Recession Leading To Companies Restructuring Their Businesses Commerce Essay

The recession has lead companies to reconstitute their concerns, rethink their concern and corporate schemes. As a consequence companies have been forced to alter their fabrication schemes as good. How these alterations are made and how different facets of the supply concatenation are reconfigured to acquire that necessary competitory advantage over other rivals makes all the difference between success and failure. In order to better the efficiency of ‘supply ironss ‘ assorted actions are taken, among which one of the methods used is the acceptance of ‘best patterns ‘ . Adoption of Best patterns are a popular pick because these actions have already been tried and tested and have rendered proved consequences. ‘Best Practices ‘ are basically action plans i.

e. patterns carried out by organisations, which are deduced from the experience of taking successful companies ( Schonberger 1982, Hanson and Voss, 1993 ) . Examples of ‘Best Practice Action Programs ‘ include World Class Manufacturing, Total Quality Management, Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing etc ( Farooq et al. , 2010 ) .

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These action plans are the tools for uninterrupted betterment within the supply concatenation. As these action plans have been implemented by assorted other organisations before and have rendered favorable consequences the opportunity of failure is minimized. However, it should be noted that whatever is best for one organisation is non needfully traveling to work for another 1 every bit good. The inquiry of ‘Fit ‘ arises in this instance. One size does non suit all in this instance and organisations need to understand what works best for them, in order to make so Organizations should hold a thorough apprehension of its operations, the cost of operations, the degree of client satisfaction it wishes to accomplish and the return on investing i.

e. the benefit the organisation is looking to acquire if and when such best patterns are adopted within their supply concatenation. The acceptance and success of best pattern action plans depends on their tantrum with the supply concatenation design features and eventuality factors ( Farooq et al.

, 2009 ) . In drumhead, ‘Best Practice Action Programs ‘ have to be tailored harmonizing to the operational demands of the company. The research presented here examines closely the acceptance of best patterns in fabricating supply ironss by utilizing a instance survey attack.

The literature reviewed endorses this observation that there exists a spread between associating best patterns to public presentation.The standards identified for the choice and acceptance of best patterns is really

Purposes and Aims:

The purpose of the research is to hold a better apprehension of the Best Practices that are adopted in Manufacturing Supply Chains at an operational degree and to find if there can be feasible standards for the choice and acceptance of best patterns for fabricating supply ironss.The research carried out here is driven by the following overlapping aims:To understand fabrication supply ironss and their operational facets by utilizing a individual instance survey.

To understand ‘Best Practices ‘ and their acceptance in fabricating supply ironss utilizing a instance taken from the fabrication industry.To understand the construct of Lean Manufacturing and its execution as an illustration of acceptance of ‘Best Practices ‘ .To find if there can be a feasible standard for the choice and acceptance of best patterns for fabricating supply ironss.

Research Questions:

In order to carry through the research objectives that are laid down above the following two research inquiry have been put together.How are Manufacturing Organizations following ‘Best Practice ‘ Action Programs within their supply ironss for bettering them?What public presentation steps do companies use on the store floor and how is the public presentation measured in footings of run intoing strategic ends?

Scope of the Research:

Research Procedure:

The research has been carried out utilizing a instance survey attack.

The attack has made it possible to understand the operational facets of the fabrication supply concatenation more to the full and has enabled to reply the posed research inquiries with much better apprehension of fabricating supply ironss.The research was carried out in two stages. In the first stage of the research relevant literature has been reviewed and a general standard for the choice and acceptance of best patterns has been identified.In the 2nd stage of the research a company was contacted and a undertaking was implemented for cut downing the stock list degrees and implementing a logistics bringing system so as to better the flow of natural stuffs within the fabrication installation, which was portion of the company ‘s thin scheme. At assorted points structured and semi structured interviews were carried out, along with that experimental information was collected so as to complement the research.

Structure of the Research:

The Research presented here has been divided in to the following six chapters.

A brief overview of each has been given here:Chapter 1 is the debut. It gives the overall construction of the research and the background of the company in focal point.Chapter 2 is the Literature Review. The chapter discusses of import subjects such as Best Practices, fabricating scheme and the nexus between acceptance of best patterns and public presentation measuring.

