Purpose – This paper seeks to evaluate the implications of operations flexibility in industrial supply chains and the effect it has on supporting initiatives designed for build‐to‐order (BTO) manufacturing. Design/methodology/approach – An industrial case study is used to investigate operations flexibility and its impact on industrial supply chains. Tools used in the analysis include value stream mapping (VSM) and a scorecard for performance measurement. The scorecard tool comprises daily utilisation figures, product demand and responsiveness measures such as supply chain cycle times and pipeline inventory. Findings – The results of the analysis confirm that supply chain VSM and scorecarding are effective tools that can be used to measure the performance of supply chains through the identification of inefficiencies associated with supply chain integration/design. The analysis shows the duration of value‐adding and non‐value adding activities in the entire chain. Also, the analysis has revealed the close relationship between operations flexibility and the supply chain flexibility dimensions of people and information systems. Research limitations/implications – The research presented analyses the operations and the supply chain of one industrial case study. The analysis does not cover the life cycle of the products mentioned in the study. Practical implications – The study addresses the need, in the manufacturing industry, for tools that can be used in the analysis of manufacturing operations and supply chains, ultimately providing guidelines that can be used in the design of policies focused on performance improvement. Originality/value – BTO initiatives are growing in importance in the manufacturing industry. The flexibility of operations and the supply chain are closely related to the concept of BTO in manufacturing.
Business Process Management Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 31, 2007
Keywords: Supply chain management, Flexible organizations, Operations management
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