Customer-driven manufacturing in the food processing industry
The food processing industry copes with high logistical demands from its customers. This paper studies a company changing to more customer- (order-) driven manufacturing. In order to help decide which products should be made to order and which made to stock, a frame is developed and applied to find and balance market and process characteristics. The frame is based on the well-known Decoupling Point concept and adapted to the needs of the food processing industry. The application in the company helped management in deciding and implementing customer-driven manufacturing. The main results were lower inventories and less obsolescence, while dependability remained the same. Further research should develop the frame, along with general decision rules for locating the Decoupling Point.