It is expected that, as the next step in the development of distribution channels, companies will decentralize their final manufacturing into their distribution centers. It has also been suggested that companies are increasingly beginning to customize products based on customer orders. Both the repositioning of final manufacturing into the distribution channel and the move towards customization‐on‐order are related to the implementation of postponed manufacturing. A framework for the analyses of supply chain reconfiguration patterns in the context of internationalization strategy is introduced and used in eight case studies. Results suggest that the implementation of postponed manufacturing require not only the reconfiguration of the logistics systems, but also that of other operations in the supply chain, thus creating a cross‐functional effect. In contrast to the literature different paths are found which are viable for structuring the reconfiguration process. Finally, different postponement applications have been found, suggesting that the existing framework for customization in supply chains needs extension.
The International Journal of Logistics Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 1998
Keywords: Manufacturing; Supply chain; Europe; Distribution centres
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