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Manufacturing and supply chain flexibility – towards a tool to analyse production network coordination at operational level

Anna Fredriksson (Department of Technology Management and Economics, Division of Logistics and Transportation, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Carl Wänström (Department of Technology Management and Economics, Division of Logistics and Transportation, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1753-8297

Article publication date: 10 June 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the manufacturing and supply chain flexibility impact on the ability to transfer production between the units, i.e. production network coordination. To take advantage of available opportunities for different actors and locations, companies need to effectively transfer production.

Design/methodology/approach

The case studied was a transfer of production between The Netherlands and Sweden. The case was selected based on the opportunity it provided to perform a longitudinal study of an ongoing production transfer.

Findings

Different flexibility dimensions have different importance depending on the receiver or sender. A production transfer can be divided into four parts: knowledge, physical, administrative and supply chain transfer. The manufacturing flexibility have a high impact on the physical and knowledge transfer, the new product development dimension also have a major impact on the administrative transfer in combination with the supply chain flexibility dimension IT. The supply chain transfer was impacted by the supply chain flexibility dimensions except IT.

Practical implications

The paper presents a first step towards a tool for analysing the strength and weaknesses within units in relation to receiving/sending production. Furthermore, that the production transfer should be viewed as four parts with interdependencies help to identify the order of the transfer process.

Originality/value

This paper widens the flexibility concept to a network level. Furthermore, it describes the link between the strategic decision of coordination in the network and the operational ability of the network to accomplish this change.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Vinnova for funding this research.

Citation

Fredriksson, A. and Wänström, C. (2014), "Manufacturing and supply chain flexibility – towards a tool to analyse production network coordination at operational level", Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 173-194. https://doi.org/10.1108/SO-04-2014-0003

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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