Difference Between Manufacturing and Service

Manufacturing vs Service

Manufacturing and service are two very important sectors of the economy. They contribute to the development of economy, infrastructure and the quality of life in a country. Manufacturing, as the name implies, pertains to production of goods that are used and consumed by the people. On the other hand, services refer to industries that do not produce goods but provide invaluable services to the people such as health services, hospitality, aviation, banking, and so on. On the looks of it, manufacturing and services look poles apart and indeed they are despite having commonalities in HR, their environments, and the end results they seek. There are many other differences between manufacturing and service industries that will be talked about in this article.


All consumer products and machinery used in manufacturing of products fall within the manufacturing sector. In general, it is to be remembered that goods or products that have a value in the marketplace are considered to have come from manufacturing industries. We can see what is the outcome or output of manufacturing and the raw materials, machinery, and labor that goes into manufacturing. In manufacturing, there is no direct contact with the end users of products and the participation of consumers in manufacturing is also minimal, if any. Standardized technical processes are used in manufacturing, and resources, both material and human, are used in the production of goods. Manufacturing industry is also characterized by heavy investments of capital, men, and machinery. In manufacturing, production and productivity are measurable, and the top management is all the time looking for ways to improve both production and productivity.


Service sector is that important cog in the wheels of an economy that has always been there since time immemorial. There is no production of goods in service industries, and there are no tangible outputs. There are only intangible outputs and those are used and consumed very quickly by the customers.

Let us see this by an example. A person, when he catches a disease or meets an accident needs hospitalization, where doctors use their expertise to treat him after diagnosis. He is given medicines and doctors operate upon him, to bring relief to his symptoms. Thus, it is clear that no goods are being produced, and the tangible products like drugs are quickly consumed by the customer. However, the main focus is on the expertise of the doctors which is integral to the entire treatment procedure. There is a direct contact between the professional and the customer, and the consumer has active participation in the industry.

Similarly, when a person hires the services of an attorney, he is not getting a product but the consultancy from an expert that is instrumental in getting a decision from the jury or a court of law in his favor.

What is the difference between Manufacturing and Service?

• Manufacturing has very little contact with the end consumer whereas there is an active and crucial participation of customer in the service industry

• The focus is on technology, machinery, and labor in manufacturing where the focus in service is on expertise or knowledge of the service provider

• There is a tangible output in manufacturing whereas there is no tangible output in the form of a product in service

• There are differences in strategies, planning, core competencies, technologies, environments, and the welfare measures used in manufacturing and service.