Chapter 3 discusses the Case Study attack that was employed as the methodological analysis to transport out the research.Chapter 4 describes the background of the company and the instance in itemChapter 5 presents the existent undertaking that was carried out in coaction with the company and is the existent instance survey.Chapter 6 proposes recommendations in visible radiation of the findings and the analysis, which was carried out in the same chapter.Chapter 7 is a treatment and decisions portion.Chapter 2Manufacturing Strategy & A ; Best Practice and the nexus with Performance a Literature Review


This chapter critically reviews the bing literature on ‘Manufacturing Strategy ‘ and the acceptance of ‘Best Practices ‘ .

The Literature tries to explicate of import subjects related to the range of the research and creates a nexus between the construct of fabrication scheme and best patterns and the acceptance of best patterns with public presentation measuring.

Concept of Manufacturing Strategy:

It is of import to hold a good thought of ‘Strategy ‘ before explicating the construct of fabrication scheme. Strategy is a set of programs and policies by which a company aims to derive advantages over its rivals ( Skinner 1969 ) . Strategy denotes actions or forms of action intended for the attainment of ends ( Swamidas and Newell 1987 ) . How those ends are achieved within a fabrication installation on an operational every bit good as strategic degree is derived by what is called a ‘Manufacturing Strategy ‘ . Wright ( 1984 ) suggests that there are five features to ‘Strategy ‘ .

Namely the clip skyline, the impact, the concentration of the attempt and the form of determinations and pervasiveness. Table 1 expands on these features.Time HorizonBy and large, Strategy is used to depict activities that involve a long-run clip skyline, both with respect to the to the clip it takes to carry through such activities and the clip it takes to detect their impact.ImpactAlthough the effects of prosecuting a given scheme will non be clear until considerable sum of clip has elapsed, the ultimate impact will be comparatively greater than the impact of short term tactics of operating activities.

Concentration of EffortThe construct of scheme normally implies concentrating one ‘s activity, attempt, or attending on reasonably narrow scope or dimension of chases. Implicitly, concentrating on certain activities means that one must cut down the attempt in other waies.Pattern of DecisionsAlthough sme companies need to do merely a few major determinations in order to implement an full scheme, most schemes require a form of determinations across a assortment of subareas. Certain types of determinations must be repeated over clip and a figure of secondary or encouraging determinations are needed to implement the scheme.

PervasivenessAn administration ‘s scheme embraces a broad comprehensiveness of resource allotment procedures and daily operations. In add-on the demand for deepness requires that all degrees of an administration act instinctively in ways that reinforce the scheme.Table 1-Characteristics of Strategy ( Wright 1984 )There are three degrees of scheme i.e. Corporate, Business and Functional degree schemes ( Wright 1984 ) . Corporate scheme trades with the choice of merchandise markets or industries in which the Corporation would vie. Second each ‘Strategic Business Unit ‘ ( SBU ) or as put frontward by Wright, Strategic Planning Unit ( SPU ) , could hold its ain trim concern scheme designed to provide for the concerns alone competences and competitory advantage ( Swamidas and Newell 1987 ) .

The concern degree scheme serves two critical intents one is to put the legal powers of the concern unit itself in a manner that operationally links the concern to the corporate scheme if and the 2nd is to stipulate how would the concern achieve and keep its competitory advantage ( Wright 1984 ) . It is of import that different concern units working under the same umbrella are non viing against one another and therefore the importance of puting the range of the concern through the concern scheme. In order to present the ends of the concern scheme, the 3rd degree of functional scheme comes in to play which must be developed and pursued if each map is to back up the concern scheme. ( Wright 1984 ) . The figure of functional schemes an administration might be different from one another depending on the nature of the concern.

A concern unit which is portion of the fabrication supply concatenation might hold four functional schemes viz. , the fabrication scheme, a sales/marketing scheme, a research & A ; development scheme and a fiscal scheme. Figure 1, gives a hierarchical position of the different degrees of schemes.Business A SchemeCorporate SchemeBusiness B StrategyBusiness C StrategySelling SchemeR & A ; D StrategyFiscal StrategyManufacturing SchemeFigure 1- Levels of Strategy ( Wright 1984 )Voss ( 2005 ) argues that there are three distinguishable paradigms in fabrication scheme, each holding its ain pros and cons. These are viing through ‘manufacturing ‘ , viing through ‘strategic picks in fabricating ‘ and ‘best pattern ‘ .Competing through fabricationStrategic Choices in fabricationBest PracticeCompeting through FabricationHarmonizing to the writer, the first attack to fabricating scheme proposes that the company should vie on the footing of its fabrication capablenesss. In making so it should do certain that these capablenesss are aligned with the cardinal success factors, the corporate and selling schemes of the company and the market place. The fabricating being one of the functional schemes needs to present the aims of the wider business/corporate schemes of the company which is a construct supported by Hayes and Wheelwright ( 1984 ) .

