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Syllabus for

Academic year
TEK195 - Manufacturing strategy
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-17 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: 34122
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   08 Oct 2021 am J  

In programs

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


Peter Almström

  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)

  • Show understanding of how to use manufacturing strategy as a guidance for the organization's operational activities and business strategy improvement.
  • Apply conceptual tools and models for analysing manufacturing strategy and enhancing the operations performance.
  • Recognize the impact of manufacturing on sustainability andmanufacturing can contribute to a sustainable society
  • Show understanding of how digitalisation, in the context of Industry 4.0, may influence the operations strategy and processes.
  • Formulate an improvement plan for strategic manufacturing strategy alignment.


The course is built around several different parts. A brief description of these parts is found below.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Learning activities in the course consists of a series of lectures (incl guest sessions), seminars, exercises/case discussions, and project activities.

Compulsory activities are seminars, guest sessions, and project presentations. 


Slack and Lewis "Operations Strategy" (most recent edition).

Additional articles to be specified later, and available via the course web page.

Examination including compulsory elements

The examination consists of a combination of examining activities:
  • Individual written exam. Oral examination can replace the written examination, if few students are registered for the exam. In those cases, the registered students will be informed no later than two weeks before the exam.
  • Group project
  • Active participation in seminars and guest sessions
Compulsory activities are seminars, guest sessions, and project presentations.

For a final approved grade, approved results from all examining activities are needed.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.