Many service-oriented systems are not well equipped to guarantee that service time is optimized. We have specifically examined two industrial systems which implement service-oriented architectures in real, field environments. We discovered that both were not engineered to properly address surges in service request rate. In the absence of an integral solution, it is difficult and costly to (re-) engineer such a solution in the field. The challenge faced by this study was to deliver a low cost solution, without re-engineering the target systems. This paper introduces such a generic solution. The solution slows-down some components to deliver improvement in request service time. It was implemented, tested, and successfully applied to two industrial systems with no need to modify their logic or architecture. Experiments with those systems exhibited significant improvement in performance. These results have validated our solution and its industrial applicability across systems and environments. © 2010 ACM.