Utilizing Lean in Service Industries
Lean methodology was developed by Toyota in its auto manufacturing. It has since been employed worldwide by manufacturing companies. But it can also be used in other types of businesses and industries. Discuss some ways that Lean can employed in service Industries such as banking, retail, healthcare, etc.
What is your opinion on John's answer about Utilizing Lean in Service Industries:
The Lean concept can be utilized in every facet of our daily routine. Before enetring the service I worked at a restaurant and hospital. The restaurant had a hard time controlling sources of waste. With a process driven directly by the customer's taste and wants there were many times products wre tossed, because it was not cooked to the specifications of the customer or too much food was prepared. However, we took measures to reduce waste from the food preparation process. Historical data from food sales was used to estimate the amount of product to be prepared for the given day. As an example, less prep-work was accomplished on a Monday or Tuesday when compared to our Friday and Saturday pre-work. Another measure taken to conserve wasted food was through the use of measuring devices to ensure each product produced was standardized. With a focus on customer service, serving time was also very important. The food line was divided into two separate areas main dishes and appetizers. At that time technology was notutilized as much as today. Meal slips were still used and considered waste in the terms of transportation. Today they have eliminated this type of waste with orders delivered to the kitchen at the time it is taken. Technology has aided the food service industry by automating inventory orders, reducing transportation, and customers wait time. Some things such as defects and over production have a distinctive human factor that can't be eliminated through automation completely.
The hospital had some similar waste in terms of excess inventory and transportation. The supply warehouse was in the basement of the hospital. The process started with supplies being delivered and stored in the basement area. An inventory was conducted manually and then products were delivered to each floor as necessary. Today, automation would eliminate the need of manual inventorying and under lean concepts products would be stored as close as possible to the point of use. This would reduce excess inventory and eliminate transportation waste. I see technology being a key component in reducing waste in the service industries.
I agree with John's answer about utilizing lean operations in service industries. Using historical data to help reduce costs and increase efficiency is useful not only in restaurants, but in other service industries as well. It can be a way to predict the number of employees needed to work in a hotel or retail environment, for instance. Different days of the week and month have different sales forecasts. Typically, traditional paydays of the 1st and 15th of each month lead to more shoppers. Utilizing this data to schedule employees would lead to quality improvement because customers would be able to be served more efficiently, if the right number of salespeople were on hand, ...
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