The writers have proposed a fabrication scheme model, which defines concern aims such as growing, net income and return on investing. For accomplishing these concern aims certain fabricating aims have to be laid down i.e. cost, quality, bringing and to run intoing these aims certain structural ( capacity, installation, engineering ) and infrastructural ( work force, quality, production planning and administration ) determinations have to be made. The frame work has been given in figure 1.Significant sum of literature on fabrication scheme has been written on viing standards. Cost, quality, dependableness and flexibleness have become synonymous with mensurating fight in fabrication. Hill ( 1993 ) puts frontward the subject of ‘order winning ‘ standards and ‘qualifying ‘ standards for merchandises.

As the name implies order winning standards are the distinguishable characteristics of a peculiar merchandise that persuade the client to purchase it. On the other manus the Qualifying Criteria is one which all merchandises should run into to last in the market topographic point even if they are non able to win orders e.g. hygiene as pointed out by ( New 1992 ) . Similar standard has been identified by Platts and Gregory ( 1990 ) where they specify bringing lead clip, dependability, characteristics, quality, flexibleness of the design, volume and monetary value as the competitory standards. With the development of the client and client demands standards which could be termed as order winning is now merely the modification standards ( Corbett, C and Van Wassenhove, L.

1993 ) , therefore doing it hard for fabricating companies to vie.

Structural Decisions




Vertical IntegrationCorporate /Business Aims

Tax return on InvestingGrowthNet income

Manufacturing Aims


Infrastructural Decisions

Work forceQualityProduction Planning /MaterialsAdministrationFigure: Hayes and Wheelwright Manufacturing Strategy Framework ( 1984 )With such alterations happening in the client demands and client demands it is imperative to hold the client to be included in the fabrication cringle which was foremost mentioned by Hill ( 1993 ) in his work. He suggests that the client should be given due importance and consideration in doing determinations related to fabrication as success of the terminal merchandise depends on the client ‘s pick of purchasing or non purchasing a peculiar merchandise.

Manufacturing Strategy literature consists of a broad assortment of literature on the pick of competitory precedences. International comparings of different states and the pick of competitory precedences have been studied in deepness by De Meyer ( 1992 ) . Porter ( 1980 ) has much in common with such attacks. Porter ‘s Cost Leadership, distinction and concentrate schemes can be considered as concern precedences which direct fabrication scheme. Stobaugh and Telesio ( 1983 ) derived three groups through empirical observation: cost, engineering and market-driven schemes in an effort to specify generic fabrication schemes.

Similar work has been carried out by Miller and Roth ( 1994 ) who developed taxonomy of fabrication schemes. Manufacturing schemes can be grouped together as done by assorted writers in to generic signifiers but execution of the scheme depends strongly on the form of determinations that is undertaken sing fabrication and that is the existent fabrication scheme of a company, as besides pointed out by Hays and Wheelwright ( 1984 ) .Voss ( 2005 ) has argued that alining fabricating capablenesss with the cardinal success factors of the company would maximise the fight of the company greatly. Examples of developing fabricating capableness can be from taking fabricating engineering to accomplish coveted consequences, or developing capablenesss to establish new merchandises in to the market much quicker, or capablenesss to bring forth the same merchandises at a cheaper cost, or developing capablenesss to better bringing times within the internal and the external supply ironss etc. Hays and Wheelwright ( 1984 ) suggest that companies should travel beyond looking to aline their fabrication schemes with the market topographic point and seek to act upon the corporate and concern schemes proactively to utilize fabrication capableness as a competitory arm.

