The development of production in manufacturing companies during the last century has been an evolution from the flexibility and customization of the craftsman to the efficiency of the mass production. The paradox of combining flexibility and efficiency has been overcome by frontline manufacturing companies; such as Toyota; in the concept of lean production.
The majority of organisations delivering services are using approaches from the era of mass production when trying to create better results and many of them would most likely benefit from a shift of paradigm. The more modern manufacturing logic of lean production presents an opportunity for service operations to keep the characteristic of flexibility while becoming more efficient and improve performance. Yet there are differences between the characteristics of manufacturing and services that call for caution. One invitation to this type of research is expressed by (Johnston; 2005) that states that researchers should combine the area of operations management and the service arena to answer questions of quality; productivity and efficiency
Keywords: Lean production; Production-line approaches; Service Management; Lean services