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This is a classic case that I have used for years. Your task is to redesign the office for the workforce of today. You have complete power to redesign the office and make any changes that you think will transform this office. You can fire employees or change their job responsibilities. You may use any technology that is currently available in your redesign. Be creative and visionary.

1. Specifically, describe the changes you would make to the

1. Workflow & office (seating) arrangement

2. Job duties (SRs, typists, supervisors, managers)

3. Hierarchy, (how many levels of management will you have)

2. Who would resist your changes?

3. What measures would you use to evaluate success of your redesign?


The purpose of the customer service office is to provide service for existing and
potential telephone customers. The rvork requires taking calls from existing or
potential customers and noting the type of telephone requested, the location of
the phone in the house, the type of extension cords, the number of party lines,
and the rates for residential customers. Commercial customers require additional
services including extensions, srvitchboards, intercorns, and long disiance package

FIGURE 31. Service ReprEsentative’s Office

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Code: BOS – Business Of f ice Supervisorr
SR – Sarvice RePresentalives

So3 – Seivice Oraer Supervisors
T r Typi3rr

The Customer Service office lvas laid out as it appears in Figure 3-l – The
figure shotys the suborclinates’ desks in the standard, in-line arrangement, fronted

Ui tt. desks of their supervisors, who exercised close control over the employees-
Each service representative is rated against all other service representatives

in the office in terms of number of calls hand.led, accessibility of service repre-

sentatives, ancl number of errors made during customer contacts- Consequently,

it is not unusual for a strpervisor to monitor a service representative’s conversation,

with or without the sen’ice representative’s knowledge, or to check through each

service representative’s customer records for mistakes,Ivlonttrly individual

performance is published, and placed on the office bulletin board’

Work for each service representative is determined by the “next customer

who calls in” from anyrvhere in the district. The service representative is

responsible for handling a1l residential customers’requests for nerv service, or for

transferring service from one arsa to another rvhen a custorner moves. When a

customer calls the service representative, the service representative must issue

the order for service. This is done by putting all of the appropriate information on

a form called a “?334.” This form is then sent to the typist goup.

The typist’s job requires that the orders be transrnitted to the telephone

installers a”a tn. billing and other departments. As the arrangement exists, any
typist can be called on to type an order for any service representative.

Becatrse the service representative groups and the typist grorlps are evaluated’

and ranked against each other, each group carefully checks the other’s lvork for

errors, and rvill report these elrors to their immediate supervisor.
ihe usual employment sequence is to start as a typist, then be promoted to

seryice office representative, and eventually become a service order supervisor-

The jobs in the Customer Service ofhce and thek abbreviations used in this

exercise are:

BOS – Business Office Supervisors of Service Representatives and Service
Order TYPists

SR – Service itipr.r.ntatives take telephone calis,’and they function as
indoor salespersons of telephone apparatus and services.

T – Typists, rvho transmit the orclers to the telephone installers and the
billing, directory, and other departments

SOS – Service Order SuPervisors
Yhen a psrson calls the telephone company to request the installation of a

telephone or ney service, the call goes through a switchboard to the service repre-

sentative who has been off the line the longest. Processing a service request
involves the follorving steps or lvork flow:

FIGURE 3-2. S/ork Flout

R epresentative

TypistService Order

Switchboai’d Service

DirectoryB illingService Order Center