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  • 1.
    Andersson, Roy
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
    Hilletofth, Per
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management. Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
    Manfredsson, Peter
    Business Unit Networks, Microwave and Access Supply, Ericsson, Borås, Sweden.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Department of Industrial Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Lean Six Sigma strategy in telecom manufacturing2014In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 114, no 6, p. 904-921Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to elaborate, how the use of a joint-use strategy of Lean and Six Sigma can improve flexibility, robustness, and agility. Telecom manufacturing has been under tremendous change after dot.com bubble burst in the early 2000, and new competition has originated from Asia. Being successful requires now more than before, and joint-use of strategies is one option to survive.

    Design/methodology/approach – A single case study from a Swedish company operating in the telecom manufacturing was conducted. In particular, a Six Sigma project was followed and analyzed during 2002. However, the outcome of the Six Sigma project has been studied in longitudinal manner until 2014.

    Findings – The Lean Six Sigma strategy ensures flexible, robust, and efficient processes. However, to make them more agile in order to sustain in today's highly competitive environment, something more is required. This could include staff training, strengthening company culture and collaborating with key partners in the supply chain.

    Research limitations/implications – This study is limited to large company that usually has a lot of resources and choices where to put the strategic emphasis as well as has level of control of the supply chain operations. The situation could be very different in small and medium-sized companies and thus it may be more difficult to realize the Lean Six Sigma strategy in such environment. On the other hand, the processes in these companies are often less complex.

    Practical implications – This research provides guidance on how to manage the Lean Six Sigma strategy in order to ensure more flexible, robust, and efficient processes as well as how to perform a Six Sigma project in Lean environment, in a proper manner.

    Originality/value – This research provides guidance to companies regarding the applicability and properties of the Lean Six Sigma strategy. The paper will also serve as a basis for other companies and industries, on how to survive in difficult times.

  • 2.
    Eriksson, David
    et al.
    School of Engineering, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden.
    Hilletofth, Per
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Department of Industrial Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Creating value through wholesaler and retailer interface2013In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 113, no 8, p. 1169-1188Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – In the premium price range, retailer collaboration and showroom decoration as well as information dissemination play an important role in the consumer sector, particularly in furniture sales. The purpose of this research is to report findings from Swedish wholesaler and its process to improve sales of order driven furniture business.

    Design/methodology/approach – A large case study including 26 companies follows in longitudinal manner the retailers' contribution to value creation based on a value gaps model. Both qualitative and quantitative data are used. Approach was chosen as wholesaler needed to change its business strategy due to high competition.

    Findings – Innovative products may lose consumer perceived value, if information of the product is distorted by the retailers. It is of course so that the number of display pieces in retailer outlets play important role, but actually the way these are presented is most critical. Only one retailer in this study followed wholesaler's guidance, but again this retailer was able to show best sales. In turn, some retailers performed much lower than expected, as they were not interested from new sales concept implemented due to strategy change at wholesaler.

    Research limitations/implications – The service quality gaps model has been adjusted and is presented as a value gaps model that may be used to understand, how value creation is not limited to a single company in a supply chain. However, the authors would like to emphasize that the observations are not necessarily enough as only one wholesale company and its retailer network in Sweden was followed.

    Practical implications – The common practice for wholesalers to focus on display pieces is not sufficient. The retailers' ability to contribute to value creation needs to be considered, and this starts from collaboration at showroom level. This particularly concerns items in other than low cost product groups.

    Originality/value – The research introduces information distortion as a concept to understand, how consumer perceived value might be reduced by value gaps in a supply chain. Research is also unique in a way that it reports business strategy in other than low end segment (lowest costs), but still wholesaler procures products from Asia (China), and develops models in Sweden.

  • 3. Hilletofth, Per
    Demand-supply chain management: Industrial survival recipe for new decade2011In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 111, no 2, p. 184-211Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to enhance the current understanding and knowledge of the demand-supply chain management (DSCM) concept by determining its elements, benefits, and requirements, and by illustrating its occurrence in practice.

    Design/methodology/approach – This research has utilized a literature and case study research strategy. The case study has involved an international manufacturing company from the appliance industry. Empirical data have been collected mainly from in-depth interviews with key persons representing senior and middle management in the case organization.

    Findings – This research has established that the main elements of DSCM include market orientation, coordination of the demand and supply processes, viewing the demand and supply processes as being equally important, as well as value creation, differentiation, innovativeness, responsiveness, and cost efficiency in the demand and supply processes. It has also been revealed that the main benefits of DSCM include enhanced competitiveness, enhanced demand chain performance, and enhanced supply chain performance, while the main requirements of DSCM include organizational competences, company-established principles, demand-supply chain collaboration, and information technology support.

