From "Kutty" : Hello Folks, Is there a major difference in the HR functions and processes carried out in manufacturing and services? If so. what are the key differentiators? Regards GR
3rd December 2006 From India, Delhi

Hi, not at all a big difference between these two, any how manufacturing will have IR issues, statutary complaince and more on employees welfare but not so much in Service Sector. regds Vhr
3rd December 2006

I see the differences between the two as described below.

In manufacturing, the contact with the customer/client/actual user is rather low in terms if visibility and interactions. This could make the HR and/or the management itself, less sensitive to the employee needs and quality and in general to the HR problems.

In service industry, the contact the customer usually has, is with the lowest functionary. It is for this reason the HR has to be more sensitive to the employees needs and quality and particular to the HR problems.

If in a factory there are "red flags" and demonstrations and an on going friction with employee organizations, the customers do not bother TILL their supplies are on schedule in terms of deliveries and quality, but if in a five star hotel, if the waiter is not corteous in service and in assisting the client/customer, there are immediate problems.

While it is true and essential that HR should ALWAYS be sensitive to employee needs as much as it must be sensitive to the markets/clients in delivering "service" through its employees and associates (and let there be no copmpromise on that!), the fact observed is that in manufacturing, for various reasons the emphasis is more on law, rights and duties, collective bargaining and negotiating, in service sector it is not so!

Therefore major differentiators between the HR of thse sectors are:

1) Level of education of employees,

2) Training to represent themselves in the company's desired profile,

3) Customer contact (this is also changing due to competition anyway!)

4) The nature of actually performed by the employees and their awareness to customer response.

No generalizations. There are differences. But the core is constant-HR must aim and attempt to "mould" employees in the vision and needs of the business WITHOUT ignoring the economic, social and psychological aspiration of employees. Not many of us have evolved/estimated a "profile" that we must help each employee to acquire for the good of the organization.



December 3, 2006
3rd December 2006 From India, Pune
i see there are difference in the verical.
Manfacturing industry may have both knowledge employe and workers
but service will have maximum knowledge employee. which make the difference in handling them..
the strategy will be different for both... like the compensation, incentives used,
so mnagement style can be different in service and manufuacturing...
but it is not a constant fact..
so like this mild changes are there
4th December 2006 From India, Vadodara
the main difference IS LINE OF SIGHT.The line which separates the back office from the front office.
In the hospital for example the NURSE also is front office(not the receptionist alone) because her interpersonal skills are also important.Hence the way you have to recruit ,train and motivate your employees is different.Effectiveness is more important.
There are many "moments of truth" in the service sector(ref:Jan carlsson download in the CITERHR download section)
whereas in manufacturing the operating efficiency is more important and customers don't see the operations.Output is more important.Everything is back office almost.Unions will be tougher.
9th December 2006 From India, Thrissur
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