Service Wastes

Lean Service Wastes

Service businesses may find the manufacturing wastes difficult to relate to.  The Service wastes may be more relevant to you.


Customers waiting for service, or for delivery, or in queues.  Customers’ time may seem to be free to the service provider, but the customer does not appreciate delay and will take their business to service providers who service their needs promptly.


Having to re-enter data, repeat details on forms, copy information across, answer questions from several sources within the same organisation.

Unnecessary movement

Having to queue several times, lack of one-stop service, poor ergonomics in service encounter.

Unclear communication

Time wasted in obtaining clarification, confusion over product or service use, wasting time in finding a location

Incorrect inventory

Desired items out of stock: having to accept a substitute product or service.

Lost opportunity

Losing the opportunity to win business or to gain repeat business due to unfriendliness, rudeness, ignoring customers or failing to establish rapport.


Failure to provide the desired product or service or defects in the provision of the product or service, lost or damaged goods.  If the error is a failure to fully solve a customer's problem, they will have to return and go through the service process again: the whole of the first service interaction is a waste.