Quality and strategy within U.S. based manufacturing supply chains
Firms of today can no longer behave and think like autonomous business entities. Firms of today need to be integrated with their suppliers, sub-suppliers and end product producers in order to form cohesive supply chains. Business success is determined through supply chain success rather than individual entity success. ^ Knowledge of quality and strategic methods in all levels of the supply chain are ways of achieving supply chain success. In this research study, we first focus on how quality is defined as well as its effects upon a supply chain. In order to investigate this research issue, a multiple case study was developed through a series of interviews with multiple managers from seven different levels in a connected supply chain. The second and third part of our study focuses on determining current quality management practices and manufacturing strategies. Research determined through the multiple case studies was used to enhance a questionnaire that contained 89 quality management practices and 28 components of manufacturing strategy. The survey was administered to 3,375 managers that represented 3,285 different manufacturing companies in the United States. 634 of the returned surveys were analyzed. ^ Our research determined the current quality management practices along with the most and least applicable categories of quality management. Quality management practices were found to be very similar throughout the self defined five levels of supply chain. Current components of manufacturing strategy were identified and significant differences in strategies that each of the five levels considers important were found. Factor analysis was used to extract four factors of manufacturing strategy. Although significant differences were found between levels for these four strategies, ranked importance was found to be generally consistent. ^ This research study is part of a much larger study on quality in manufacturing that is being partially funded by the American Society for Quality. Through case studies analysis and assessment of survey results, this research study provides a snapshot of current U.S. based manufacturing supply chains. Knowing the relationships associated with levels of supply chain will better arm decision-makers to directing quality management and choosing manufacturing strategies for their supply chains. ^
Business Administration, Management
Christopher John Roethlein,
"Quality and strategy within U.S. based manufacturing supply chains"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).