With the United States shifting in subtle and not-so-subtle ways from a manufacturing-based to a services-based economy, this book sets out to describe the benefits that companies can gain by sharing techniques across the manufacturing/services boundary. Subtitled "Critical Success Factors from Service and Manufacturing," this book explores how management improvement programs, such as lean, Six Sigma and total quality management (TQM), can be tailored to fit individual company needs.
According to the authors, who are both university professors, the industries that will be the most active in implementing improvement programs going forward include healthcare, pharmaceuticals and retail, as well as education and local governments.
The book lays out the steps necessary to build an integrated supply chain, based on an input-transformation-output (ITO) model that describes the basic elements of service operations management. The authors refer frequently to this ITO model as a tool business managers can use to improve their decision making.
One quirk to the book is that each chapter begins with a "dream sequence" meant to serve as business parables. These dreams neither add to nor detract from the solid foundation the rest of the book is built upon.