Postponement in the Supply Chain

Case Studies of Postponement in the Supply Chain by Susan M. Rietze was published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006.  It focuses on various strategies to increase product delivery times and product-service interaction by reshoring parts of the supply chain.

The high demand of customized products has caused companies to reconfigure their supply chain to accommodate for the increased costs and demand.  Postponement has the potential to achieve these results as well as become a source of local job creation.  By relocating the final stages of the customization process to occur on shore, Rietze suggests that will provide the US with a “comparative advantage in providing better service levels in the form of faster shipments and more on-time deliveries.”  This can “help alleviate the pressure felt the by US in terms of manufacturing jobs moving offshore.”

Postponement can increase both employment in manufacturing and services by bringing the customization process of manufacturing in closer proximity to the customer.  This will reduce lead time and achieve a faster delivery.  Rietze suggests that the whole manufacturing process doesn’t need to be “highly speedy, only the part where the options are added.”

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