The pursuit of responsiveness in production environments: from flexibility to reconfigurability
|Author/s||Ortega Jiménez, César Humberto
Domínguez Machuca, José Antonio
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Economía Financiera y Dirección de Operaciones|
|Abstract||Many production plants are pursuing responsiveness (i.e., timely purposeful change guided by external demands) as one of their main performance priorities and are looking for ways for their responsiveness to be improved. ...
Many production plants are pursuing responsiveness (i.e., timely purposeful change guided by external demands) as one of their main performance priorities and are looking for ways for their responsiveness to be improved. One of the ways that they are currently trying to do this is through the flexibility provided by production practices. On the other hand, other systems are also being now developed based on reconfigurability (such as reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMSs)) which can enhance a company’s technological ability to respond to market requirements by reconfiguring its products and processes. This paper analyses how current production programmes can be a prior step to achieving reconfigurability. The analysis uses a holistic framework that considers a number of linkages or combinations of practices (technology, JIT, TQ, HR, TPM and production strategy) and how these enhance performance in terms of cost, quality and responsiveness. The framework is tested with data collected from a survey of 314 plants worldwide using a series of canonical correlation analyses. The results confirm not only the importance of practice linkages that do not only include technology as the launch pad for reconfigurability, but also that in their pursuit of responsiveness it is vital for plants to implement practices in the technology programme as well as to link them to organisational programmes. The framework presents a contribution to both theory and practice. It offers novel insights into the programme and production practices involved in transitioning from flexibility to reconfigurability in the pursuit of responsiveness and provides a basis for future research.
|Funding agencies||Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MICIN). España
Junta de Andalucía
|Citation||Ortega Jiménez, C.H., Domínguez Machuca, J.A., Garrido-Vega, P. y Filippini, R. (2015). The pursuit of responsiveness in production environments: from flexibility to reconfigurability. International Journal of Production Economics, 163, 157-172.|