    Research limitations/implications – This research is explorative in nature, and more empirical data, from similar and other research settings, are needed to further validate the findings. Another limitation of the research is that it is limited to one Swedish company; however, the involved case company has a large international presence and is among the top three in its industry, which provides some ground for the generalization. A final limitation of the research is that the involved company only represents one industry.

    Practical implications – This paper provides insights useful to researchers and practitioners on how to develop a demand-supply oriented business. It highlights that firms should organize themselves around understanding how customer value is created and delivered and how these processes and management directions can be coordinated. The demand and supply processes have to be considered as equally important and the firm needs to be managed by the demand side and supply side of the company jointly in a coordinated manner.

    Originality/value – The need to coordinate the demand and supply processes has been emphasized in both the demand and supply chain literature but still remained relatively unexplored; thus, this paper contributes by investigating this matter further.

  • 4.
    Hilletofth, Per
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
    Differentiation focused supply chain design2012In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 112, no 9, p. 1274-1291Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework for differentiation focused supply chain design (SCD).

    Design/methodology/approach – This research uses a literature review and case study approach to develop a framework for differentiation focused SCD. The proposed framework has been developed based on the literature review and evaluated against the case study. The case study describes SCD at two Swedish companies; one from the appliance industry and the other from the furniture industry, both having a significant international presence. Empirical data have been collected, mainly from in-depth and semi-structured interviews with key persons representing senior and middle management in the case companies.

    Findings – This research suggests that differentiation-focused SCD can be organized into a five-stage process. It is essential that this process is aligned with new product development (NPD), so they exchange information, and operate based on the same segmentation model. The main benefits of a differentiated supply chain are enhanced competitiveness, as supply chain management (SCM) changes from being a cost center to being a value generating function, and increased profitability, by allowing differentiated customer needs to be satisfied cost-efficiently. To succeed with developing a differentiated supply chain, logisticians must be extensively involved with both the NPD process and the strategic marketing process.

    Research limitations/implications – Current models of SCD are simplistic and not well developed. By combining theory with practical applications, this research provides researchers and decision makers with detailed tools for developing a differentiation-focused SCD process. The research is explorative in nature therefore empirical data from similar and other research settings should be gathered to reinforce the validity of the findings.

    Practical implications – This research provides knowledge and insights on how a differentiated supply chain may be developed. The main implication is that SCD needs to be closely aligned with NPD and marketing in order to gain competitive advantage. Companies may also be able to employ labor closer to the consumption market by focusing on supply chain differentiation.

    Originality/value – This research contributes by developing a process for differentiation-focused SCD, and by demonstrating the main benefits and requirements of a differentiated supply chain.

  • 5. Hilletofth, Per
    How to develop a differentiated supply chain strategy2009In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 109, no 1, p. 16-33Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of supply chain (SC) design and operation by investigating how two case companies have developed and deployed differentiated SC strategies. This study primarily focuses on the operating part of the differentiated SC strategy, that is, how different manufacturing strategies – such as make-to-stock, assembly-to-order, and make-to-order – are used in contemporary manufacturing related SCs. However, this study also includes elements concerning supply and distribution parts.

    Design/methodology/approach – This study employs a descriptive multiple case study approach. The case organizations originate from Sweden, but they have significant international presence. Empirical data have been collected mainly from in-depth interviews with key persons representing senior and middle management in the case companies.

    Findings – This research shows how two case companies have developed and deployed a differentiated SC strategy. The case study findings reveal that both the case companies already are employing several manufacturing strategies and also combine these with different distribution strategies. Up to now, the supply part of the differentiated SC strategy has been neglected but probably will be incorporated in the near future. This implies that one efficient way to develop a differentiated SC strategy could be to combine different supply, manufacturing and distribution strategies into various SC solutions. By combining relatively few strategies, it is possible to develop several differentiated SC solutions.

    Research limitations/implications – The research work is limited to Swedish companies, however, the case companies are in top three in their respective industries measured by sales, which provides ground for the generalization of the research.

    Practical implications – This paper gives an insight to managers and practitioners in how to develop and deploy a differentiated SC strategy.

    Originality/value – Several studies have discussed the appropriate SC strategy issue but failed to address the need to utilize several SC solutions concurrently. However, this paper contributes by discussing how to develop and deploy a differentiated SC strategy and how to manage these multiple SCs.

