Industrialising the service sector is a false economy and fatal in the public sector

June 8, 2009

Alistair Darling has demanded further £15bn efficiency savings through more IT-led front-office/back-office public-service designs. In the accompanying Treasury report, these totals are justified by ‘proxies, assumptions and estimates’, not evidence. Indeed, the evidence points firmly the other way; the further industrialisation of public services will inevitably lead to higher costs and worse services. By John Seddon. A version of this article appears in Public Finance, June 2009. The folly of industrialisation began in the private sector. Advances in telephony led companies to centralise telephone work in call centres, taking advantage... More