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Syllabus for

Academic year
TEK195 - Manufacturing strategy  
Syllabus adopted 2019-09-19 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPPEN
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Mechanical Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 34123
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: D
Maximum participants: 60

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0107 Examination 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c   01 Jun 2021 pm J,  09 Oct 2020 am J,  26 Aug 2021 am J

In programs

MPPDE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Dan Paulin

  Go to Course Homepage


General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Same as the MPPEN programme.


Manufacturing strategy is about how firms can use their productive resources to compete in their markets. It takes an internal, resource-based, view on strategy. The course in Manufacturing Strategy is designed to equip students with practical frameworks and models for implementing and analyzing manufacturing strategies. The main aim of the course is to improve students ability to develop and analyze develop and analyze manufacturing strategies.

Apart from the main aim of the course, the course is also intended to give students an opportunity to practice and develop a number of important skills: report writing, presentation technique, teamwork, and the ability to communicate ideas clearly, logically and enthusiastically.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

- relate manufacturing strategy as guidance for the organization's manufacturing activities

- appraise manufacturing processes, applying a number of organizing theories, frameworks and analytical devices used by companies 

- assess the impact of manufacturing on sustainability and how manufacturing can contribute to a sustainable society

- explain a number of conceptual tools for enhancing the performance of manufacturing processes

- adapt these tools to the analysis of manufacturing processes

- interpret the different production contexts and explain when and how it is appropriate to apply these different tools


The course is built around seven different parts. A brief description of these parts is found below. Each part will be taught using a mixture of lectures, case discussions and literature seminars
- Introduction to operations strategy. The first part will give students a basic understanding of how strategy can be used to shape the work of production and operations managers. Initially, models of company (corporate) strategy are in focus. We then move on to give an overview of how operations can contribute to the strategic success of a company.
- Operations Focus. One of the more powerful types of operations strategies is focused operations. The fundamental idea being that it is better for an operation to focus on a limited set of objectives instead of trying to be everything to everyone. Students will after the part have an understanding of the effects of focused operations and ways in which these can be developed.
- Designing the operations network. One of the more important decisions taken in operations concerns whether a company should make or buy a product/service, where it should be made and when to extend operational capacity. These are the decisions that can literally make or break the company, since they affect all aspects of the business, most importantly cost, asset base and delivery capability both now and in the future. This part will develop students understanding of the difficulties and consequences of these types of decisions.
- Supply Chain Management. In general, only a small part of the cost of any company's final product/service is internal. Most of the cost derives from purchased parts. Managing the supply network is therefore crucial for competitive success. In this lies two parts, which will be addressed during the course. First, to structure the network effectively. Second, to manage the network's behaviour. Students will learn to do so both through cases and exercises. Related to this, it is also important to decide where to locate production, close to supply or to market, several smaller units globally or larger units providing economies of scale.
- Technology Strategy. In this part, we will take a strategy perspective on the development of process technology. We will focus on the effect on overall ability to compete of investments in operations technology. Students will here learn to evaluate technology using an overall perspective, to complement more detailed technology-based analyses.
- Operations Improvement. Improving operations is an integral part of any operations manager's job. Considering the competitive situation, no company can afford to stand still. In this part, students will be exposed to and learn to use a number of tools that can be used when managing operations improvement.
- The Process of operations strategy. The final part concerns the process of actually developing operations strategies. Three aspects will be addressed here, fit, sustainability and risk. Models for formulating strategies will be discussed and the challenges in them developed.

One important part, going all through the course, is sustainability in all its three dimensions: economical, environmental, and social sustainability. The relevance and scientific level is guaranteed through the participating teachers' involvement in Chalmers Production Area of Advance with a focus on sustainable production.


The course will be conducted through a combination of the following:
Case discussions
Project work
Literature seminars


Slack, Nigel & Lewis, Michael (the most recent edition), Operations Strategy, Pearson Education, UK
Additional articles to be specified later

Examination including compulsory elements

The examination consists of two parts, an individual written exam (worth 50 points), seminars (10 points), and a group project (worth 40 points). Hence a maximum of 100 points can be achieved. To pass the course, a total minimum of 40 points are needed, for which the grade of "3" will be awarded, however with at least 20 points on both exam and project. A total result of 60-79 points will result in the grade "4". The highest grade "5" will be awarded for 80 points and over.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.