The impact of manufacturing and supply chain improvement initiatives: A survey comparing make-to-order and make-to-stock firms

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Manufacturing firms aim at improving both internal and external processes to improve the competitive advantage. Such initiatives include lean practices as well as supplier rationalization and integration. In this paper, we analyze these improvement initiatives and their impact on business performance. In particular, we explore potential differences between make-to-order (MTO) and make-to-stock (MTS) firms. We use data from 216 Australian manufacturing firms. We find a clear difference of improvement focus between MTO and MTS firms. MTO firms exhibit a significant impact of supplier integration on business performance, but not for lean practices and supplier rationalization. The situation is completely reversed for MTS firms, since they have significant effects for internal lean practices and supplier rationalization, but not for logistics integration with supplier. The results show that the distinction between MTO and MTS firms is important when analyzing manufacturing and supply chain improvement initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159 - 165
Number of pages7
JournalOMEGA International Journal of Management Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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