Applying lean manufacturing principles to information intensive services

Uday M. Apte, Chon Huat Goh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Lean manufacturing principles have been successfully applied to manufactured products for several decades to significantly reduce inventory in the supply chain and to increase productivity as well as the quality of the products. However, it is not clear whether such principles can be similarly applied to information intensive services that usually do not carry inventory. In this paper, we use an example of insurance claims handling process to illustrate how the lean manufacturing principles can be beneficially applied, albeit with some modifications, to information intensive services. Since such services do not have significant amount of inventory, we argue that minimising cycle time plays the same role as reducing inventory. We also show that a slightly different but parallel set of metrics should be used to evaluate the performance of the system after the implementation of lean principles to information intensive services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-506
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Services, Technology and Management
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)
  • Marketing
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management


  • Information intensive services
  • Lean principles
  • Performance metrics
  • Service productivity and quality


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