composite image of the firms’ in the customer’s memory and total perceived quality (Lovelock, C. ; Wirtz, J., 2007).

1.11 Identify customer touch points.

Customer touch point is defined as, all of the communication, human and physical interactions the customers experience during their relationship lifecycle with the organization. Whether an ad, Web site, sales person, store or office, Touch points are important because customers form perceptions of the organization and brand based on their cumulative experiences (Imediaconnection, 2004).

Customer touch point also defined the individual touches begin to work as a planned series of sequential and carefully crafted messages, so that they work together, and therefore harder, in achieving the goals of advancement and the divisions.Business must focus on the day-to-day management of the customer relationship across all points of customer contact (Rayport, F. J., ; Jawoski, J. B., 2005).

“Customer Touch point Management” (CTM), the goal of this new movement is to improve customer experiences, and as a result, improve customer relationships. By improving customer relationships, organizations improve market share, sales, and both customer and employee loyalty and advocacy (Imediaconnection, 2004).

1.12 What is service blueprint?

Service blueprint is a tool for simultaneously depicting the process of service delivery, the point of customer contact, the role of customers and employees and the evidence of service from the customer’s point of view (Kingman-Brundage, 1989).

A service blueprint depicts the different steps of the primary process “interaction process”. Furthermore, a service blueprint indicates what facilitating products or services are needed in order to produce the services (Zeithaml, A.V., & Bitner, J.M., 2006).

A key characteristic of service blueprinting is that it distinguishes between what customers experience “front-stage” and the activities of employees and support processes “backstage”, where customers can’t see them. Between the two lies what is called the line of visibility (Lovelock, C. ; Wirtz, J., 2007).

Step of building a service blueprint:

Step 1

Identify the process to be blue-printed

Step 2

Identify the customer or customer segment

Step 3

Map the process from the customer’s point of view

Step 4

Map contact employee actions, onstage and backstage, and/or technology actions

Step 5

Link contact activities to needed support functions

Step 6

Add evidence of service at each customer action step

2.0 Current Scenario

Commuter Cleaning is a full service drycleaner started in 1987. It is offering services of same day or next-day dry cleaning, shirt laundry, tailoring and alterations, drapery/ curtain cleaning and leather and suede cleaning. Commuter Cleaning’s targeted market consist of office worker primarily to single as well as dual-career couples.

Commuter Cleaning encourages customers to open account for monthly billing. After become a member, customer will be able to pick up a Commuter Cleaning laundry bag with the customer’s name and account number on it and a membership card that is coded with the account number. The amount owed commonly will be charged to the credit card each month. If late in paying repeatedly delinquent, customer will required to pay at time of pick up.

The delivery system of Commuter Cleaning will be a hub-and-spoke system. Customers will have the convenience of dropping off their laundry at numerous neighborhood commuter stations. The station worker will attach a color-coded label on bag to identify the location after that picked up and delivered to one central plant, and once the shirts are clean they will be returned to the customer’s drop-off point. The customer will provide the station worker with membership card used to identify and retrieve clothing and bag. Customer could be expedited time to pick up the laundry and waiting lines avoided.

Commuter Cleaning most of the hiring will be targeted to college student because their schedules vary and classes usually are held in the middle of the day. Commuter Cleaning also hires some full-time workers in station who facilities to aware problem and customer needs. Beside that, Commuter Cleaning offering discount on certain days of the week is common practice for dry cleaners, and one approach would be to offer special prices to different customer segments to entice them to bring in their laundry on a certain day.

3.0 Answers to Questions

Question 1

Describe an “encounter cascade” for a commuter dry cleaning services. In your opinion, what are the most important encounters in this cascade for determining your overall impression of the quality of commuter cleaning? Justify.

(a) Service Encounter

Cascade for Commuter Dry Cleaning KIOSK

Pick up laundry bag

Commuter Cleaning is to provide dry cleaning services for individuals with careers or other responsibilities that make it difficult for them to find the time to go to traditional dry cleaners. The company goals are to provide a high-quality dry cleaning service that is both reliable and convenient. The facilities where customers will drop off and pick up their dry cleaning will be located at sites where commuters meet their trains or buses into the downtown area. (i.e. park-and-ride locations and commuter train stations). In other locations, there may not be any existing facilities, and the pick up and drop-off booths will need to be built. All dry cleaning will pick up and delivered to one central plant, and once the shirts are clean they will be returned to the customer’s drop-off point. Same-day service is possible with pickups beginning at 8.00AM and returns completed by 5.00PM.

