Assessing manufacturing plant competitiveness: an empirical field study
journal contributionposted on 05.06.2017, 03:16 by Gordon, John, Sohal, Amrik S.
In spite of the recognition that the manufacturing function can create and sustain a competitive advantage for the firm, only a few empirical studies have examined the relationship between manufacturing practices and plant performance. In this paper, based on responses from a large number of Canadian manufacturing plants and a number of Australian manufacturing plants, we identify the manufacturing practices which distinguish the "Most Successful" (MS) plants from the "Least Successful" (LS) plants. Success was measured by asking respondents to indicate year-over-year trends for each of 22 performance measures by specifying whether there had been an increase, a decrease or no change. The differences in the manufacturing practices used by the MS plants and the LS plants reflect three general distinctions between the two groups: (i) adopting a logical portfolio of practices which relate to competitive priorities, (ii) workforce focus, and (iii) process orientation.