Operations mechanism of postponement strategy for service-oriented manufacturing


With the rapid growth of individualized customer demands, manufacturers are supposed to pay more attention to the interaction between service and product. In this context, the concept called service-oriented manufacturing (SOM) has been promoted. Postponement strategy, while has already been widely studied in manufacturing systems, still lacks being well understood about its operations mechanism for SOM. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to provide a further insight into an operations mechanism in which SOM can be driven by postponement strategy. Firstly, by analyzing the characteristics of postponement strategy and SOM, the hypothesis that postponement strategy can support SOM is theoretically approved. Then, to better reveal its operations mechanism, an innovative model is constructed. In this model, non-differentiated and differentiated products are compared, service time is introduced as a sensitive factor, and an approach incorporating customer satisfaction is proposed. Taking advantages of these innovation points, the customer order fulfilling time can be easily analyzed in the SOM system applied postponement strategy. The research results show that the cost of customer interaction could be reduced through the adjustment activities before customer order decoupling point, and the degree of product customization could be increased by interactive activities after customer order decoupling point. Both of them would enable manufacturers to better respond to customized demands.


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The authors express sincere thanks to the editor(s) and anonymous reviewers of IJAMT for their careful reading and suggestions in improving the quality of this paper.


The paper is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 71772080 and 71472077).

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Correspondence to Jianqiang Luo.

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Luo, J., Zhang, Q. Operations mechanism of postponement strategy for service-oriented manufacturing. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 104, 3335–3341 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-018-3092-5

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  • Service-oriented manufacturing
  • Postponement strategy
  • Customer order decoupling point
  • Service time