Both postponement and mass customiza tion are covered

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Both postponement and mass customiza- tion are covered more fully in Chapter 12, "Designing Effective Supply Chains." Make-to-Stock Strategy Manufacturing firms that hold items in stock for immediate delivery, thereby minimizing customer delivery times, use a make-to-stock strategy. This strategy is feasible for standardized products with high volumes and reasonably accurate forecasts. It is the inventory strategy of choice for line or continuous-flow processes. Examples of products produced with a make-to-stock strategy include garden tools, electronic components, soft drinks, and chemicals. Combining a line process with the make-to-stock strategy is sometimes called mass production, It is what the popular press commonly envisions as the classical manufacturing process, because the en- vironment is stable and predictable, with workers repeating narrowly defined tasks with low divergence. Layout Selecting process structures for the various processes housed in a facility is a strategic decision, but must be followed by a more tactical decision-creating a layout. Alayoutisthe physical arrangement of operations (or departrnents) created from the various processes and puts them in tangible form. For organizational pur- poses, processes tend to be clustered together into operations or deparrnents. An operafiorz is a group ofhu- man and capital resources performing all or part of one or more processes. For example, an operation could be several customer service representatives in a customer reception area; a group of machines and workers producing cell phones; or a marketing department. Regardless of how processes are grouped together orga- nizationally, many ofthem cut across deparfrnental boundaries. The flows across departrnental lines could be informational, services, or products. Process structures that create more flows across departrnental lines, as with job or batch processes, are the most challenging layout problems. Supplement K, "Layout," provides a more in-depth analysis of how to gather information and develop detailed layout plans. Process Strategy Decisions Having covered process structure decisions in both service and manufacturing organizations, we turn our attention now to the other three major process strategy decisions shown in Figure 2.1-customer involvement, resource flexibiliry and capital intensity. Gustomer lnvolvement Customer involvement reflects the ways in which customers become part of the process and the extent of their participation. As illustrated in Managerial Practice 2.1, it is especially important for many service processes such as eBay, particularly if customer contact is (or should be) high. Possible Advantages The advantages of a more customer-focused process might increase the net value to the customer. Some customers seek active participation in and control over the service process, particularly if theywill enjoy savings in both price and time.

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