What Is The Difference Between Manufacturing Ana Service Operations?


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The biggest difference between manufacturing and service operations is that a manufacturing process focuses on creating goods while service operations focus on providing a change of state or a service. Manufacturing processes therefore create a physical product that can be held, relocated or inserted into a larger assembly. This is also defined as something that can be given a title, therefore implying the notion of ownership. In comparison a service is a non tangible product that cannot be held and is impossible to relocate. It is also not possible to assign a title or provide ownership for a service. A service is temporal and is actually deployed to effect a change of some sort.

The tangibility of the product is just one category of differences between manufacturing and service operations. Other categories of differences include the method category and the organization category. The method category has to do with whether the individual task will alter a physical object or not. While the individual task of creating a good (within manufacturing operations) does change a physical object, the provision of a service (in service operations) does not. The organization category deals with the idea about whether it is an operation's main objective to create tangible objects or to provide services. The main objective of a manufacturing process will be to create tangible objects while a service operation aims to provide services.

The method category is one that can be argued against. It cannot be said that all services do not alter a physical object. There are some services that will cross the boundaries. Car repair shops fix items while car rental facilities deliver their products to a customer. While some marked differences are clear between the two operations, there is no rule, written or unwritten, that says that the two cannot merge.

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