Saturday, January 1, 2011

Service availability

In some industries, service availability is one of the key success factors of companies. Providing service to customes when and where they need it is crucial.

In Helsinki, there is an ongoing project called "snow fight". Snow fight is a crisis initiative by the city of Helsinki to clean the streets of snow. There are few places where to place snow, there are problems ploughing the snow due to parked cars. Overall there are 2.600 km of streets to plough and there is a question of availability of snow ploughing equipment and personnel. It is difficult to keep their number optimal since we haven´t had this much snow this time of the year in several decades.

I was trying to find snow ploughers myself. It seems the availability of snow services is scarce or I´m simply asking at the wrong time. It´s the high season of snow. In my neighbourhood my household is the only one who would like to pay for snow ploughing service. The experience from previous services is bad. Therefore people rather do it themselves. Nobody was just able to predict the scope of this work few years back. Last winter was horrible. I was out snowploughing even four times a day. This winter I`ve already had enough. I sprained my back. I was out last night. I was out this morning. I will go again since snow just keeps coming.

The companies I called were not interested in just one flat out of many. Too long trip or too small job. Some contact people were just not interested in ploughing snow. They had other jobs more attractive and were busy with those. Service availability is scarce and we´ve not even discussed about price yet. If somebody invented a company where you could call ad hoc? No news, those companies exist already and still no progress. Which online application would integrate people who could do the job vs those who need the service now.