Production location handbook

Forming Your Strategic Manufacturing Footprint Handbook


Deciding where to locate production is a crucial task for any manufacturing company. The design of the manufacturing footprint, or the location of a company's plants, involves utilizing the full potential of the location map. Common reasons for relocating production facilities include low wage costs and access to new emerging markets.

Many companies have recognized the need to reconfigure their global manufacturing systems. Swedish manufacturing companies have had success on the global market for many years.

The trend is that companies are increasing their global presence, which requires developing the global production system as a strategic resource. A structured work procedure for developing a comprehensive information base to make strategic decisions is important for strategic footprint management. A proactive approach is beneficial for handling production location issues.

Cover for the handbook Production Location Handbook Forming Your Strategic Manufacturing Footprint

A production location project could be divided in three major stages;

  • Pre-study – establishing goals and directives and analyzing the prerequisites and conditions of current footprint and new locations alternatives.
  • Planning – detailed design of site and production system including buying equipment and training personnel.
  • Operation – from start of production to ramp-up to full volume.

The research results encapsulated in this handbook presents a structured work procedure and a comprising toolbox for making a well-founded production location decision before starting the detailed design of the production system in the planning stage.

This handbook comprises a decision support model in 5 phases based on the classic stage-gate model, together with an integrated toolbox of tools, templates and guidelines to be used as complementing support throughout the decision process.

Our goal with developing the work procedure in this handbook is to capture existing knowledge and new research findings related to production location and to translate it into a form that would be useful for industrial practitioners in manufacturing companies supporting their production location projects.



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