Will lean production work in service environments? Why or why not?
Lean production focuses on reducing waste which can be anything from actual product to time or money. Lean production can be applied and work in the service environment. The example used in the text is a flight to the Bahamas. They explained the difference between value-adding activities (flight) and no-value adding activities (checking in, security). This example focuses on time as the waste product. The least amount of time that the customer spends at the airport and in air on the flight, the better the customer should react.
To use another example, consider a doctor's office. A doctor's office could apply lean production by improving scheduling and reducing the amount of time a patient sits in the waiting room. In this example, you are not affecting the value-adding activity (actual check-up), but the non-value adding activity waiting time). Many other changes could be made. For example, the doctor's office could make a phone call to verify appointments so that patients are on time for their scheduled appointment; hire another doctor to decrease waiting time or a nurse to perform blood pressure and vision checks. Even though production is not actually being done, a service is being performed. Therefore, time and money waste can always be reduced. No process is 100% efficient, lean production is important to any company, service industries included.
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I agree that lean production concepts can be used to reduce time and waste in any process, not just production processes. For instance, the customer service center at LL ...
Your comment is 80 words and agrees that lean production concepts can be applied to all kinds of processes, manufacturing or service, and an example is given to show you this.