Open Access Article

Title: Managing the core plant role – key prerequisites from an operations perspective

Authors: Jessica Bruch; Carin Rösiö; Anna Granlund; Peter E. Johansson

Addresses: Division of Product Realisation, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Mälardalen University, Sweden ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Sweden ' Division of Product Realisation, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Mälardalen University, Sweden ' Division of Innovation Management, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Mälardalen University, Sweden

Abstract: A core plant should be a centre of excellence, have a central role for knowledge creation, and ensure that the latest knowledge is diffused in the organisation's production network. Core plants can yield a range of benefits, such as increased resource efficiency and decreased costs in the production network. However, core plants face immense challenges in performing their roles, given the different interests of the different stakeholders that need to be satisfied. We use data gathered from an in-depth study of six core plants in Sweden to analyse the prerequisites. We conclude that the core plant prerequisites are influenced by human, organisational, and technological aspects, i.e., successful development of core plant capabilities can only be achieved if all the three components are considered together. Our findings are relevant to operation managers, plant managers, and others interested in developing and maintaining core plant excellence. [Submitted 01 March 2018; Accepted 18 March 2019]

Keywords: managing core plants; plant role; prerequisites; operations perspective; lead factory; master plant; international manufacturing network; global operation network; global manufacturing; international operation; international production; dispersed manufacturing; manufacturing industry; capabilities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMR.2020.105502

International Journal of Manufacturing Research, 2020 Vol.15 No.1, pp.90 - 106

Accepted: 18 Mar 2019
Published online: 02 Mar 2020 *