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This study was initiated to develop insights into the strategic directions and operational priorities West Michigan manufacturing organizations are setting for themselves. Specifically, this study examines the applicability and actual implementation of operations strategy elements by small and large West Michigan manufacturing organizations. Sixty-seven West Michigan firms participated in this study. The results indicate that large firms are more advanced when it comes to the implementation of six of the seven operations strategies.
The strategic power of manufacturing in supporting business strategy and creating competitive advantage has been an important theme in the literature on manufacturing management since the 1980s. Companies that have introduced just-in-time, total quality management, continuous improvement, design for manufacturability, or concurrent engineering appear to have reaped the benefits of quality, dependability, flexibility, high variety, and low cost.
Related literature on operations strategy and small business highlights the differences between large and small firms of managerial, operational, and organizational competencies. On the one hand, small firms are believed to have an edge over large firms in flexibility, innovation, and overhead costs, while on the other, they are limited by the amount of market power, capital and managerial resources. Research has also shown small firms to be different from large firms in terms of their operational priorities.
The major goal of this research was to examine the applicability and actual implementation of operations strategy elements by small and large West Michigan manufacturing organizations. For examining the above research issues, a comprehensive literature review of the operations strategy field was used as a basis to identify seven operations strategy implementation constructs/factors:
1 Total lead time
4 Customer service
5 Advanced technology and innovation
6 Human resources
7 Operations flexibility
Review of literature
The research done in the area of manufacturing strategy can be conveniently grouped into four research streams. Research stream #1 deals with the definition and overview articles on manufacturing strategy Several research studies provide …