Title

Components of manufacturing strategy within levels of U.S. manufacturing supply chains

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

4-7-2008

Abstract

This study built on past research that has identified manufacturing strategies from which a company derives its competitive advantages and related it to a multi-level analysis of manufacturing supply chains in the United States. Through a combination of literature review, structured interviews, and a questionnaire to a large national sample, 28 components of manufacturing strategy upon which a company uses to compete were identified. Factor analysis was used to group components into four factors that clustered logically into coherent manufacturing strategies (Internet Based Technology, Effectiveness of Design, Employee Experience/delivery, and Facility Location) across the five defined levels of supply chain. Significant differences in the importance of manufacturing strategy among the five levels of supply chain were found. For Strategy 1 (Internet Based Technology), end-product producers rate this strategy significantly more important than do sub-component suppliers. For Strategy 2 (Effectiveness of Design), major component suppliers and end product producers rate this strategy significantly more important than do sub-component suppliers. In addition, end product producers rate this strategy significantly more important than do component suppliers. With regard to Strategy 3 (Employee Experience/ Delivery), sub-component suppliers rate this strategy significantly more important than component, major component, and end product producers. However, major component suppliers rate this strategy as significantly more important as end product producers do. Lastly, with regard to Strategy 4 (Facility Location), end product producers rate this strategy as significantly less important as do the other levels in the supply chain. An interesting result of our research was that we identified many components of manufacturing strategy that might now be considered prerequisites for doing business, but which might not lead to competitive advantage. This research provides a snapshot of the status of how present manufacturing companies view their competitive strengths and will help them understand and define strategies for their futures.

Publication Title

E a M: Ekonomie a Management

Volume

11

Issue

1

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