Blueprinting

Blueprinting - Based on a process-oriented view of the provision of services, blueprinting enables the identification and visualization of the elements and sub-processes that make up a service process. The methodical basis of the blueprinting is the so-called "flowcharting", which represents the service process from the conception to the creation in a flowchart.

With blueprinting, however, the logic of the representation in a flowchart is broken by the orientation on the "path" of the service process. The aim of blueprinting is to identify bottlenecks within the service creation process of a service company, since it is often sufficient to vary a certain bottleneck, for example to meet a changed demand situation, than to redesign the entire service creation process.
At the beginning of the blueprinting, there is always an overview of the entire service process from a "bird's eye view", which is intended to capture all the important sub-processes and elements of the process in their context, ie as an integrated whole. This overall view is initially used to structure the service process in order to capture its sequential structure, determine any missing elements or sub-processes or to show the consequences resulting from an unsuitable structure or possible errors.

On this basis, a more detailed analysis of all or individual sub-processes can be carried out in order to further specify their structures through further disaggregation with regard to their functional contribution to the overall performance and their temporal expansion as well as the potential claimed. This procedure is intended to enable the identification of potential weaknesses in the provision of services at the level of the sub-processes, which in the interest of successful provision of services must be countered in good time by means of suitable measures.

A blueprint is to be understood as the concrete representation of a so-called "script", ie a structure that describes a sequence of events in a specific context. A kind of “conceptual script” for the conceptual recording and description of mostly routine activities, in other words a certain process, is called a script.

The concretization of this conceptually anticipated process in the context of the service provision takes place through the integration of the external production factor in the service provision process. The comparison of the conceptually anticipated and the actual blueprint enables the identification of possible faults that can be eliminated in the short term by operational measures and in the longer term by tactical measures. IdS supports blueprinting as a reference point for the merging of supplier and customer perspectives in service processes and at the same time provides the information required for this as an objective basis.
The advantage of this approach is that the creation of a blueprint prompts the person performing this task to deal with the process to be mapped in more detail and in this way can result in a more comprehensive understanding of the processes under consideration.
The inclusion of a so-called "line of visibility" (contact and visibility line) in the service creation process represented by the blueprint then enables the separation of the front office factors, which are perceptible to the customer, from the back office factors that cannot be perceived by the customer and either perform general tasks (such as infrastructure services) and / or processing services initiated through the integration of the external factor.

This procedure enables the identification of customer contact points, ie the potential contacts between service providers and service buyers, in other words the integration sequences of the external production factor. Critical contact points are often interpreted as so-called "moments of truth". A differentiation of the "line of visibility" from the supplier and demand perspective and the inclusion of a "line of interaction" (interaction interface) at the interface of internal and external contact factors in the production system in the figure shows that there is no direct contact between the customer and the back office -Factors, but internal contact factors are always connected in between.

With regard to the degree of autonomy of the activities to be performed in the context of the provision of services, it can be assumed that the provider's autonomy for back office factors almost corresponds to the design options in industry, whereas this freedom for front office factors is due to the integration of the external factor be more restricted.

The reason for this are interactions in the service creation process between the provider and the external production factor, which, especially in the case of personal services in the front office area, open up design potential through individual adjustments before or even during the creation process by so-called "frontline employees", which are decisive for the success of service production can contribute. Basically, in this context it should be noted that the customer should draw conclusions about the performance of the service provider from the professional competence or the behavior of the front office employees, so that a careful selection and training of employees as well as extensive training programs are recommended for this area in particular become.

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