Managing complexity through integrative tactical planning in engineer-to-order environments: insights from four case studies

Hafez Shurrab, Patrik Jonsson, Mats I. Johansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fulfilling customer orders in engineer-to-order (ETO) settings entails customization and, thus, greater complexity: detail and uncertainty. Tactical planning aims at demand–supply (DS) balancing by ensuring cross-functional integration (CFI), which incorporates coordination as one dimension. This study uses a case study approach to identify the key coordination mechanisms applied in the customer order fulfilment processes (COFPs) to mitigate the negative impact of complexity on DS balancing in four ETO-oriented settings. Within-case analyses identify the applied mechanisms, and a cross-case analysis elaborates on how they influence the detail and uncertainty in decision-making and problem-solving activities. Findings suggest a positive effect of formalized activity sequences, balanced team compositions, effective task designs and supportive information systems (ISs); and a positive (but contingent) effect of the other mechanisms. Future research may address other CFI dimensions (collaboration), statistically test the findings, or qualitatively deepen the understanding of the forms and impacts of individual mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)907-924
Number of pages18
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Volume33
Issue number9-10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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