profit_through_process

The Great Debate: Lean for Services?

Hosted By: Diana Davis
01/10/2011
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About this Podcast...
Lean, which seeks to remove waste from processes, has been used for decades in manufacturing. More recently, service industries have started applying lean methodologies to streamline their operations and make efficiencies.Proponents say that Lean can just as readily improve processes in service industries as in manufacturing. Critics, however, say that applying Lean to services can actually be detrimental. In this Profit through Process podcast, two practitioners with different points of view on lean for services debate whether and how Lean can be applied to services.
Debashis Sarkar, author, thought leader, creator of DEB-LOREX model of service lean transformation and pioneer for Lean in services in Asia, says that Lean is just as useful in services as in manufacturing. He argues that there is over a decade's worth of experience in implementing Lean in services and that the essential ingredient to sucess is intelligent customization of the techniques to different environments. The key, he says, is to think holistically about business and make sure that you're using the tools that work best.
On the other side of the divide is Tripp Babbitt, President of Bryce Harrison Inc. (otherwise known as Vanguard USA) and a columnist, blogger and speaker on improving service industries. He argues that Lean is not the right approach and all too often Lean approaches fail because Lean promotes a mass production thinking that does not work for the infinite variations inherent in service.

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