The ability of manufacturing companies to adapt to their changing environment is frequently a key to long-term success. As a consequence the strategic flexibility of manufacturing operations has become an increasingly important issue for organisations. There have been much theoretical work and some case studies in this domain. This paper reports part of a major study in the area. A key stage in this work has been an empirical study of UK manufacturing to investigate a broad range of issues surrounding manufacturing operations and strategic flexibility. In part this has been carried out through a questionnaire survey. This paper summarises some of the principal findings. These include respondents' descriptions of their business strategies, the part played by manufacturing, the interfaces with customers, and the role of the information system and its contribution to manufacturing. This is complemented by a summary of 32 interviews/case histories which allow these issues to be explored further and which provide the input to the subsequent stages of the overall project.
International Journal of Operations & Production Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2000
Keywords: Flexibility; Surveys; Case studies
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