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A taxonomy of international manufacturing networks

Feldmann, Andreas and Olhager, Jan LU (2019) In Production Planning and Control 30(2-3). p.163-178
Abstract

Manufacturing firms with multiple product groups do not need to involve all factories in the production of all product groups. Some factories may specialize on a small set of products, while others participate in the manufacturing of a broader set of products. However, current theories on international manufacturing networks do not explain in detail how organizations design international manufacturing networks for different products or product groups involving different sets of factories. This research investigates 20 product group networks at five global manufacturing firms. We distinguish between three types of factories: component manufacturing factories, assembly factories, and integrated factories (having both component... (More)

Manufacturing firms with multiple product groups do not need to involve all factories in the production of all product groups. Some factories may specialize on a small set of products, while others participate in the manufacturing of a broader set of products. However, current theories on international manufacturing networks do not explain in detail how organizations design international manufacturing networks for different products or product groups involving different sets of factories. This research investigates 20 product group networks at five global manufacturing firms. We distinguish between three types of factories: component manufacturing factories, assembly factories, and integrated factories (having both component manufacturing and assembly). Furthermore, we identify four network types: linear, divergent, convergent, and mixed structures. These four types exhibit distinctly different characteristics in terms of key characteristics, factory roles, product types, process types, market types, sourcing, and key managerial challenges. Most networks are relatively small–on an average consisting of four factories and some contain a number of subnetworks that are self-sufficient in terms of material flow and serve separate market regions. We identify two new types of factory roles related to component manufacturing competences, which we call ‘strategic feeder’ and ‘full lead’.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Case study research, configuration, coordination, exploratory study, factory roles, global operations, multi-plant network, subnetworks
in
Production Planning and Control
volume
30
issue
2-3
pages
16 pages
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:85064546665
ISSN
0953-7287
DOI
10.1080/09537287.2018.1534269
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
33522da6-4e87-4641-b5ee-fe9a23f695f1
date added to LUP
2019-05-06 13:01:12
date last changed
2019-12-03 02:07:44
@article{33522da6-4e87-4641-b5ee-fe9a23f695f1,
  abstract     = {<p>Manufacturing firms with multiple product groups do not need to involve all factories in the production of all product groups. Some factories may specialize on a small set of products, while others participate in the manufacturing of a broader set of products. However, current theories on international manufacturing networks do not explain in detail how organizations design international manufacturing networks for different products or product groups involving different sets of factories. This research investigates 20 product group networks at five global manufacturing firms. We distinguish between three types of factories: component manufacturing factories, assembly factories, and integrated factories (having both component manufacturing and assembly). Furthermore, we identify four network types: linear, divergent, convergent, and mixed structures. These four types exhibit distinctly different characteristics in terms of key characteristics, factory roles, product types, process types, market types, sourcing, and key managerial challenges. Most networks are relatively small–on an average consisting of four factories and some contain a number of subnetworks that are self-sufficient in terms of material flow and serve separate market regions. We identify two new types of factory roles related to component manufacturing competences, which we call ‘strategic feeder’ and ‘full lead’.</p>},
  author       = {Feldmann, Andreas and Olhager, Jan},
  issn         = {0953-7287},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2-3},
  pages        = {163--178},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Production Planning and Control},
  title        = {A taxonomy of international manufacturing networks},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09537287.2018.1534269},
  doi          = {10.1080/09537287.2018.1534269},
  volume       = {30},
  year         = {2019},
}