Considerable work has besides been done in identifying, developing and measuring of fabrication capableness. For illustration, engineerings and capablenesss required for clip based competition by Stalk and Hout ( 1990 ) , such as new merchandise debut Clark and Fujimoto ( 1991 ) . The function of flexibleness in fabrication has been studied by Slack ( 1983 ) and Upton ( 1994 ) . The usage of flexible fabricating systems and the deficiency of usage of it has been studied by Jaikumar ( 1986 ) and the usage of flexible assembly automatons by Tidd ( 1991 ) .To sum up this paradigmStrategic Choices in ManufacturingThis paradigm evolves from the demand to accomplish internal and external consistence between picks in fabrication scheme ( C. Voss 1995 ) .

One of the first one to propose cardinal pick countries in fabrication was Skinner ( 1969 ) . He identified works and equipment, production planning and control, labour & amp ; staffing, merchandise design & A ; technology, and administration and direction as the cardinal pick countries in fabrication scheme. Hays and wheeler ( 1984 ) have farther expanded to this list by adding structural and infrastructural determinations and Hill ( 1993 ) confines these picks to simply two countries of procedure and scheme.These attacks are arguably contingent attacks which stress the fact that any scheme or program of action is strongly based on the fortunes of a peculiar company and determinations related to fabricating scheme have to be taken in context to the whole scenario.

For case implementing a pure pull production system might non be a executable option for a company that has an unstable client demand and there might be a demand to present some prediction in to the manner demand is assessed within the supply concatenation.Best PracticesBest Practice is the most recent to hold sprung to the scene of fabricating scheme literature harmonizing to Voss ( 2005 ) . In recent times the term ‘Best Practice ‘ has become a bombilation word in academe and the industrial universe alike ( Davies and Kochhar 2002 ) . The construct of best pattern is synonymous with that of universe category fabrication, which was foremost brought to the fabrication scheme scene by Hays and Wheelwright ( 1984 ) . World Class Manufacturing is normally taken to be an collection of all best patterns in a broad scope of countries of fabricating harmonizing to Voss ( 2005 ) . A sum-up of the cardinal points presented by Voss ( 2005 ) has been given in Table 2.

Table – Three Paradigms of Manufacturing Strategy ( C. Voss 1995 )Reasoning his paper Voss ( 2005 ) draws some of import decisions where the writer asserts that the three paradigms of fabricating have their ain failings and strengths, at the same clip each of them overlap one another partly. If a company were to disregard any one of these completely it would run the hazard of losing its competitory strength in fabrication.

The writer proposes a uninterrupted cringle where he proposes that a company prosecuting a scheme to vie through fabrication would hold to do cardinal strategic picks. These strategic picks would necessitate the development of universe category public presentation and making this would necessitate developing best in category patterns. The pick of these patterns and what portion of the concern do they concentrate on bettering would be partially decided by the old attacks. This is a uninterrupted iterative procedure of bettering procedure and public presentation that finally would take to developing the company ‘s capablenesss. This may alter the manner the company competes through fabrication and therefore starting of the rhythm one time once more ( Figure 3 ) .

Figure – The overlapping rhythm of Manufacturing Strategy ( C. Voss 1995 )From here on in the construct of Best Practice has been explored.

What are Best Practices?

‘Best Practices ‘ as discussed are one of the three fabrication scheme paradigms but what precisely are best patterns? In recent old ages, there has been a broad spread desire for following what are called ‘best patterns ‘ but as Hughes and Smart ( 1994a ) suggest that the opportunities are low for all industrialists to hold a good apprehension of what ‘best pattern ‘ really means and how it can be determined.There have been assorted definitions of best pattern in the literature. Davies and Kochhar ( 2002 ) assert that cautiousness must be exercised while utilizing the word ‘best ‘ and cite the international quality study ( 1993 ) as specifying best patterns as those that have aided lower executing administrations to better to medium public presentation, medium performing artists to better to higher performing artists and higher performing artists to remain on top and accomplish farther benefits.

Camp ( 1989 ) defines best patterns as those that would take a company to superior public presentation. Hughes and Smart ( 1994b ) propose that a best pattern is an activity or an action which is performed to a standard better or equal to the one achieved by other companies, in fortunes that are sufficiently similar to do meaningful comparing possible. It is deserving observing that best patterns may be ‘best ‘ for one company and their acceptance would ensue in accomplishing higher public presentation but rather perchance they would non present the same consequences for another company runing in a different environment and in a different context. Hence, best patterns are context specific ( Heibeler et al. , 1998 ) . The acceptance and success of best pattern action plans depends on their tantrum with the supply concatenation design and features and eventuality factors ( Farooq et al. , 2010 ) .

