Chapter 15: Customer-oriented manufacturing as a resilience strategy for Norwegian small international manufacturers
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The COVID-19 crisis has had a severe impact on small and medium sized manufacturers, due to severe disruptions in both supply and demand, as well as national restrictions impacting work organization. This chapter explores how customer-oriented manufacturing have served as a resiliency strategy for SMEs. The study has followed an exploratory research design based on abductive approach, performing two in-depth case studies. We discuss how the three core capabilities of mass customization - robust process design, solution space development and choice navigation - have become important tools for facing the challenges of the pandemic crisis. These capabilities together helped the companies to ensure flexibility and efficiency, and supported the required product and process innovation to meet new challenges. The mass customization capabilities, combined with close collaboration with value chain partners, served as key components to finding new solutions and opportunities in times of the crisis. The chapter ends with proposing five take-aways from customer-oriented manufacturing that can guide SMEs to strengthening their resiliency for the future.

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Edited by Hamid Etemad
Monograph Book