A Critical Analysis of the Implementation of Lean Principles in the Service Industry

4995 Words Mar 3rd, 2012 20 Pages
A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF LEAN PRINCIPLES IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY
The operational systems of organizations can be viewed as open systems, which interact with their respective environments on a continuous basis. In this context, these systems comprise synergetic and interdependent subsystems of input, process and output with the main objective of these systems being to efficiently and effectively deliver goods and/or services to their demanding customers (Yasin and Wafa, 2002). Confronting the challenges of global competition, companies have to reduce costs, improve quality, and meet their customers’ ever-changing needs (Canel et al., 2000). Even though lean techniques were developed for the manufacturing firms and
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However, Johnston and Clark (2008) deem designing and managing service processes as an uneasy task as the processes are as varied as the service organisations of which they are a part of. Some are flexible enough to be modified as the need arises (e.g. management consultants) while others need to be closely defined to achieve the benefits of consistency and efficiency (e.g. call centre operations).
Furthermore, for a full service package, Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons (2011) state that there must be a supporting facility (location, layout, interior design, supporting equipment) in place, the material purchased by the customer in terms of consistency, quantity, selection, functionality must be available, accurate, timely and useful information or data must be provided by the customer to enable an efficient service. Intrinsic features of the service such as training of personnel, comprehensiveness of service must be observable whilst ensuring that implicit services (attitude of service, waiting, convenience etc.) are also considered. McDonald’s does not just sell hamburgers; they also sell speed, cleanliness, cheerfulness and predictable consistency (Levitt, 1972). Customers could be discouraged from entering a restaurant

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