Advanced processing technologies, managerial practices, and information systems have merged as vital elements of modern day production. It has been argued that these changes in practice and technology have yielded a strategic manufacturing environ‐ment in the 1990s which is very different from that which existed in the 1970s and 1980s. Examines and documents these changes through the findings of a study in the US power tool industry of the effectiveness of the product‐process matrix in explaining the operations strategies of firms over the period 1970‐1990. Utilizes data from a detailed literature‐based survey, from on‐site interviews with executives and tours of manufacturing plants in the industry to explore the strategies followed over time by main and niche power tool firms competing in the US market. Shows that, while the Hayes and Wheelwright product‐process model captures many aspects of strategic operations decisions through 1980, changes have dramatically altered the competitive landscape and that many of the trade‐offs central to the model are no longer central to the articulation and formulation of operations strategy.
International Journal of Operations & Production Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 1997
Keywords: Flexibility; Information technology; Operations strategy; Process focus; Tool manufacturers; USA
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