Organizations can be divided into two broad categories: manufacturing organizations and service organizations, each posing unique challenges for the operations function. There are two primary distinctions between these categories. First, manufacturing organizations produce physical, tangible goods that can be stored in inventory before they are needed. By contrast, service organizations produce intangible products that cannot be produced ahead of time. Second, in manufacturing organizations most customers have no direct contact with the operation. Customer contact occurs through distributors and retailers. For example, a customer buying a car at a car dealership never comes into contact with the automobile factory. However, in service organizations the customers are typically present during the creation of the service. Hospitals, colleges, theaters, and barber shops are examples of service organizations in which the customer is present during the creation of the service.

images Manufacturing organizations

Organizations that primarily produce a tangible product and typically have low customer contact.

images Service organizations

Organizations that primarily produce an intangible product, such as ideas, assistance, or information, and ...

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