Creating flexible production systems
Synonyms: Building greater flexibility into companies
Description: Enhancing the extent to which a company is able to adjust the deployment of human and financial resources to the constantly changing requirements made by the environment and starting from the different production processes.
Implementation: In the commercial world, developments in the market, such as globalization, economic integration, the removal of trade barriers and the consolidation of competitiveness have induced firms to raise the pressure on flexible labour relations in order to lower costs. In the case of labour resources, a modern flexible firm may have: 1. A core group of workers sufficient for the basic range of tasks and production needs and usually with a high level of "generic" technical knowledge combined with social skills (team work) and problem-capacity (providing functional flexibility); 2. Backed by groups of workers, from both inside and outside the firm, that are flexibly employable (providing numerical flexibility) to meet production fluctuations; and 3. A variety of workers and services it calls on for specific partial tasks, such as outworkers, self-employed workers, short-term contract staff, agency temporaries and sub-contractors. In this way the firm reduces investment costs, shoulders the fluctuations of its own production on firms and workers in the "supplier economy" outside the firm and avoids overhead costs related to normal employment. It can also skirt round the stipulations of the collective labour legislation and reduce trade union influence in the firm.
Subjects: Business enterprisesProductionConstructionSystems
Type Classification: C: Cross-sectoral strategies