In recent years manufacturing organizations have recognized that service superiority is a principal strategic device through which to gain competitive advantage. However, there is a shortage of tools available for creating true service superiority and more importantly a shortage of implementation guidelines. This paper sheds light on the lean thinking model applied to manufacturing support services, often operating as call centres, by proposing a novel methodology for its implementation as a value creating model. Ten in-depth interviews were conducted with manufacturing managers, a consultant and lean thinking intervention team members in a manufacturing organization in order to synthesise an implementation methodology. The emerged methodology consists of six steps and decision making criteria that facilitates the implementation of lean thinking in manufacturing service centres. It is concluded that the methodology can be used as an initial strategic tool for senior management intervention in order to provide lean thinking leadership and to develop alternative implementation recommendations.
International Journal of Services and Operations Management