  • 6. Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    Ericsson, D
    Christopher, M
    Demand chain management: A Swedish industrial case study2009In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 109, no 9, p. 1179-5577Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding of demand chain management (DCM) by investigating how it has been structured and executed in an international manufacturing company.

    Design/methodology/approach – The main emphasis has been on producing descriptive results and the applied research strategy has been an embedded single case study. The case organization originates from Sweden, but it has significant international presence. Empirical data have been collected mainly from in-depth interviews with key persons representing senior management in the case company.

    Findings – This research shows that DCM is about developing synergies between the demand creation and the demand fulfillment processes. A completely implemented DCM approach should incorporate all the major demand creation and fulfillment processes. This kind of fully implemented approach probably does not exist in real life today but some companies have started to develop versions including some of the major processes, and this research provides an example of this. The ultimate goal of DCM is to gain competitive advantages by differentiating not only the products, but also the delivery process. This is necessary in markets characterized of intensive competition, high product variety, large amounts of customer-adapted products, and short product life cycles. It can be concluded that DCM is not another name for demand driven supply chains (SCs) or a fad. It is rather a way to finally benefit from decade long marketing discussions on how to achieve customer focus. It highlights the interplay between marketing and supply chain management (SCM) as an enabler of value creation.

    Research limitations/implications – This research work is limited to one Swedish company; however, the case company has large international presence and is in top three in their industry measured by sales, which provides some ground for the generalization of the research.

    Practical implications – This paper gives an insight for managers and practitioners to the value of coordinating marketing and SCM to develop a truly customer-driven organization and SC.

    Originality/value – Several studies have addressed the synergies between marketing and SCM but failed to address how to in some detail realize this in practice. This paper contributes by discussing how to realize this coordination in practice.

  • 7.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
    Eriksson, David
    Coordinating new product development with supply chain management2011In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 111, no 2, p. 264-281Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to form an understanding of how new product development (NPD) relates to supply chain management (SCM), why the two fields should be coordinated, and how this may be done.

    Design/methodology/approach – This research uses a literature review and case study research. The case study considers a Swedish company that operates on a global basis in the furniture industry. Empirical data have been collected mainly from in-depth interviews with key persons representing senior and middle management in the case company.

    Findings – This paper stresses the need to produce innovative, value-adding products, as well as the necessity to quickly deliver them to the market. Companies that face mature business environments may encounter problems due to a high emphasis on either the value-creation processes, or on the value delivery processes. Therefore, NPD activities need to be coordinated with SCM activities on a strategic level, lest competitiveness will be lost.

    Research limitations/implications – The research is limited to one case company; replication studies would enhance understanding of the studied phenomenon. There is a wide need for research exploring how various parts of demand and supply chains should be managed in order to fully utilize the advantages of the consumer-oriented enterprise.

    Practical implications – This paper provides insights for researchers and practitioners on how to coordinate and balance NPD (demand side) with SCM (supply side) activities. It highlights that companies should organize themselves around understanding how consumer value is created and how these processes may be coordinated to provide that value. The two processes must be given equal attention and importance to avoid sub-optimization.

    Originality/value – The need for coordinating NPD and SCM activities has been emphasized in the literature but still remains relatively unexplored. This paper contributes by investigating this issue further.

  • 8.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management. Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Wang, Yacan
    Beijing Jiaotong University.
    Simulation based decision support systems in the supply chain context2016In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 116, no 2Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 9. Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    Hilmola, O-P
    Claesson, F
    In-transit Distribution Strategy: Solution for European Factory Competitiveness?2011In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 111, no 1, p. 20-40Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – Research work describes in-transit distribution strategy by determining and analyzing key principles of it as well as by illustrating its application in practice. Emphasis on in-transit distribution strategy is to turn transportation pipeline as a mobile inventory holding place, and actively dispatching goods to a destination, where there is a predicted demand before any customer orders are actually received. The use of this strategy is supported by current trade flows: emerging market trade has increased considerably, but simultaneously Swedish export prices, for example, have significantly decreased. The paper aims to address this issue.

    Design/methodology/approach – In-transit strategy is examined through a multiple case study from industrial companies having main factory operations in Sweden as well as using a system dynamics simulation model, and Monte Carlo analysis. These are supported by the second hand data of trade flows between Sweden, and India and China.