1. Drop off laundry bag

After become a member of Commuter Cleaning, customer will be able to pick up a Commuter Cleaning laundry bag with the customer’s name and account number on it and a membership card that is coded with the account number. That means customers will have the convenience of dropping of their laundry at numerous neighborhood commuter stations. The customer will place the dirty shirts in the Commuter Cleaners bag at home and simply leave the bag at the station on the way to work. In here customer is interacts with setting or physical evidence facilities of pickup booths.

2. Attach Color- Coded Label

The station worker will attach a color-coded label on the bag to identify the location where the shirts were dropped off so that they can be returned to the same station.

3. Central Cleaning Plant

A laundry pickup route will be established to bring bags from each location to the central cleaning plant. The driver brings the clothes to central plant where they are processed. The first shift of drop-off station workers collect and delivery these clothes to central plant will begin at 6.00AM and finish at 9.00AM.

4. Billing Database

Once the bag reaches the central plant, the items will be counted and the number entered into the billing database.

5. Delivery Route

After the shirts have been cleaned, they will be put on hangers with the customer’s laundry bag attached. The cleaned shirts will be segregated according to the location to which they need to be returned and then packed on a truck in reverse order of the delivery route.

6. Pick up laundry bag

After finished work, customer returned to the drop-off point, which is at their numerous neighborhood commuter stations. The customer will provide the station worker with his or her membership card that will be used to identify and retrieve the customer’s clothing and bag.

7. Statement Bills

The time to pick up the laundry should be expedited and waiting lines avoided as customers will be billed monthly. At the end of the month, customer will receive a statement detailing all charges with transaction to verify the bill and request payment from those who do not use credit card. Payment almost will be automatically billed with credit card.

Service Encounter

Cascade for Commuter Dry Cleaning HOME DELIVERY

Besides providing Commuter Dry Cleaning (KIOSK), Commuter Cleaning also offer home delivery in all of Westchester County NY and in Fairfield County, CT.

The service is like going to the cleaners twice weekly, without customer

having to waste time. There is no extra charge and credit card is billed at the end of the month for the work.

1. Drop off laundry bag on porch

Customer fills Commuter Cleaner bag with dirty clothes on Sunday. On Monday morning, customer leaves Commuter Cleaners bag on porch. Then go to work.

2. Central Cleaning Plant

Commuter Cleaning driver stops by the house and picks up the blue bag. The driver brings the clothes to main plant where they are processed.

3. Billing Database

Once the bag reaches the central plant, the items will be counted and the number entered into the billing database.

4. Delivery bag to customer home and pick another bag to central plan for processing

On Thursday, the clean clothes are brought back to customer home and left where they have instructed to leave them; front porch, back porch, garage or alcove. The customer has left another bag on the porch. The driver picks up this bag and brings it to the central plant for processing. On Thursday night, the customer returns home to find that his or her freshly clean clothes have been delivered and are waiting for them.

5. Statement bill/ Payment

At the end of the month, customer receives a statement detailing all charges to the credit card. In one month customer has saved the time wasted on eight trips to the dry cleaner.

(b)

Most Important Encounter In Commuter Dry Cleaning And Home Delivery Cascade

In my opinion, pick up laundry bag is the most important encounter in Commuter Dry Cleaning and Home Delivery Cascade.

Pick up laundry bag encounter can reflect how the customer satisfaction was after customer retrieves their bag. Customers will curious how clean the clothes cleaned by Commuter Cleaning will and they can evaluate quality of the company from there. Customer looks, feels, smells to evaluate whether the clothes is clean, button not fall down, smell fragrant, every detail from pinning shoulder pads to covering those special buttons that make the garment special is taken care off.

For Commuter Dry Cleaning, customers will provide the station worker with his or her membership card that will be used to identify and retrieve the customer’s clothing and bag when they need to pick up their clothes. During this time period, station worker able to communicate with customer and aware what are the problems faced by customer. Station worker must help to solve the problem to satisfy the customer need. Therefore, station worker can more accessible and build a strong relationship with customer.

