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Assessment 1
Assessment Type Individual Report
Unit Code BSS042-3 Number of Credits 15
Unit Coorniator Dr. Sara Hasani
Assessment Weighting (%) 50%
Submission Deadline 11th December
Procedure for/where to submit work (including file name format for TurnItIn where applicable) 1)Submission Procedures:
You are required to submit electronically through BREO Turn-it-in link by TBA.
The following file naming format should be used for submission:

Assessment 1_ student surname_student ID
E.g: Assessment 1

2)Word Limit: 1500 words (+/- 10%)
3)Report Format: Business Report Format

It is suggested that you use the following format
The report should have a professional format (e.g. title page, executive summary, table of content, subtitles, conclusions and recommendations, appendices, etc.).
The report should be 1.5 line-spaced, 12 point font, Times New Roman, or Arial.
Each page should be numbered

Description of
Assessment Task
Critically examine the case provided about RAC Motoring Services. This case describes some of the main capacity, quality and productivity issues faced by the RAC during a period of intensifying competition and significant market changes. RAC was perceived to under-perform the Automobile Association on speed, and some new competitors on price. Students are expected to explore a range of possible changes, and can consider appropriate implementation plans whilst answering the following questions:
1. Evaluate the competitive position of RAC Motoring Services in terms of its operations-based strengths or weaknesses.
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the current cell-focused service management structure? What alternatives might give better results in terms of increasing quality and productivity?
3. How could the employment systems be redesigned to help to increase the patrol productivity and to reduce waiting times? What resistance is likely to be faced, and how should this be best countered?
4. What are your overall recommendations for an implementation plan?
Unit Learning Outcomes assessed: Demonstrate an in depth of knowledge, application and systematic understanding of Risk and Quality theory & tools
Apply and critically evaluate quality and risk frameworks and tools in project management and business management cases
Demonstrate a depth of knowledge and systematic understanding of applicable standards
Presentation Format Word Document
Marking Scheme:
Marking Scheme %
A (14-16) Good
B (11-13) Fair
C (8-10) Weak
D (5-7) Poor
E or below
Application of course concepts, and evidence of background reading and research (including literature review). 40 Very Good literature review in connection to one theory with at least 5 references to textbook and website material Good literature review, theory might not being stated but at least 3 references given one of which from the textbook Fair literature review, with at least two website reference Some review with no logical interrelation between the discussions Barely any investigation into the background
Discussion and analysis of key issues in the case, and solutions 40 Answering all the questions discussing at least two alternatives in their reasoning Answering all the question with at least one logical reasoning Answering two questions with logical reasoning Answering one questions reasonably and the rest some rough ideas No reasoning and no ideas of their own
Coherent argument, logical structure, overall presentation of the report, and referencing 20 Well structured arguments with good design of the sections with well structure diagrams and flow of the report Well structured arguments and design with reasonable flow of the report Fair structure and design Poor structure and design with a reasonable flows of ideas Lack of all the above

RAC Motoring Services

‘I think that we all now fully understand the need for some fairly radical reorganisation of the way we plan and operate a rescue service, but I’m not convinced that we yet fully appreciate just how difficult this is going to be! The changes to our business environment in the last few years have been quite dramatic, and if we are to remain profitable we must now complete our negotiations with the unions in order to implement the new systems we have devised. Lex bought the RAC on the basis of its strong brand, large customer base and good profitability. However, if we don’t get this work completed quickly, our service levels will continue to be worse than some leading competitors, and could even fall. We will certainly lose market share, and our costs will rise inexorably. At the moment, the only big winners seem to be the contractors who provide capacity during the night and when we are overloaded. And whilst our own patrol staff are earning more and more, their productivity is continuing to decline. We have no choice: we must solve this one, or we will be in serious trouble.’ Martin Connor, the Director of Operations, was addressing the monthly meeting of the operations team, just prior to the commencement of a series of negotiations with representatives of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU), which was the recognised union for the majority of the manual employees.
The RAC had been established in the vehicle breakdown and recovery industry for over 100 years. It had its own branded patrol force which was deployed to rescue and fix customers vehicles at the roadside. The RAC was perceived to offer a high-quality service at a relatively high price. However, its image had sometimes been seen as somewhat old-fashioned. Its brand was very well established and trusted, but it was the number two in terms of customer awareness behind the AA (Automobile Association). For all of their long histories, until very recently both these organisations were owned by a specific group of their members, and were therefore not required to produce profits for external shareholders. Some commentators believed that this type of mutuality inevitably led to a sense of complacency, where market share was the most important measure of success. Underlying this image, however, the RAC had continued to invest in state-of-the-art technologies to efficiently receive members’ calls and to dispatch rescue patrols. It had also constructed eye-catching control centres at highly visible points on the motorway systems, signalling its presence as a modern service provider.
In order to overcome its slightly dated image, in 1997 the RAC had rebranded and changed its corporate colours, the aim being to project a more modern and dynamic image to appeal to younger market segments. This was primarily done to address the continuing erosion of market share, but the main reason for its declining customer base had been the increasing level of competition in the market. For many years the RAC and AA had dominated the market, but recent new players such as Green Flag had entered by offering a cheaper product using third-party con- tractors. This introduced price competition and redefined customer service expectation. Green Flag advertised aggressively that it would reach all customers within 35 minutes, and if it did not, then it would refund £10. This led to Green Flag rapidly gaining market share at the expense of the AA and RAC. In 1999 both the RAC and the AA gave up their mutuality when they were taken over by a large companies. The AA was acquired by Centrica, a utility services company, and the RAC by Lex plc, which included vehicle servicing businesses, vehicle leasing and the British School of Motoring. This brought a more commercial focus to both organisations. The RAC was determined not only to arrest the decline in customer numbers, but also to rapidly increase it. It could not do this by acquisition, and therefore the only option was to invest so that it could lead the market in terms of service quality. A recent independent survey, carried out by J D Power, ranked the RAC second behind the AA in terms of customer satisfaction. The AA was ahead in two key areas: the quality of its call-taking (when customers phone the organisation to request roadside assistance) and the efficiency of its dispatch system (getting patrols to the customer quickly). The roadside services provided by patrols from both organisations were similar. The AA’s more advanced call-taking and dispatch system resulted in quicker response times and better customer management during the period that customers were waiting for service. Therefore, for the RAC to grow its market share, it definitely needed to improve its call-taking and dispatch processes. It should be noted, however, that a leading ‘new’ competitor had scored consistently low in the J D Power survey for all aspects of its service, but continued to compete on the basis of lower annual membership charges. Customers were getting more demanding too. Expectations of service quality are continuously rising, and motorists who have broken down invariably feel stressed and anxious. The quality of every interaction between the RAC and its members will be of concern. Thus customers will perceive waiting time as critical, and the reliability of arrival time of the patrol will be under scrutiny. Martin Connor was only too aware of the importance of reliability, as failure to meet lead-time promises had a major effect on customer satisfaction levels, and these were measured regularly by independent market researchers.
The patrols – By 1999, the RAC was employing about 1350 patrols, and most of these had followed an earlier career as mechanics, undertaking garage servicing of vehicles. In many ways these were considered to be the elite of the mechanics trade, since they were capable, through experience and further training, of servicing a very wide range of vehicles and associated faults, usually in the presence of the distressed customer and in harsh roadside conditions. These skills were well rewarded by good earnings, including overtime payments, well above those of the garage trade. However, the average age of the patrols was becoming fairly high, and many were beginning to contemplate retirement.


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