    Findings – In order to be successful with in-transit strategy, the case studies show that excellent planning, working closely with customers, first-class market knowledge, and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that is able to support the process sufficiently are required. Other highlighted requirements of this strategy are low variation in demand, and predictable distribution lead-time. Simulation study of one hypothetical product group verified case study findings, but the authors find it interesting that manufacturing output variance especially is very sensitive regarding to the overall results. If variation increases, then in-transit strategy is not able to deliver for customers with the necessary accuracy. Also increasing average customer demand, and longer transportation delays lead to undesired outcomes (e.g. too much inventory or out of stock situations).

    Research limitations/implications – The case study and second hand analysis is limited to one country, and further evidence is needed from other European, and possibly North American companies, to verify these findings.

    Originality/value – There has been a rather limited amount of research works completed from the use of in-transit strategy, even if increased trade activity and lower price of exported items is that of the old west in their exports to emerging markets, and continues to be so in the future (was even strong to China during credit crunch year 2009). Our research is seminal in terms of a developed system dynamics simulation model.

  • 10.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
    Lättilä, Lauri
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Agent based decision support in the supply chain context2012In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 112, no 8, p. 1217-1235Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the benefits and the barriers of agent based decision support (ABDS) systems in the supply chain context.

    Design/methodology/approach – Two ABDS systems have been developed and evaluated. The first system concerns a manufacturing supply chain while the second concerns a service supply chain. The systems are based on actual case companies.

    Findings – This research shows that the benefits of ABDS systems in the supply chain context include the possibility to increase versatility of system architecture, to improve supply chain visibility, to conduct experiments and what-if analyses, to improve the understanding of the real system, and the possibility to improve communication within and between organizations in the supply chain. The barriers of ABDS systems in the supply chain context include the difficulty to access data from partners in the supply chain, the difficulty to access data on a higher level of granularity, and the difficulty to retrieve data from other information systems.

    Research limitations/implications – The research is explorative in nature therefore empirical data from similar and other research settings should be gathered to reinforce the validity of the findings.

    Practical implications – This research provides knowledge and insights on how ABDS systems may be developed and used in the supply chain context and demonstrates its main benefits and barriers.

    Originality/value – This research expands the current research of benefits of ABDS systems to the supply chain domain and also addresses the barriers of ABDS systems to a larger extent than previous research. Comparisons to other simulation based decision support systems are also given.

  • 11.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    et al.
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland.
    Lorentz, Harri
    University of Turku, Finland.
    Hilletofth, Per
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management. Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
    Malmsten, Jarmo
    University of Turku, Finland.
    Manufacturing strategy in SMEs and its performance implications2015In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 115, no 6, p. 1004-1021Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose– West European manufacturing has been going through challenging times after the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. Some countries (e.g. Sweden and Germany) have recovered from the crisis, while in others problems and job loss still persist. One of these problem countries is Finland. The purpose of this paper is to examine manufacturing strategy priorities and their performance implications in this country.

    Design/methodology/approach– During the spring of 2014, a web-based survey was conducted, targeting Finnish manufacturing companies. In this study we focus on small- and medium-sized (SMEs) companies and link survey responses to financial performance data, which is available in audited annual reports.

    Findings– Research results indicate that SME manufacturers in Finland put less emphasis in new product development, broadness of product line and after sales service, while showing high priority in delivery speed and punctuality. As the manufacturing strategy dimensions are connected to audited financial data, regression analyses reveal that superior quality is at central place for achieving higher revenues and profits. After sales service has a positive impact on revenues and new product development ability is connected to higher profits. Managing quality to meet specifications (minimum quality level), leads only into higher employment. Some evidence is shown in support of flexibility in terms of product changes having negative impact on revenue, while volume flexibility is connected to lower profits.

    Research limitations/implications– This research is limited to a single country, and is cross-sectional in nature. The primary data were combined with profit and loss statements in order to reduce common method bias.

    Practical implications– It is evident that SMEs may adapt their manufacturing strategy, with emphasis on superior quality together with properly managed after sales service and new product development activity. However, it is worrying that head count in manufacturing SMEs is not connected to same factors, as are revenue and profit. It is suggested that flexibility in labour contracts and other regulatory support measures are needed to support flexible manufacturing.

    Originality/value– Advanced economies and their remaining manufacturing companies have been receiving minor levels of interest in research. This is especially the case with SMEs, where this research tries to fill important research gap.

  • 12.
    Jafari, Hamid
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
    Nyberg, Anna
    Stockholm School of Economics.
    Hilletofth, Per
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
    Postponement and logistics flexibility in retailing: A multiple case study from Sweden2016In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 116, no 3, p. 445-465Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how postponement is applied in retailing and how such application is connected to logistics flexibility.

