In implementing a leaner service program, it’s not necessary to address all four challenges to achieve results. It’s possible, for example, to design tailored business streams for service offerings without significantly attacking the company’s product or service architecture. And in all cases, improving quality and focusing on employee responsibility (while doing virtually nothing else) can bring almost instant benefits.
By applying concepts that until recently had been alien to service industries — attacking speed and quality, simplifying complexity, scaling differentiation, and empowering employees — service organizations can finally share in some of the productivity gains already enjoyed by the makers of autos, planes, trains, appliances, and many other products. For service companies, these solutions have come just in time.
Reprint No. 04403
Narayan Nallicheri ([email protected]) is a vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton in Los Angeles. He specializes in operations for service businesses.
T. Curt Bailey ([email protected]) is a principal with Booz Allen Hamilton in San Francisco. He works with firms in telecommunications and other service industries to improve capabilities in product design, service delivery, back-office processing, and customer care.
J. Scott Cade ([email protected]) is a principal with Booz Allen Hamilton in Cleveland. He focuses on helping firms in financial-services and health-care industries improve capabilities in innovation, competitive cost, supplier relations, and risk management.