منابعی از انعطاف پذیری حجم و تاثیر آنها بر عملکرد
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Operations Management, Volume 20, Issue 5, September 2002, Pages 519–548
This research uses three in-depth case studies to establish the drivers and sources of volume flexibility. We find that in all three firms, there is significant concern among managers for gaining competitiveness through volume flexibility. We also find that there are several avenues for developing a volume flexible response and that deployment of these tactics is dependent on the availability of resources and systems. To verify some of these propositions we report on the outcomes of a field survey that measures the importance firms place on volume flexibility as well as the corresponding actions they take to remain volume flexible. Our critical finding is that short- and long-term sources of volume flexibility have a positive, albeit differential, impact on a firm’s performance.
Volume flexibility is defined as the ability of an organization to change volume levels in response to changing socio-economic conditions profitably and with minimal disruptions. Several developments have led to the emergence of volume flexibility as a key competitive strategy. As we witness the US economy going through a slowdown in the business cycle, there is overwhelming evidence in the current business press of companies who are struggling to adjust their upstream functions (resources) in order to respond to fluctuation in their downstream demand. For example, in response to slowing demand for their products and services, several major companies have announced workforce reductions and plant closures (e.g. Motorola, Lucent Technologies, Daimler Chrysler and General Motors, many airlines). On the other hand, in emerging industries such as networking and wireless communications, many of these companies are increasing their workforce and expanding their production capacity (e.g. Endwave and JDS Uniphase). At Delta Airlines, the pilots’ refusal to work overtime led to flight cancellations in November–December 2000 and Delta’s rankings on on-time performance dropped from best to worst in the industry. Timeliness of deliveries for Internet based orders posed a severe capacity management challenge for many firms. Many firms are considering flextime, enforced Fridays off (for example, at Charles Schwab) and “perma-temps” (temporary workers who have a near permanent status) in order to provide a volume flexible response. At the heart of many of these episodes, we find firms making strategic operational decisions in order to efficiently satisfy the fluctuating volume levels that their customers demand. Thus, volume flexibility has emerged as a key competitive strategy.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Perhaps the most significant contributions that we make in this research are to develop and test theory that extends existing knowledge about the sources of volume flexibility. In Section 2, we summarized some of the past research efforts on volume flexibility. Our research extends the existing knowledge on the measurement, deployment, and viability of a volume flexibility strategy and we use empirical research methodologies to test and validate our hypotheses. The use of empirical methods is significant because it addresses this gap in the literature that was documented by Gerwin (1993) and Scudder and Hill (1998). In addition, this research represents the first efforts to use both case studies and field survey methodologies to capture the sources of volume flexibility and relate it to performance. Second, we offer a rich perspective on the dimensions that affect the choice of alternative volume flexible responses with our case studies. Key conclusions made here include firms with dynamic product change are more concerned with creating a volume flexible response and are likely to use (1) long-term sources as compared to firms with stable product change; (2) capacity buffers as opposed to inventory buffers; and (3) cross-training as opposed to overtime, temps and shift schedules. We corroborate this somewhat in our field survey—overtime and cross-training are the two most popular devices for creating volume flexibility in the short-term (Table 7). We also corroborate the “inventory buffers first, and then capacity buffers” argument made at each of the three case sites (see Table 7). In general, we observe the dominant use of short-term sources in both the case studies and the field survey (Table 7). We validate our case observations that volume flexibility has a positive impact on financial and delivery performance (Table 9, Hypotheses 2 and 3, and Fig. 2). The triangulation of results between the case studies and the field survey allow us to reinforce the variable impact of the alternative sources of volume flexibility.