    Design/methodology/approach – An overview of the established typological classifications of postponement and logistics flexibility is presented followed by empirical results from three case studies of retailers of electronics, furniture, and grocery in Sweden. The study relies on primary qualitative data gathered on the retailers as well as secondary material on some suppliers including logistics providers for further insight.

    Findings – The results of the study show that retailers have different practices when it comes to postponement and speculation; however, there is a growing tendency toward postponement among retailers by exploring new means of applying postponement. The results reveal that retailers that have higher application of postponement seem to be more flexible in their logistics operations.

    Research limitations/implications – The paper provides direction for further empirical research of the topic, by indicating the application of postponement is not constrained to the point of purchase and could be extended by involving consumers as well as capitalizing on suppliers’ competences and capabilities. Especially, sales services, software, and upgrades could provide opportunity for further expanding the concept.

    Originality/value – The paper contributes to the existing literature on logistics practices of postponement and speculation, as well as logistics flexibility by focussing on retail firms in Sweden. Most of the prior scholarly work on postponement and flexibility is on the manufacturing context.

  • 13.
    Panova, Yulia
    et al.
    Department of E-Commerce, Luoyang Normal University, Luoyang, China.
    Hilletofth, Per
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Supply Chain and Operations Management. Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Managing supply chain risks and delays in construction project2018In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 118, no 7, p. 1413-1431Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate models and methods for managing supply chain risks and delays in construction projects.

    Design/methodology/approach: The study mainly employs quantitative analysis in order to identify disruptions in construction supply chains. It also uses paradigms of simulation modeling, which are suitable for risk assessment and management. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected through a literature review and details of specific construction projects, respectively. A dynamic modeling method was used, and the model was provided with an event-based simulation. Simulation modeling was used to measure the performance of the system.

    Findings: The study shows the benefits of applying the dynamic modeling method to a construction project. Using event-based simulation, it was found that construction delays influence both the magnitude and the probability of disruption. This method contributes to the existing theoretical foundations of risk management practices, since it also considers the time factor. This method supplements the Monte Carlo statistical simulation method, which has no time representation. Using empirical analysis, the study proposes increasing the safety stock of construction materials at the distribution center, so as to mitigate risks in the construction supply chain.

    Research limitations/implications: The research considers a single case of a hypothetical construction project. The simulation models represent a simple supply chain with only one supplier. The calculations are based on the current economic scenario, which will of course change over time.

    Practical implications: The outcomes of the study show that the introduction of a safety stock of construction materials at the distribution center can prevent supply chain disruption. Since the consideration of risks at all stages of construction supply chain is essential to investors, entrepreneurs and regulatory bodies, the adoption of new approaches for their management during strategic planning of the investment projects is essential.

    Originality/value: This dynamic modeling method is used in combination with the Monte Carlo simulation, thus, providing an explicit cause-and-effect dependency over time, as well as a distributed value of outcomes. 

  • 14.
    Sansone, Cinzia
    et al.
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
    Hilletofth, Per
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
    Eriksson, David
    Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
    Critical operations capabilities for competitive manufacturing: A systematic review2017In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 117, no 5, p. 801-837Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    The purpose of this paper is to investigate systematically the topic of operations capabilities within the operations strategy area. The output is a framework that will benefit researchers and firms to gain a more complete understanding of critical operations capabilities.

    Design/methodology/approach

    The research methodology is a systematic literature review. The aim of this study is to provide a snapshot of the diversity of studies being conducted in the field of operations capabilities, within the operations strategy area. In total, 157 papers were taken into consideration. Various operations capabilities were identified and synthesized in a conceptual framework.

    Findings

    The output of this paper is a conceptual framework of critical operations capabilities. Different operations capabilities and dimensions were identified in the literature. In total, seven dimensions were identified and included in the framework: cost, quality, delivery, flexibility, service, innovation, and environment.

    Research limitations/implications

    This research was conducted through a systematic literature review. The framework presented in this paper provides a summary of critical operations capabilities, and in addition theoretical support for managers and firms wishing to formulate an operations strategy.

    Practical implications

    In general, this research sets the basis for managers and practitioners concerning the formulation of successful operations strategies. In the long term, a deeper understanding and shared knowledge about competitive priorities and operations capabilities can positively influence the success of firms.

    Originality/value

    This paper extends the theory by providing researchers and managers with updated knowledge on operations capabilities.

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