Possibility of Providing Intangible Services through Online during Post Corona Pandemic Period

Charles C. Villanueva and Mohammad Ali

23 May, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Possibility of Providing Intangible Services through Online during Post Corona Pandemic Period

The imbalanced distribution between the ratio of facilities and infrastructures apparently affect the capability of providing products and/or services to the poor population of the country.  The global technological advancement has compelled markets to adapt suitable systems to take advantage of the modern technology, hence the advent of online marketing and other services worldwide. Many arguments can be forwarded for and against providing services face-to-face physically (tangible services) and providing online services (intangible services). The current corona pandemic has compelled all citizens to isolate themselves within their residences. This situation, in particular, has accentuated the need for and supply of products online. Looking beyond the pandemic period, we see the continuation of these services in the post pandemic period. In this paper, we will try to analyze and explain the mechanism of delivering intangible services to the public. Some functions are easy to provide services through online rather than face-to-face. During the global pandemic, people are more concerned to come up with service with their stakeholders through online while staying in their home as they strictly maintained the social distancing. There is very less opportunity for the manufacturing company to produce but there is more possibility for the service organizations to increase their services because of the strong demand. In this category, some organisations are purely to provide the services and some are not. Sometimes, customers avail of the services both from the online and within the organization. In this paper, it is clearly explained how an intangible service may happen through online successfully at the time of crisis.

Bangladesh was constrained to impact countrywide shutdown since all the sectors are bearing the stun of the continuous corona virus flare-up since March 2020. COVID-19 has influenced numerous nations over the world including Bangladesh. These nations were compelled to execute absolute lockdown. At this stage, government carefully exhorted all residents to remain at home to stop the spread of the disease from  human to human transmission by means of respiratory beads like coughing, sneezing or may be minimum distance. People groups may likewise get tainted by contacting a contaminated individual or debased surfaces.

Figure 1: SCM of service organization for tangible and intangible items

Figure 2: SCM of service organization only for tangible items

Figure 3: SCM of service organization only for intangible items.

Figure 1 shows the supply chain management for the service organization where customer can get the services both from online and physically. For example: a hospital where patients can get the advice through the online but for the diagnosis, patients should go to hospital for laboratory testing purposes and consultation with the doctor. Figure 2 explains how to take the services from the organizations where online services is not possible. For example, customer has gone to the saloon for their services and also, we can consider uber, pathao where we can get the transport services. Figure 3 shows the supply chain management for intangible items where customer can get full services through online. We can consider education sector where students can get the services through online without entering the campus physically. During the global pandemic, people are always trying to provide their services though online by using different apps. As social distancing is an important factor to consider, it is expected to provide protection from being infected, so online activity is presently the most appropriate alternative solution. Online teaching can be provided by the educationist and the students can remain at home, thus fulfilling the need for social distancing simultaneously ensuring providing smooth and free-flowing education. The benefits are listed as follows:

l               Teachers can provide their lectures to students through online by using different apps without any interruption with the use of a strong and reliable infrastructure.

l               Teachers can also provide the counseling time more than the regular time in regular office as they are at home.

l               As teachers are comfortable with their lectures, they can custom-design the system for the assessment of the students by using a combination of different tools like quiz, assignment, presentation and others.

l               Teachers and the students can mutually agree upon increasing the number of classes to enable the students to fully grasp the topic being discussed before moving on to the next.

l               Teachers can easily complete the semester before the normal scheduled date by doing all the activities through online.

l               Students have more access to contact with their teachers rather than the class time.

l               Students don’t feel pressurized to attend the classes in time through online.

l               Students can record the lecture for their review and repetitive works.

We are not advocating against traditional classroom teaching whenever and wherever it is possible. Although, there may be arguments against online classes, yet we feel that to keep process of education moving instead of being at a standstill like now, online education is a way out. Online courses, online training and workshop are gaining popularity day by day. In this paper, we are suggesting that a portion of class hours be spent for thorough online  even after the global pandemic. Teachers and students being familiar with this technique will find it easy to adapt. More empirical studies need to be conducted to determine the effectiveness and usefulness of this intangible delivery of teaching services.


Writers: Prof. Dr. Charles C. Villanueva, VP Academics and Dean Faculty of Business Administration, and  Mohammad Ali, Assistant Professor, Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management, American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB)