Setting manufacturing strategy for a factory-within-a-factory
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Manufacturing strategy is a plan for moving a company from where it is to where it wants to be. Determining the best manufacturing strategy is not easy because of the wide range of choices and constraints a company faces. Manufacturing strategy frameworks or models are helpful because they identify the objects that comprise manufacturing strategy and organize these objects into a structure that enables a company to understand and use the objects to develop strategy. Many frameworks are possible and there is no single framework that is best for all companies. In this paper, we are interested in the levels of cost, quality, delivery, and flexibility that manufacturing provides for each product family it produces. This is determined primarily by a company's factories-within-a-factory (FWFs) and so the level of analysis in this paper is the FWF. We identify and examine five manufacturing strategy objects (production systems, manufacturing outputs, manufacturing levers, manufacturing capability, competitive analysis), linkages between these objects, and the manufacturing strategy framework for an FWF that follows from these objects and linkages. We apply the framework to the FWFs of two multi-national companies. This paper is descriptive and exploratory. Strategy objects, linkages, and framework are presented and their use is illustrated. The work of rigorous empirical analysis is left for future research.
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