عنوان مقاله [English]
Leanness and agility have their particular advantages, and each one can be applied to different situations. During the last decade, there have been some efforts to benefit from both strategies. Leagility is a concept aimed at
combining lean and agile supply chains. This research aims to show how leagility can be applied and implemented in the service sector (mass and professional services). To this aim, a case study approach is used. Therefore,
a fast food restaurant chain and a specialized hospital, as mass and professional service organizations, respectively, have been studied, using interviews, observation and documents. Moreover, in order to illustrate the processes, a process mapping tool has been utilized. The results indicate the possibility of the application of leagility in these
two types of service. Although it may be criticized that mass services have low customization and that leagility cannot be applicable to this area, in recent years, mass services like fast food restaurants have faced problems about variety. Therefore, it is necessary to change the attitudes and views about this type of service. This research shows that the case organization as a mass service provider can benefit from both lean and agile strategies in its supply chain, so that costs can be reduced and, at the same time, the fluctuating demand of the customers can be responded to.
The particular situation of the studied hospital has also forced it to be both agile and lean. It is discussed that the geographically strategic location of the healthcare center contributes to both leanness and agility. The information gained from interviews signifies education and job experience as important factors for agility in healthcare services. Therefore, the center has invested on these factors. Another achievement toward agility is the healthcare information system, which has led to reduced lead time and flexibility in the case organization. While the decoupling point is the main concern in leagility, the location of the decoupling point in this healthcare supply chain is discussed. Therefore, the healthcare services are first divided into three pipelines. It is, then,
argued that the main decoupling point is located at the point of diagnosis, from which, from this point on, the treatment process is customized for each patient. Another decoupling point is further identified for the second
pipeline. In this way, the lead times and costs would be reduced, so that the specialists time would be free enough to take care of more patients.
The research findings also imply that although the implementation of leagility in fast food restaurant chains is similar to the manufacturing sector, it is different in the studied hospital, as some other concepts, like capacity
management, play an important role. This study just focuses on one fast food restaurant chain. It does not consider fast food restaurants with one branch, which may not have the problems associated with restaurant chains. The research also considers a specialized healthcare center with limited pipelines. For further study, it is important to consider a generalized hospital with multiple pipelines. In addition, to make the findings of this research more robust, other areas of mass and professional service can be investigated. Study of the third type of service is also out of the scope of this research.