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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Service Businesses Can Learn a Lot from Manufacturing

Many service businesses appear to be operating efficiently enough. But are they really, having been in the service business and worked along side the Manufacturing Sectors of many an industry, it is amazing the insight into true efficiency one can get.

For instance an interesting thought exercise is to study and apply the Finite Capacity Scheduling Models of manufacturing to a service business. I did this for my company and saw its many cross over uses in the Mobile Car Washing service sector. Routing is similar to routing of parts, scheduling is almost exactly the same as scheduling manufacturing runs of products to be made. Washing the actual car is a process. There is a right way, a wrong way and there is the most efficient way using the least amount of energy. We searched for it, found it, practiced it, refined it and then taught it. You can do this exercise to, pick any service company and try it.

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