Hence, if the operational facets of the supply concatenation are non kept in head while following best patterns, they can go counterproductive.The basic rule of best pattern thought is that operations doctrines, constructs and techniques should be driven by competitory benchmarks and concern excellence theoretical accounts to better administrations competitiveness through the development of people, procedures and engineering ( Greswell, Childe and Mull 1998 ) . The best pattern attack to fabricating encapsulates Wold Class Manufacturing and benchmarking and is based on the premise that “ the uninterrupted betterment of best pattern in all countries of the administration would take to superior public presentation capableness taking to increased fight ” ( C. Voss 1995 ) . Therefore there exists a relation between public presentation of companies and acceptance of best patterns.

Link between Best Practice and Performance

It is an established fact that, the execution of new patterns in fabrication is usually associated with expected benefits in footings of improved public presentation ( Voss and Blackmon, Practice public presentation relationship in the UK Manufacturing Industry 1994 ) . It seems logical to anticipate public presentation betterment in some operational aspect whilst perpetrating resources to it as described by Flynn et al.

, ( 1995a ) patterns are “ attacks used by the direction and workers with the end of accomplishing certain types of public presentation ” .The term ‘best patterns ‘ has evolved for the construct of World Class Manufacturing, which was foremost introduced by Hays and Wheelwright ( 1984 ) where he describes it as a set of patterns including quality direction, uninterrupted betterment, preparation and investing in engineering. The execution of these ‘best patterns ‘ would take to superior public presentation harmonizing to Flynn et Al. ( 1999 ) . A really good analyses of World Class Manufacturing and Best Practices Literature has been put frontward by Laugen et al. , ( 2005 ) . Table 2 presents the sum-up of the plants in this field.Research workersKey Concept to Best PracticeConsequences sing practice-performance relationshipsSwamidass and Newell ( 1987 )Cross functional co-operation, design for manufacturabilityCorporate public presentation is positively related to the function of fabrication directors in strategic determinationsVoss ( 1995 )World Class Manufacturing, bench-marking, concern procedure re-engineering, TQM, larning from the Nipponese, Continuous ImprovementExecution of best ( universe category ) patterns leads to superior public presentation and capablenessAhmed et Al, .

( 1996 )TQM, JIT, FMS, CE, benchmarkingWhen patterns ( operations schemes ) are examined separately, companies utilizing any of seven patterns ( FMS, CE, benchmarking, TQM, JIT, fabricating cells and computing machine networking ) have higher public presentation than those non utilizing themBolden et Al, . ( 1997 )WCM, employee developmentThe categorization of fabrication patterns of single patterns, execution and resultsFlynn et Al. ( 1997 )WCM, CI, JITThe best users of alone TQM patterns, combined with common substructure patterns, are capable of work outing jobs to better production proceduresHarrison ( 1998 )WCM, CIWCM appears to ease operator committedness to uninterrupted betterment, but leaders become more defeated because they expected to accomplish more. Cellular fabrication in a UK-based company proved to be a powerful alteration agent, which has led to more in footings of fabrication betterment than old enterprises, such as MRP II.Flynn et Al.

( 1999 )WCM, JIT, CI, TQMThe usage of the WCM entirely and together with other new patterns, leads to better competitory public presentationKathuria and Partovi ( 1999 )Cross-functional co-operationBetter executing fabrication directors strongly demonstrate relationship-oriented patterns, such as squad edifice and support, participative leading and deputation, particularly when the accent is high on flexiblenessRondeau et Al. ( 2000 )Work system patterns, time-based competitionTime based fabrication patterns tend to take to standardization, formalization every bit good as integratingDavies and Kochhar ( 2002 )Best Practices, Performance, fabricating planning and controlA structured attack used to place direct qualitative relationship between pattern and public presentationGraver ( 2003 )Benchmarking, CIIntegrating client public presentation steps with internal public presentation steps ( internal quality, productiveness etc. ) to place betterment chances is found to be criticalKetokivi and Schroeder ( 2004 )TQM, JIT, WCM, eventualityThere are merely few best patterns lending to competitory fabrication public presentation in multiple dimensionsTable – Main Theoretical parts to links between best patterns and public presentation ( Laugen, et Al. 2005 )The drumhead presented above of the assorted parts made to the field of best pattern and universe category fabrication seems rather utile but the research suffers from three failings harmonizing to Laugen et Al, . ( 2005 ) :There are legion articles related to analyzing either one or a limited set of patterns, while the grounds why these patterns are best are non known ( B.