For home delivery, customers have no chance to communicate with any worker of Commuter Cleaning. If they are dissatisfied with the service, they can call to customer services representative to make complaint.

Question 2

Identify and discuss the roles of various customer touch points involved in the commuter dry cleaning services.

From the case study, there are different type of customer touch point involves in the commuter dry cleaning services. There are four main customer touch point which are involve in physical contact, communication contact, human contact and machines contact.

Customers touch point:

1. Physical contact

Roles of touch point

Logo

-identify company brand name and build image

Pick up and drop off booths

-located at sites where commuters meet their trains or busses into the downtown area.

-facilities space need only large enough to accommodate racks for hanging the finished dry cleaning.

Laundry bag with customer name and account number on it

-used to identify and retrieve the customer clothing and bag

-to avoid the waiting lines

Membership card

-to identify customer information

-to record the amount so that easy for billed monthly

Color-coded label on bag

-to identify the drop off place

-easy to arrange and return to the same station

Billing statements

-billed monthly

-statements will be sent to all customer with transaction to verify the bill and request payment

For the physical touch point, logo is the first sight or customer touch point. Logo plays an important role in building brand image to let the customer identify the company brand and services that provided.

Pick up and drop off booths located at sites where commuters meet their train or busses into the downtown area such as park and ride locations and commuter train station. This facility plays important roles in the business process to allow the target customer that is offices worker to drop their dirty garments and collect it after finished dry cleaning. The pick up and drop off booths provide the services that reliable and convenience to the customer.

Customer touch point also involves the laundry bag with customer name and account number on it. The laundry bag used to identify and retrieve the customer clothing and bag. The customer identity brings a convenient to customer to avoid waiting lines.

Membership card is one of the customer interfaces connect with customer. A membership card is important for the Commuter Cleaning Company to track customer information. By using the membership card, bill amount can be record for each customer and the statement can send to them monthly in order to make the payment.

Color-coded label on laundry bag is one of the physical touch connect to the customer. These color-coded labels play important roles to identify the drop off place of the customer. In addition, after finished dry cleaning, bag laundry easy to be arranged and return to the same station to the customer.

Customer gets touch with the billed on a month basis. The commuter cleaning provided convenience interaction with customer by sending their bill statement every month with transaction and also request for the payment.

2. Communication contact

Roles of touch point

Advertising

-advertising include a phone number that potential customer can call to inquire about services

-to attract customer attention and provide information for those office worker

Price special and promotion

-controlling demand

-avoid imbalance in the workload or create a stable workload

website

-for customer to learn more and get to know commuter cleaning

-deliver information about their services in a compelling way

-generate publicity

The other type of customer touch point is communication contact. The advertising is a communication tools that bring a message to the customer. Advertising include a phone number that potential customers can call to inquire about the services. Advertising important to attract customer attention and provide information for those potential customer such as office workers.

Prices special and promotion on certain days of week is common practice for dry cleaners to controlling demand or avoid the imbalance in the workload or create a stable workload. The prices special can be practice to different customer segments to entice them to bring in their laundry on certain days. Promotions such as coupon and providing a complimentary cup of coffee will attract more customers thus generate an increase in the sales volumes or in the specific time.

Website is one of the customer interfaces that for customer to learn more and get to know the commuter cleaning company. Website plays an important role to deliver information about their services in a compelling way and it also help to generate publicity.

3. Human contact

Roles of touch point

Station worker

-collect garments from each station and return after finished cleaning services

-attach the color-label and arrange the garments

-collect the laundry bag from each station and delivered to one central plant

Customer services representative

-to answer questions and perform the paperwork for the potential customer

-to handle the inquiries in phone call

-to get know of their customer and build customer relationship with them

-responsible for customer billing

-collect all necessary information from the customer

The human contact involving people in the interaction and relationship management functions of the front office. Station workers takes parts connect to the customer. They collect garments from each station and delivered it to one central plant for cleaning services. Before collect all the laundry bag, they will attach the laundry bag from each station and arrange it before delivered to the central plant. Station workers will return the finished dry cleaning to pick up place.

