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Future competitiveness: viewpoints from manufacturers and service providers

Kongkiti Phusavat (Department of Industrial Engineering, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Rapee Kanchana (Department of Industrial Engineering, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 14 March 2008




This paper aims to compare and evaluate competitive priorities between manufacturers and service providers. A concern over the trends of moving manufacturing/production units overseas, while maintaining essential service operations at the companies' headquarters, encouraged senior administrators of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) to suggest the study. This study was part of an effort to support FTI members facing separate locations between manufacturing and services operations, and to help evaluate its initiatives' usefulness towards these members.


The survey, developed by Takala, was modified to gather the opinions from top executives of 75 manufacturers and service providers. This survey consisted of six criteria or competitive priorities with a total of 31 dimensions. The basic statistical techniques such as Cronbach's α were applied.


The paper finds that in general, top executives from manufacturing and service operations shared and agreed that delivery/service provision and quality represented their future competitive priorities.

Practical implications

The selection of these two competitive priorities was generally consistent with several previous studies. These findings supported past and current initiatives by the FTI as well as its policy on working together with key public agencies/organizations towards an achievement of excellent quality. Top executives, facing a challenge on separate operations – manufacturing plant in one location while maintaining service operations at another location, could synchronize and coordinate their future efforts such as strategies and plans around delivery/service provision, and quality.


The knowledge on competitive priorities could potentially help companies, regardless of operational types, to further formulate operational strategies, and later develop action plans. This knowledge could also serve as feedback (e.g. usefulness and effectiveness) and a milestone for the FTI's support and initiatives for its members.



Phusavat, K. and Kanchana, R. (2008), "Future competitiveness: viewpoints from manufacturers and service providers", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 108 No. 2, pp. 191-207.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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