Flynn, et Al. 1997 ) . Why certain patterns are selected for survey and others are non is non known harmonizing to the writer. WCM and Best Practices do non take in to consideration that some other patterns might be more utile than others, simply because of how the footings are defined.The 2nd facet pointed out by the writer is more serious where it is asserted that best pattern surveies seldom link the patterns investigated to company public presentation. The most that is done in this respect is that an premise is made that the acceptance of such patterns would take to higher public presentation ( C.

Voss 1995 ) . Merely a few surveies confirm that the usage of best patterns leads to improved public presentation e.g. Hanson and Voss ( 1995 ) and Voss et al. , ( 1997 ) .

However, if an expressed nexus is made between best pattern and public presentation it is done so merely for a limited set of public presentation standards. An illustration is Davies and Kochhar ( 2002 ) who showed that the execution of quality plans leads to quality public presentation. In add-on, there is limited possibility for generalisation as these surveies are based largely on one or a few individual instance surveies.The 3rd thing Languen et al 2005, references is the fact that best patterns are considered to be generic, i.

e. best for all companies ever. The consequence of factors such as the type of industry, company, size, procedures and merchandises are non considered and neither is the fact that patterns, go disused after a piece.In order to travel through the above mentioned jobs, the writer instead than taking the position that best patterns are certain to present high public presentation, poses the inquiry that what patterns to high acting companies follow? Conducting the research utilizing the International Manufacturing Strategy Survey ( IMSS-III ) database, this contains informations, from 474 fabrication companies in 14 states.

The respondents represent five industrial sectors i.e. metal fabrication, machinery, electrical equipment, automotive and professional measuring equipment. Using assorted informations analysis techniques they have come up with a list of best pattern action plans. The term action plans have been used by Languen et al.

, 2005 for two grounds. One is it represents packages of patterns. Pull production for case is an action plan ; Kanban and single-minute exchange of dies ( SMED ) are patterns underpinning pull production. The 2nd ground is following Davies and Kochhar ‘s ( 2002 ) recommendations the writers are interested really much in public presentation betterments and therefore, alterations in patterns ( i.

e. action programmes ) instead than patterns in topographic point.List of whatever the public presentations are and so on from over hereaˆ¦ .Chapter 3Research Methodology

3.1 Introduction

In this chapter the Research Methodology to transport out the research has been discussed in item. Sing the aims of the research ‘Case Study ‘ research has been chosen as the most appropriate methodological analysis. A brief treatment related to the assorted other research methodological analysiss which are used in Operations Research, has besides been presented in the chapter.

Last but non least a thorough justification of the ‘Case Study ‘ attack has been presented at the terminal.

3.2 Research Methodology ; an Overview:

The manner in which research is carried out is known as the research methodological analysis.


3 Case Research Methodology:

3.3.1 What is Case Research?

3.3.2 Types of Case Research:


3.4 Research Design:

The get downing point of Case Research is the Research Framework and the Research Questions.

3.4.1 Initial Research Questions: Types of Research Questions

3.4.2 Single Case Research:


5 Development of Research Instruments and Protocols:

Primary beginning of informations in instance research is structured interviews… .3.5.

1 Case Research in Operations Management vs Social Sciences:3.5.2 Single or Multiple Respondents:3.6 Conducting Field Research:3.6.1Chapter 4Background of the Company and the CaseAssa Abbloy and Darson Rubber IndustriesAssa Abbloy is one of the taking makers of Locks, keys and Door Solutions.

The two companies that have been chosen have a long standing history of fabrication. The background and the history of both the companies has been given in this subdivision.Assa Abloy:Assa Abloy is by far the taking Lock Making companies of the universe. The Company has a figure of sites around the universe, which manufacture different types of locks and door solutions for its clients.

The Portobello site is the largest and the chief site in the UK. This site has about 200 store floor workers and managerial staff of 40 to 50 people.The one-year bend overThe recession has forced the company to re-devise its fabrication scheme like many other companies over the universe.( Ahmed, Montagno and Firenze 1996 )


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