Manufacturing strategy is increasingly recognized by academics as essential to achieving sustainable competitive advantage. It is important to distinguish clearly between internal competences and external measures of competitiveness; ensuring a proper link between the two is a critical factor for success. This article suggests that: competences don't have to hurt each other; performance relative to the competition is what counts; each product has to meet some minimum requirements to have a chance of selling; and these requirements are continually becoming tougher. The article sketches a scenario where even superior manufacturing may no longer be a source of competitive advantage, but simply a ticket to the ball game.
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