This research explores how a manufacturer’s business context and production capabilities can influence its strategic position. It seeks to develop a refined understanding of the value of production and how production can be the basis for a manufacturing company’s strategy and its competitive advantage.
Many companies focus merely on optimizing production and see the value of production as the amount of value added during the making of a product. This narrow conception of value from production understates the broad and significant role production can play. Instead, production can help companies shape strategy and gain competitive advantage. This reconsideration of the value of production is especially important as companies face increasing pressure to take their production offshore to lower cost countries risking the loss of the benefits from engaging in production and building production capabilities.
This research uses insight from managing and production directors at over 50 UK manufacturing companies collected via in-depth, face-to-face interviews to develop a refined and more detailed understanding of the value of production.
This research shows how manufacturing companies engage in production and develop the capabilities necessary to support their market position, e.g. as a product innovator, quality or cost leader, or delivery or customization specialist. Key outputs from this research include:
- Refined definitions(s) of high value production and a deeper understanding of the value of production
- Tools and techniques for assessing the value and significance of production capability
- Characterizations of different ‘classes’ of high value production across a range of technologies and sectors
- Guidelines for industrialists and policymakers for inclusion in strategy and policy formulation processes
- Publications and seminars