Manufacturing Flow Management

Manufacturing Flow Management

P RO D U K T I O N
This article was originally printed in The International Journal of Logistics volume 14, number 2, copyright 2003. Distributed by Emerald. Reprinted with permission.

The manufacturing flow management process
Manufacturing flow management is the supply chain management process that includes all activities necessary to move products through the plants and to obtain, implement, and manage manufacturing flexibility in the supply chain. Manufacturing flexibility reflects the ability to make a variety of products in a timely manner at the lowest possible cost. To achieve the desired level of manufacturing flexibility, planning and execution must extend beyond the four walls of the manufacturer.

By Thomas J. Goldsby, assistant professor of Marketing and Logistics, The Ohio State University and Sebastian J. Garci’a-Dastugue, director of Research, Institute de Estudios para la Excelenda Competitiva

goods sold, in 2002. The proportion of cost of goods sold outsourced in this industry is expected to increase to 42% by 2005.5 In large part, outsourced manufacturing is growing as a result of the need for manufacturing flexibility.6 Manufacturing flexibility enables greater responsiveness to changes in customers’ product preferences and quantities demanded.7 Determining the right degree of flexibility is important to virtually any company involved in the supply, production, distribution or sales of goods, and is at the center of the manufacturing flow management process. While manufacturing activities might be outsourced to suppliers, the commitment to quality and the managerial responsibility has to be retained at the firm. Through the manufacturing flow management process, management coordinates all activities necessary to move products through the plants, and to obtain, implement, and manage manufacturing flexibility in the supply chain. Manufacturing flow management should be implemented across the members of the supply chain that...

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