The impact of flexible manufacturing to achieve competitive advantage   An Empirical Study in selected sample of companies   Ministry of Industry and Minerals

Abstract

This research aims to investigate the effect of manufacturing flexibility (machinery flexibility, mix flexibility, new product flexibility, and worker flexibility) on the competitive advantage of the company, through the provision of a specimen or a model illustrates the nature of the relationship between manufacturing flexibility and its impact on competitive advantage. This model was tested in a sample selected from the four companies belonging to the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, The research population consists of all corporate executives and their representatives , in addition to some of the managers of laboratories, or factories, and technicians, and numbered (56) directors and technicians. [ The questionnaire was distributed to all members of society, and it has been returned from them (48) forms, which are useful to make a valid statistical analysis, The findings of the research indicated that the level of manufacturing flexibility is high in these mentioned companies, the total average was (3.43), where the worker flexibility got the highest level, and it was (3.73), the level of the reached competitive advantage was (3.33), which is a good level, but below the level of manufacturing flexibility, the highest level of competitive advantage was in quality, with a value of (3.49). The other findings of the research indicated the presence of positive significant correlation with a significance relation between flexibility manufacturing and competitive advantage, in addition to the confirmation of research on the ability of companies, under discussion, to achieve the competitive advantage (with respect of cost, quality, keep the customer, and creativity), through the increasing interest, and the development of manufacturing flexibility dimensions employed in this research. The research conclude to make some recommendations, including the emphasis on attention to flexible manufacturing dimensions adopted, in addition to other dimensions that can provide support for competitive advantage, in addition to the need for follow-up the managements of companies to promote competitive advantage dimensions, through the adoption of the most influential dimensions of flexibile manufacturing, because the high uncertainty and constant change nature of the business environment.