Customer services representative plays an important roles contact with each customer. From advertising, they need to handle the inquiries for those potential customer phone calls. They also need to answer question and perform the paper work for those potential customer. The interaction with customer is to get know of their customer and build customer relationship with them. The customer services representatives also responsible for the company customer billing statement. They will try to collect all the necessary information from the customer to form a customer database and practice customer relationship management.

4.machines contact

Roles of touch point

Automated credit card transfer

-desirable form of payment,

-act as alternatives for customer to pay the bills

The automated credit card transfer involves interaction with customer to pay the monthly bill. This customer touch point is a desirable form of payment which it is more efficient and involves no worry of delayed payments. It also acts as alternatives for the customer to pay the bill statement. The machines contact bring and convenient and effectives ways for customer when doing the payment.

Question 3

What generic approach to service system design is illustrated by commuter cleaning?

Generic approach is defined as the service package as a bundle of attributes that a customer experiences. This bundle consists of four features: supporting facility, facilitating goods, explicit services, and implicit. With a well-designed service system, these features are harmoniously coordinated in light of the desired service package. After discussion, we found that the commuter cleaning is using the customer contact approach to service system design. Commuter cleaning is exemplified by the separation of high-contact front- office drop-off and pick-up by the customer at a commuter train station kiosk and the low-contact back-office contract cleaning operations at a remote site.

The low-contact, or back-office, operation is run as a plant, where all the production management concepts and automation technology are brought to bear. This separation of activities can result in a customer perception of personalized service while in fact achieving economics of scale through volume processing.

According to the case, all the bags collected from each location will be sent to the central cleaning plant. Once the bag reaches the central plant, the items will be counted and the number entered into the billing database. After the shirts have been cleaned, they will be put on hangers with the customer’s laundry bag attached. After that, the cleaned shirts will be isolated according to the location to which they need to be returned and then placed on a truck in reverse order of the delivery route.

All the statement above shown that Commuter Cleaning will do all the cleaning process which the customer will not have the chance to have a glance on them. Customer will not have the direct interaction with the whole cleaning process after they had drop off their dirty clothes. Therefore, it can be said that customer are having low-contact back-office contract cleaning operations at the remote site.

However, for the high contact operation means the service tends to be those in which customers visit the service facility in person. Customers are actively involved with the service organization and its personnel.

For example, customers who choose to use Commuter Cleaning will have to bring their own dirty shirts in the bag in order to bring to the drop off kiosk. Then, the station worker, also named as the onstage contact employee at the booth will attach a color-coded label on the bag to identify the location where the shirts were dropped off so that they can be returned to the same station. After the shirts are cleaned, the customer will come back from work and provide the station worker with his or her membership card. The membership card will be used to identify and retrieve the customer’s clothing and bag. Lastly, after customer’s name and account number have been identified, he or she can just pick up their cleaned shirts and bring home.

All the statement above shown that customer will have high contact with all the physical and human touch point at Commuter Cleaning kiosk. Customers require meeting the station worker so that to ensure they have attached a color-coded label on the bag to identify the location where the shirts were dropped off. Then, when the customer come back to redeem their shirt, they need to provide the station worker with his or her membership card to identify and retrieve the clothing and bag. Therefore, it can be said that customers are having high-contact front- office drop-off and pick-up at a commuter train station kiosk.

What competitive advantages does this design offer?

The competitive advantage provided by the design is customer convenience. This is because the kiosk is located where the customer must use the route to go to their work everyday. Therefore, customer will not need to waste their time by sending their shirts to traditional dry cleaner which located far away from their house. Besides that, monthly billing and the use of a personal laundry bag minimizes the transaction time and prevent long queue to be happened at the station. This is very important especially for those white-collar workers because their time is very valuable.

The customer contact approach offering a lower degree of customer contact at the back office of the central cleaning plant. The degree of customer contact can be measured by the percentage of time that the customer is in the system relative to the total service time. In high-contact services, the customer determines the timing of demand and the nature of the service by direct participation in the process. Consumers have no direct influence on the production process of low-contact systems. Even if a service falls into the high-contact category, it still may be possible to seal off some operations to be run as a factory. For the case, all dry cleaning will be picked up and delivered to one central plant, and once the shirts are clean they will be returned to the customer’s drop off point. The process design is totally focus on creating a continuous and efficient service without consumer involvement.

