Empirical studies for achieving manufacturing flexibility goals have centered around the uses and advantages of advanced technology. Few studies have examined alternative ways of attaining flexibility objectives. Strategic sourcing finds mention in the literature as a potential route to manufacturing flexibility. However, little empirical evidence exists to validate this view. Literature also describes manufacturing flexibility as a multidimensional concept but fails to adequately examine the synergies among the different dimensions. This research investigates the influence of strategic sourcing and advanced manufacturing technologies on specific manufacturing flexibilities, and examines relationships among different flexibilities. The results are tied to manufacturing cost reduction. The findings suggest that strategic sourcing can assist in the achievement of modification flexibilities. Volume and modification flexibility are found to influence new product flexibility. Modification flexibility is found to influence manufacturing cost reduction. The results show that strategic sourcing can be used to target specific manufacturing flexibilities and that interflexibility synergies need to be considered while formulating flexibility‐based manufacturing strategies.
Decision Sciences – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1999
Keywords: ; ; ;
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