NEW: Free digital credentials profile for LCS practitioners Learn more


Why Lean Thinking is Valuable to the Service Industry

Why Lean Thinking is Valuable to the Service Industry

Is Lean Thinking Only Applicable to Manufacturing?

Lean’s success has been tried, tested and proven in manufacturing and with the service industry constantly growing, many in the sector are also looking at whether or not the same principles can be applied with the same impact. Some are sceptical and argue that methodologies intended to streamline manufacturing processes cannot simply be replicated within other industries.

However, after becoming familiarised with the core principles of lean, many companies believe that it is not just specific to physical products and that it can be easily shaped and adapted to suit other sectors too.

The fundamental concept of lean is to help businesses establish what is valuable for their customers and then optimise their value creating processes by cutting out waste and to perfect the entire operation so that the service flows smoothly.. Although it can be more difficult to locate intangible wastes in a service environment, the principles of lean remain the same – to achieve maximum productivity and performance with the fewest resources.

Lean for service organisations

Companies in the service sector are constantly under pressure to deliver excellent customer service, faster response times and valuable support for their customers. Lean can help to optimise all service delivery processes by targeting wastes and either removing them completely or move to a more effective state as part of a journey of continuous improvement.

An IT company, for example, is very different from a manufacturing company, however it still has many wasteful processes that could be removed or reduced. Lean tools and techniques can improve the customer experience by reducing unnecessary activities such as the number of call transfers and unnecessary IT processes, whilst also providing solutions to cut down on errors, maximise employee empowerment and become more cost-effective.

Examples of lean services

Lean in the financial sector

Financial firms are a prime example of a service sector that cannot afford to be wasteful, due to strong competition, the impact of the recent financial crisis and vulnerability to economic downturns. Yet, t is claimed that at least 40% of costs in the financial sector are spent on wasteful activities that have no added value to the customer. Although they cannot control the fluctuating economy, financial companies can however invest in refining and redefining their own operations to ensure more effective and customer focused operation.

Lean thinking can provide businesses such as banks, insurance and investment companies with more productive and cost-effective solutions, therefore reducing risk during an economic dip. Lean would also help to improve employee satisfaction, increase customer value and ensure the supporting activities are focused on delivering value..

Lean in marketing services

Marketing companies have so many different processes to their business, that without effective coordination in place, mistakes can easily occur. Every task needs to include a thorough process of planning, writing, designing and proofing to generate a high enough standard of quality for their clients. These ongoing processes are not only extremely time-consuming, but with different tasks being assigned to different departments, project efficiency could also be compromised.

Lean implementation can help marketing companies to streamline their processes by removing tasks that are unnecessary and implementing a much more efficient approach. In doing so, lean also provides a direct improvement on work quality and therefore provides added value for the customer. This allows lean marketing companies to have that added edge over their competitors.

Could you benefit from lean?

If you have a company in the service sector and think that you could benefit from a more effective strategy, then why not consider adopting lean thinking? Not only will you establish a more productive approach, but it will also help you to motivate your employees, increase customer value and improve the efficiency of your business.

For more information on lean service operations, please get in touch via or


Comment on this Article 

Homepage Forums Why Lean Thinking is Valuable to the Service Industry

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Tips for Optimising your Digital Credentials Profile

Tips for Optimising your Digital Credentials Profile

Setting up your digital credentials profile is the first step – but what happens now? How do you ensure that your profile is as strong as it can be, and how do you make sure people are seeing your profile? First, if you haven’t yet got a digital credentials profile...

Why Digital Credentials are now more important than ever

Why Digital Credentials are now more important than ever

Digital credentials, upskilling and digital transformation are the professional buzzwords of 2020 – and it’s no surprise that digital is bigger than ever after the world went into lockdown. For many businesses, digital transformation has become the ‘new normal’ and for individuals, upskilling and making sure you have a killer...

Want to Contribute an Article to the Community?

Community members are welcome to post an article on any lean related topic. Go the the Article Submission Page and add your article.

Read More

Recent Comments

There are no recent comments for this forum

Lean Competency System © 2020.
The LCS is a licenced service of Cardiff University