The health of the manufacturing function in a company is at the heart of its success and having a manufacturing strategy which aligns with overall business strategy in an organisation is essential.

A manufacturing strategy which shapes the structure, infrastructure and capabilities of the manufacturing function must be combined with a pragmatic approach to continuous improvement at an operational level if a company is to produce products at the rate, quality and cost that ensure competitiveness in their chosen markets.

Manufacturing strategy can be defined as a set of co-ordinated objectives and action programmes applied to a firm's manufacturing function and aimed at securing medium and long term, sustainable advantage over competitors. The manufacturing function requires a strategy to ensure a match between the company's markets and the existing and future abilities of the production system.

Manufacturing strategy generally addresses issues including:

  • Manufacturing capacity
  • Production facilities
  • Use of technology
  • Vertical integration
  • Quality
  • Production planning/materials control
  • Organisation
  • Personnel

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