A major decision area for manufacturing firms is the strategy that assigns specific products, processes, customers, and markets to individual facilities within multi‐facility firms. No empirical studies have been reported that identify differentiating factors in manufacturing structures or overall facility strategies. Based on responses from 305 plants, this research empirically determines the major dimensions differentiating manufacturing facility structures. Most of these support previous theories of decisions being made on differences in products, processes, materials, and customers/markets. Strategic groupings are determined and defined as “standardizers”, “customizers”, and automators”. Differences in each of these groupings are investigated for competitive priorities and performance indicators.
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