A Model for the Allocation of Limited Resources for Technological Improvement: A Case of Courier Service
Keywords:business process, technological improvement, workplace stress, couriers, courier service, communications
One of the basic questions in the field of microeconomics is how to make decisions about allocation of limited resources for technological improvement. The aim of this study is exactly to propose a model that will help firms in making this kind of decisions. The model puts employees’ stress level in the central place. There was a hypothesis introduced that based on stress level analyses in correlation with particular parameters of business, the recommendations for improvements can be reached.
As a data collection tool, two questionnaires were used. First questionnaire was related to stress test. In this paper BHC test was used (Behavioral Health Concepts team, 2000). It is a standardized questionnaire containing 27 questions. The other questionnaire contained 12 questions of which 6 was related to defining employees attitudes about predefined business parameters.
In order to get information about what should be changed first Work Stress Index – WSI is introduced. Higher value of WSIi indicates that in the case of the lack of resources for comprehensive changes, higher priority in improvement should be given to business parameter i.
The examinees in this study were couriers that work in courier service sector in Serbian Post. There were 29 of them included in this research. Since there were a small number of examinees in this study, Fisher's exact test was used in order to examine the correlation between stress level of employees and particular parameters of the business process. In the case of a large number of examinees (above 100) other methodology should be used (see Dobrodolac et al., 2010). To calculate correlation, a frequency distribution of appearance in some of the stress categories should be analyzed (well adjusted, stressed, very stressed and extremely stressed). In the case of WSI calculation, we treated the average values of overall scores obtained from BHC stress test
One of the improvement points that were indicated as a result of the model’s implementation was the communication between dispatcher and couriers. This segment of courier service is further analyzed in this paper.
The existing communication system that was the part of public network has not met the expectations. Therefore, a new communication system should be introduced. As a possible solution, Private Mobile Radio systems, also known as communication systems for closed user groups, were proposed for implementation. In the process of communication system design it is necessary to take into account the economic parameter, i.e. the overall costs. In that sense, good characteristic of Professional Mobile Radio system is that more departments or services using communication for closed user groups may use a common infrastructure, but to have a separate functioning. Thus, the introduction of such system should involve coordinating the various administrations interested in the use of communication system for closed user groups.
Finally, the main contributions of this paper are: the design of a new model for the allocation of limited resources for technological improvement, a manifestation of model’s applicability and a proposal of new communication system for courier service in Serbian Post.
The advantage of the proposed model lies in its simplicity of realization and the possibility of wide application. It could be applied to different types of businesses, to both manufacturing and service industries, and also to various positions, from low working levels to highest management level.