The Relevancy of Agile Manufacturing in Small and Medium Enterprises: Using examples from the computer, electronic and optical manufacturing industry in Sweden
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Background: Today’s business environment is characterized by fast-changing technologies and shorter product life-cycles, well-educated customers and fierce competition. Within this context, agile manufacturing is praised in the literature as one of the solutions for achieving and maintaining a competitive advantage in turbulent times.
Aim: The purpose of this master thesis is to fill in the identified theoretical and empirical gaps by exploring and scrutinizing the relevancy of the agile manufacturing concept in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the computer, electronic and optical manufacturing industry in Sweden. Furthermore, a model illustrating the agile manufacturing enablers applied in the selected industry will be developed.
Definition: Agile manufacturing can be defined as a new production concept integrating employees, suppliers and customers, as well as units of production by using the support of software and communication systems.
Methodology: Eight interviews with managers have been conducted in order to capture the big picture of how the SMEs in the chosen industry enable responsiveness to changes. A survey answered by 50 SMEs within the same industry was carried out in order to test the interview findings on a larger scale and to provide the basis for a further comparison with the existing agile manufacturing body of knowledge
Results: Agile manufacturing is indeed relevant in the studied industry as it is driven by agility drivers and thus characterized by fast-changing technologies and well-educated customers. However, the agile manufacturing enablers partly differ from the ones praised in the literature and are more adjusted to the size and characteristics of SMEs. Nevertheless, a conscious awareness of the agile manufacturing concept itself was not found and the enablers identified were rather described as logical business thinking.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 107 p.
Agility, Agile Manufacturing (Enablers), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Turbulence, Computer, Electronic and Optical Manufacturing Industry, Sweden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-71058ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A--11/01058--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-71058DiVA: diva2:444602
Subject / course
Master's Programme in Business Administration – Strategic
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law