Productivity in the Service Sector
We know that the challenges for operations managers in future will lie in increasing the productivity of the service sector. As agriculture and manufacturing become smaller and contribute less to GDP only the service sector offers the prospect of increased wealth. No doubt that productivity increases in agriculture and manufacturing will still occur, it simply means that the scope for improvements is much greater as the service sector consumes the major part of the population and most other resources. Area for improvement must be national and local government, health services, financial services, house building, telecoms, transportation - particularly rail in the UK - and utilities. In a recent report by London Business School in collaboration with Severn Trent PLC entitled 'Service in Britain: how do we measure up', it was concluded that 34 per cent of service companies achieved high levels of customer service while 36 per cent were 'on track' in making improvements. A further 30 per cent were considered to be making no improvement. The areas of weakness detected are listed in this table.