Formulating Manufacturing Strategy to Ensure That Dependable Product Delivery From the Costume Jewelry Company Literature Review

Pages: 12 (3480 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 12  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business

¶ … theoretical information with relevance to the subject.

The topic of manufacturing strategy, with emphasis on a strategy that ensures dependable product delivery, is a rather wide topic, capturing the attention of researchers of all times, and from all corners of the world. In other words, there is an abundance of resources and the challenge for this chapter would be represented by the identification and integration of sources containing the most relevant and reliable data.

In order to ensure information stability and reliability, the current chapter centralizes data from three types of literary sources, each with their own advantages and limitations. These refer to the following:

Books and textbooks, which address the topic of manufacturing strategy in an in-depth manner and provide vast information on the topic. The limitation of these sources is represented by the fact that they might be outdated and that they might be inefficient to use as the researcher would have to seek the necessary information, rather than have it easily accessible.

Peer-reviewed articles in specialized journals or the research efforts of various universities or institutions. These sources can sometimes be difficult to access due to restrictions and they might also address niche subjects, not always relevant to the topic approached. Nevertheless, they would be more concentrated on the topic presented and more actual than the books.

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Last, there are the internet and other media sources, which have the advantage of being easily accessible and efficient to use; also, they address the most recent situations supporting the study in being of actuality. Still, they are seldom peer reviewed and their reliability has to be verified.

All in all then, the current literature review chapter represents the theoretical setting in which the research effort would strive to respond to the research questions and formulate sound recommendations to improving the manufacturing strategy to enhance product deliverability at the jeweler. Otherwise put, the literature review represents the starting point for the future analysis.

Literature Review on Formulating Manufacturing Strategy to Ensure That Dependable Product Delivery From the Costume Jewelry Company Assignment

2.2. Defining manufacturing strategy

In understanding the concept of the manufacturing strategy, it is useful to start off at the definition of the simple strategy. In this sense, a strategy is understood as the sustained desire of an individual or a group to attain an objective, and also as the course of action taken by the respective party in ensuring that they attain the respective objectives (Chandler, 1962).

However explicit and comprehensive, the definition of the strategy is rather generic, and it reveals that there is an increased need for specificity in ensuring the comprehension and applicability of the concept. In such a setting then, PhD Ken Platts and the Institute for Manufacturing for the University of Cambridge identified three sets of organizational strategies, namely:

Corporate strategy, at which level the company identifies the nature of the business activities to be conducted and the industry in which the firm would operate

The business strategy, at which level the company focuses on the creation of competitive advantages within the selected industry, and last

The functional strategies, at which level the focus falls on the usage of an organizational function to create competitive advantages.

According to Platts, the manufacturing strategy falls under the category of the functional strategies, and its implementation is derived from the decisions made at the corporate and business level. According to Skinner (1985), the manufacturing strategy has a top-down characteristic, in the meaning that it is dictated by the business objectives and its scope is that of following functional instructions to ensure the attainment of the business goals. At this level, the manufacturing strategy can take five specific forms, based on the level at which it is being used. These five levels include the following:

Manufacturing strategies at the level of the manufacturing plant and the adjacent equipment

Manufacturing strategies at the level of the functions of planning and control of production

Manufacturing strategies at the level of labor control and staffing decisions

Manufacturing decisions at the level of product design and engineering, and last

Manufacturing strategies at the level of organization, administration and management (Skinner, 1985).

Overall, a manufacturing strategy is an organized effort implemented by the company in the support of its business goals, and related to at least one of the five manufacturing levels. Ken Platts concludes by saying that:

"A manufacturing strategy is defined by a pattern of decisions, both structural and infrastructural, which determine the capability of a manufacturing system and specify how it will operate to meet a set of manufacturing objectives which are consistent with overall business objectives" (Platts).

Other definitions of the concept of manufacturing strategy, as revealed in the available literature are revealed throughout the following lines:

"Manufacturing strategy ensures a match, or congruence, between the company's markets and the existing and future abilities of the production system" (Lee and Snyder, 2007).

"An effective manufacturing strategy is a written plan for beating competitors on price-quality metrics" (Hall, 2008).

The last definition to be revealed is the one provided by the management specialists at the Chartered Management Institute, who provide a definition similar to others in the literature, yet emphasize more on the existence of manufacturing objectives and their connectivity with the business objectives.

A manufacturing strategy represents "the direction a business takes with its manufacturing operations with the aim of achieving success in the long-term. Manufacturing strategy is a functional element of corporate strategy and involves the development of a series of manufacturing objectives to meet the overall objectives of the business. It typically covers such things as cost, quality, delivery and flexibility, and the trade-offs between them" (Chartered Management Institute).

2.3. Delivery delays

In the development and implementation of the manufacturing strategies, the economic agents seek quick solutions and attainment of their pre-established objectives. Yet, on quite common situations, the strategic implementation does not immediately lead to the expected outcomes, as delays are encountered. In a generic setting, a project delay is understood as a situation in which the delivery of the products is completed later than the initially established date (Barron's Finance and Investment Dictionary, 2012).

Delays in the delivery of the manufacturing products are several problems within a manufacturing plant as they give the partners the right to apply penalty costs for untimely delivery; in other words, the firm would be subjected to increasing costs, as well as damaged organizational reputation as a reliable business partner.

The causes of delivery delays in manufacturing organizations are multiple and vary from one situation to the other. However, some common reasons include inadequate managerial styles and models, limited performance of the projects, or external factors, such as delays in supply receiving or delays generated by the customers. The following lines address some of the more notable factors influencing project delays.

a) Poor Organization Culture and Management

Organization culture has impact on employees' motivation, employees' attitude, level of productivity and efficiency, quality of work, and creativity of employees. If the company has a poor organization culture, this would lead to increasing rework rate due to low morale and performance levels among the staff members (Campbell, Stonehouse and Houston, 1999).

Another cause of project delays is represented by a low quality of documentation and information management (Harrison, Lee and Neale, 2003). Specifically, the lack of quality of documentation management could result in the generation and usage of incorrect information, unclearly defined data, delayed data submitting or even the loss of documentation; ultimately, all these lead to delays in the project delivery.

b) Poor Project Performance

Engaging in several projects at the same time represents yet another cause of project delay. Lack of capacity in production process will overload work in production process, which will lead to lack of quality product. In such a setting, the immediate result would be that of a need to redo the poor quality products, such an action leading to additional costs and increased operational redundancies and inefficiencies.

In other words, the problems internal to the manufacturing team are multiple and include even faulty designs and delays in drawing, all which cause delays in the department's delivery of the final products. Additionally, delays caused by poor project performances can be caused by changes in the design of the product as the manufacturing advances or changes the parts.

"Repercussions from late release of engineering drawing to the manufacturing floor, design changes and parts shortages continue to cause delays in maturing manufacturing processes and force inefficient production lines workarounds" (Sullivan).

Other examples of how poor project management could cause delivery delays include the over-usage of the production line, to a point at which it becomes unable to efficiently and qualitatively complete production tasks; inadequate focus on quality aspects before the start of the manufacturing operations; poor communication within the team as well between the team and the external parties, or the inadequate training of the labor force within the manufacturing plant (China Performance Group, 2012).

c) Equipment problems

Within the modern day business community, increasing emphasis is placed on the role of the knowledge worker to support the creation of value for the company… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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