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Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

ISSN: 2045-0621

Online from: 2011

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From traditional manufacturing towards virtual servi-manufacturing: Gabriel's journey

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Title:From traditional manufacturing towards virtual servi-manufacturing: Gabriel's journey
Author(s):Brian Vejrum Waehrens (Center for Industrial Production at Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark), Dmitrij Slepniov (Center for Industrial Production at Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark)
Citation:Brian Vejrum Waehrens, Dmitrij Slepniov, "From traditional manufacturing towards virtual servi-manufacturing: Gabriel's journey", Emerald Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, (2011)
Keywords:Competitive strategy, Manufacturing systems, Operations management
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/20450621111126756 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The author/s may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.

Title – From traditional manufacturing towards virtual servi-manufacturing: Gabriel's journey.

Subject area – Operations strategy/global operations/value chain.

Study level/applicability – BA/Master level – the case can be applied to support operations strategy discussions related to the link between context, configuration and capabilities, and particularly to discuss internationalization strategy and global operations.

Case overview – The case examines how Gabriel, a Danish textile company, transformed itself from being a traditional textile manufacturer to becoming an innovative virtual servi-manufacturer. The case covers the main milestones in Gabriel's recent history, explores the main reasons for the transformation that started in the late 1990s and studies how this transformation towards becoming a virtual servi-manufacturer was dealt with. The case closes with the sections examining the role of innovation activities in the newly transformed company.

Expected learning outcomes – The case is expected to build an understanding of the organisational and operational implications of the journey towards the virtual production company. While the case is broad in its scope, it provides an opportunity to go into details on a number of interrelated topics: operations strategy; global production networks; communication and coordination; interdependencies; and outsourcing and offshoring. The story of Gabriel illustrates a highly successful globalization journey and its underlying dynamics. The case highlights how the operations configuration and the relationships between key parties do not stay constant over time. They rather shift and adapt to internal and external stimuli. The case explores these stimuli in retrospect and describes how the company attempts to reconcile market requirements with its operations configurations and capabilities.

Supplementary materials – Teaching note.

Icon: Teaching notes.

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