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Manufacturing Strategy In A Nutshell 


Kansas City

23 DEC 2012

Issue# 83

Strategy—for a word that is used so much, its meaning is surprisingly varied and vague. Yet it is just as important in business as it is in the military, where the word originated.

Every business needs a strategy. Within that business, Operations or Manufacturing needs its own subsidiary strategy—a Manufacturing Strategy. Our observation is that few manufacturing managers understand what this entails, what the key issues are and how to go about it. Lean, per se, is not a well-thought-out Manufacturing Strategy. Although it does contain many of the important elements.

 "Manufacturing Strategy in a Nutshell." starts our new series of articles. This graphical representation serves as a framework for thinking and learning—initially, about Manufacturing Strategy in general; later, about your own Manufacturing Strategy.

The next article, "What Is Strategy?", is a general discussion. What strategy means in a business context , how it differs from tactics and how levels of strategy transition to tactics.

In the near future, I will carry this discussion further into specific issues of Manufacturing Strategy and how they relate to Lean. Such issues will include:

You may also be interested in Wickham Skinner's McKinsey Award winning essay, "The Taming of Lions." It discusses some history of American manufacturing and why Manufacturing Strategy concepts get so little attention.

I hope you find these latest essays useful and thought-provoking. Strategos can guide your company through the strategic debate. If you would like to discuss such assistance, call or email me.

Best Regards,

Quarterman Lee


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