Title: Lean potential of network-enabled remote service outsourcing: spatio-temporal decoupling and resource flexibility

Authors: Alfonso Duran

Addresses: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Avenida. de la Universidad, 30, 28911 Leganes, Madrid, Spain

Abstract: The development of internet-enabled remote service provision and outsourcing is currently transforming the services industry, as the Indian IT outsourcing business stunningly illustrates. This article focuses on how this approach can be used to foster flexibility, responsiveness and waste elimination in services. By extrapolating from the physical goods manufacturing lean experiences, the issues surrounding service request queues and spatial co-location restrictions are analysed. The various components of resource-related flexibility are examined, along with how they are affected by network-enabled remote service outsourcing. That leads to the development of a framework comparing how fluctuations in demand, operational incidences and stringent operational efficiency requirements are managed in both product manufacturing and service production, in conventional and in lean/network-enabled outsourcing environments.

Keywords: lean production; lean services; service outsourcing; IT-enabled services; remote services; co-location restrictions; internet; resource flexibility; service globalisation; resource compartmentalisation; responsiveness; waste elimination; service request queues; network-enabled outsourcing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2004.006277

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2004 Vol.5 No.5/6, pp.448 - 464

Available online: 13 Feb 2005 *

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