Q: Are service operations different from manufacturing operations?
Ans: The immediate answer is yes. However, if we categorise operating systems by one of the variables mentioned such as volume/ variety/flexibility or customer interaction, then service operations lend themselves to analysis just as manufacturing systems have done for many years. Although services have differing characteristics most of the challenges of improving performance and increasing service quality are essentially identical to manufacturing companies. Where attention has been focused on manufacturing companies for the past several decades, today over 70 per cent of the working population now work in a service organisation. The need for continuous improvement will ensure that many of the approaches introduced into manufacturing organisations will be introduced to services.