Speed is now a key competitive factor in industry. Responsiveness is a significant component, which can create speed in a system. In the author's previous research four groups of industries were identified with respect to responsiveness characteristics – off‐the‐shelf, safety stock, assembler and customizer. This paper focuses on one industrial sector within the off‐the‐shelf class – the food industry in Thailand – to study responsiveness in depth. A survey was conducted investigating critical areas for performance measurement with respect to responsiveness. A more precise set of critical areas for responsiveness were obtained. The results highlight the importance of planning, sourcing and inventory areas in this sector. Then an in‐depth interview was conducted in 11 case studies. Those three areas identified in the survey were investigated. It was found that there are three methods of creating responsiveness responding by production plan adjustment to customer; responding by production plan adjustment to raw material available level; and responding by providing raw material. Thus, according to the three responding methods, a framework for responsiveness assessment was developed. It also implies that nature of industry, types of stimuli and raw material significantly influence the areas for creating ability to respond.
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