5 research outputs found

    Investigation into re-shoring UK manufacturing using additive manufacturing as a method to enable manufacturing postponement

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    This thesis describes case study research investigation into re-shoring UK manufacturing using Additive Manufacturing as a method to enable manufacturing Postponement. After identifying the gap in the knowledge by conducting a literature review, the author aims to understand the primary motivation behind the re-shoring phenomenon in the UK. The initial investigation is done by targeting the UK based organisations that have been involved in supporting the re-shoring phenomenon. As a result, lack of responsiveness was found to be the key factor behind re-shoring in the UK. This is then followed by an investigation considering this issue from countries to which manufacturing has been offshored in the past, in particular, India. The research studies the factors that influence this decision from Indian industries perspectives and investigates what the key issues are behind the lack of responsiveness in India. This is whilst India is one of the most attractive offshoring destinations among the other low-cost countries. This introduces the next objective of this research which is to identify a strategy that could help the industries to address such issues. Consequently the concept of Postponement was selected as a strategy and Additive Manufacturing (AM) was identified as a manufacturing method that could enable Postponement. Such a combination can enable companies to shorten their lead-time and be more responsive to their domestic customers. This study also develops a clear picture of re-shoring in the UK and bridges this phenomenon to the new generation of technologies and emerging mega trends. It particularly focuses on AM technologies as an enabling manufacturing method the Industry 4.0. The results obtained from the survey study indicate that there is a positive view towards applicability of AM technologies within the supply chain of the re-shoring companies. The final section of this thesis aims to iii provide a series of case studies where AM technologies are used to further enable companies to reduce their lead time and achieve more customisation. It shows that the companies can re-shore their production activities back to the home country by using AM technologies and engage in a local supply chain. Therefore this study adds insight into manufacturing challenges related to re-shoring and provides a potential solution for the companies that are involved in the production of high value added production. The results from this section indicate that the re-shoring companies will be capable of accommodating product changes and process changes. They can also reduce their inventories, production lead-time, and transportation costs, meanwhile increase product customisation

    A review of manufacturing re-shoring in the context of customer-focused postponement strategies

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    For more than half a century, offshoring has been a trend among many industry sectors and all company sizes which are aiming to expand business by reducing costs and accessing foreign markets. However, in recent years, the evidence indicates that offshoring strategies may no longer continue to provide the same level of benefits for organizations’ manufacturing activities. Companies have begun to establish a better understanding of the total risk/benefit-balance and base their supplier decisions on strategic supply chain issue rather than simply relying on cost analysis. Hence, it is evident that there are tendencies to reverse the offshoring strategy and re-shoring manufacturing activities back to the home country. Despite the significance of this phenomenon to manufacturing, the supply chain literature has focused predominantly on the macro economic analysis, while the literature on the operational aspects of re-shoring is relatively sparse. The first half of this article aims to address the first research question which identifies the operational motivations behind the re-shoring phenomenon. This is done by studying the current literature available on the context of re-shoring. The second half of the article determines the feasibility of a manufacturing strategy, ‘postponement’, as a possible solution for the companies to adjust and cope with the volatile customer demands and new generation of technologies towards more responsive production and customizable products

    Responsiveness, the primary reason behind re-shoring manufacturing activities to the UK: an Indian industry perspective

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    Purpose: Due to today’s volatile business environment companies have started to establish a better understanding of the total risk/benefit-balance concerning manufacturing location decisions of their component supply. The focus is now much more on comprehensive and strategic supply chain issues rather than simply relying on piece part cost analysis. This has led to an emerging trend called re-shoring. The aim of this paper is to understand the primary motivation behind the re-shoring strategy in the UK and investigate the factors that influence this decision from Indian industries perspectives. Design/methodology/approach: The analysis of the paper is based on interviews conducted in the UK and India (State of Tamil Nadu) in various industries including automotive, industrial goods, textile, and marine. For this purpose an interview framework based on key enablers identified from the literature, being IT solutions, manufacturing equipment and human factors. This provided an assessment of the capability of the companies for being responsive to western demand. Findings: The findings indicate that re-shoring to the UK is the result of inadequacy in responsiveness and long production lead-times of the Indian suppliers. The outcome of this paper indicates that the top factors behind this inadequacy in responsiveness are logistics and transportation, electricity shortage, excessive paperwork and working attitude. Originality/value: This paper aims to fill the gap in the re-shoring literature by providing a clear picture behind the reason for re-shoring in the UK and identify the drivers behind this shortcoming in the component supply from India

    Supplementary information files for Circular economy strategies for life cycle management of returnable transport items

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    Global trading activities rely heavily on several billions of transport packaging and returnable transport items, including pallets, containers, and crates, facilitating efficient product handling, transportation, and storage processes. Despite their benefits, their increased adoption across global logistics activities contribute to both environmental inefficiencies and increased packaging waste globally, creating the need for embedding circular economy principles into their lifecycle management processes. This paper, therefore, presents a systems thinking-driven integrative literature review to identify circular economy strategies for lifecycle management of returnable transport items. A circular economy lifecycle strategy mapping tool is initially developed for strategy mapping across the different intersections between the circular economy taxonomy of regenerate, narrow, slow, and close, and the beginning, middle, and end of life stages of returnable transport items. Following the structure of the tool, a strategic framework is proposed, consisting of distinct circular economy strategies throughout these different intersections, alongside a detailed analysis of the benefits, connections and trade-offs, and their impact on the system's environmental performance. The proposed framework offers guidance to returnable transport item poolers and logistics service providers towards embedding circular economy principles in their business models and improving the environmental sustainability of their fleet.</p

    Circular economy strategies for life cycle management of returnable transport items

    No full text
    Global trading activities rely heavily on several billions of transport packaging and returnable transport items, including pallets, containers, and crates, facilitating efficient product handling, transportation, and storage processes. Despite their benefits, their increased adoption across global logistics activities contribute to both environmental inefficiencies and increased packaging waste globally, creating the need for embedding circular economy principles into their lifecycle management processes. This paper, therefore, presents a systems thinking-driven integrative literature review to identify circular economy strategies for lifecycle management of returnable transport items. A circular economy lifecycle strategy mapping tool is initially developed for strategy mapping across the different intersections between the circular economy taxonomy of regenerate, narrow, slow, and close, and the beginning, middle, and end of life stages of returnable transport items. Following the structure of the tool, a strategic framework is proposed, consisting of distinct circular economy strategies throughout these different intersections, alongside a detailed analysis of the benefits, connections and trade-offs, and their impact on the system's environmental performance. The proposed framework offers guidance to returnable transport item poolers and logistics service providers towards embedding circular economy principles in their business models and improving the environmental sustainability of their fleet. </p
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