When service systems are separated into high-and-low contact operations, each area can be designed separately to achieve improved performance. High- contact operations require employees with excellent interpersonal skills. The low-contact operations can be physically separated from customer contact operations; however, there is some need for communication across the line of visibility to track progress of customer orders or property. For example, the commuter cleaning’s employees will have the title “customer service representative” to stress the function of their jobs, these worker will be encouraged to get to know their customers and reach a first-name basis with them. The advantage of separation occurs because these back-office operations can be scheduled like a factory to obtain high utilization of capacity.

Service delivery options are ordered from left to right by increasing richness of information transfer. Efficiency of the service is related to the degree of customer contact with the core service operations. This matrix permits the explicit consideration of the trade-offs made between marketing and production consideration when selecting the service delivery system. According to the case, commuter cleaning has provided several way of payment the bills, such as the credit card payment or the bills mailing to the customers. Therefore, it is all proven that the customer contact approach to service system design had provided their customer with convenience, fast and efficiency.

Question 4

Prepare a service blueprint for Commuter Cleaning.

Physical Evidence:

Bag Drop-off Booth Bill Clean Shirt

Customer

Actions

Line of Interaction

Onstage contact

Employee actions

Line of Visibility

Backstage contact

Employee actions

Line of Internal Interaction

Central

Cleaning

Plant

Commuter Cleaning is a full service dry cleaner offering same day dry cleaning shirt laundry. Firstly, the customer will require to place their dirty shirts in the bag at home. Next, the customer can just simply take the bag to the commuter station and leave the bag at the drop-off booth while they are on the way to work. The drop-off booths will be located at sites where customers meet their trains or buses into the downtown area.

Then, the station worker, also named as the onstage contact employee at the booth will attach a color-coded label on the bag to identify the location where the shirts were dropped off so that they can be returned to the same station. The first shift of van driver, known as the backstage contact employee will start to work at 6am and finish at 9am. The van driver will responsible to pick up all the bags and deliver the items from the drop-off sites to central cleaning plant.

Once the bag reaches the central cleaning plant, the items will be counted and the number will be entered into the billing database. After the shirts have been cleaned, they will use modern Ajax Equipment to press them. Next, the shirts will be put on hangers with the customer’s laundry bag attached in order to prevent missing case happened. The cleaned shirts will be segregated according to the location to which they need to be returned. Then, all the items will be placed on a truck and the second shift of drivers will pick up the items and deliver the cleaning from the plant to the transit stations from about 3.30 to 5.00 pm.

The second shift of station workers will begin at 5.00pm and end at around 8.30pm when the last train or bus arrives. This is the time when the customer will come back from work and provide the station worker with his or her membership card. The membership card will be used to identify and retrieve the customer’s clothing and bag. Lastly, after customer’s name and account number have been identified, he or she can just pick up their cleaned shirts and bring home.

Due to the laundry delivered to the plant will be recorded into a database that accumulates each customer’s transactions for the month, the customer only need to pay the bill monthly. This method is being used by Commuter Cleaning so that the time to pick up the laundry could be expedited and prevent long queue to be happened. If the customer desire, the amount owed will be charged to the credit card each month. This form of payment is very easy, efficient and no need to worry about delayed payment.

However, for those customers who do not use credit card, statements will be sent to all customers to remind them and request payment from them. Therefore, the customer can make their payment at the time of pick up and the onstage contact employee will receive the payment.

4.0 References

(1) Commuter Cleaner. Retrieved June 15, 2008, from http://www.commutercleaners.net/

(2) Shelly G.B. et al. (2006). Discovering Computers 2007: A Gateway to Information. Thomson Course Technology.

(3) Lovelock, C. ; Wirtz, J. (2007), Services marketing: People, technology, strategy. (6th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

(4) Zeithaml, A.V., ; Bitner, J.M. (2006). Service marketing: Integrating customer focus across the firm (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

(5) Spoke-hub distribution paradigm (2008, April). Retrieved June 15, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hub_and_spoke

(6) Defining Customer Touch points (2004, November). Retrieved June 15, 2008, from http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/4508.asp

(7) Rayport, F. J., ; Jawoski, J. B. (2005). Best face forward: Why companies must improve their service interfaces with customers. Harvard Business Publishing.