Operations mechanism of postponement strategy for service-oriented manufacturing

  • Jianqiang LuoEmail author
  • Qinhong Zhang
Open Access


With the rapid growth of individualized customer demands, manufacturers are supposed to pay more attention to the interaction between service and product. In this context, the concept called service-oriented manufacturing (SOM) has been promoted. Postponement strategy, while has already been widely studied in manufacturing systems, still lacks being well understood about its operations mechanism for SOM. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to provide a further insight into an operations mechanism in which SOM can be driven by postponement strategy. Firstly, by analyzing the characteristics of postponement strategy and SOM, the hypothesis that postponement strategy can support SOM is theoretically approved. Then, to better reveal its operations mechanism, an innovative model is constructed. In this model, non-differentiated and differentiated products are compared, service time is introduced as a sensitive factor, and an approach incorporating customer satisfaction is proposed. Taking advantages of these innovation points, the customer order fulfilling time can be easily analyzed in the SOM system applied postponement strategy. The research results show that the cost of customer interaction could be reduced through the adjustment activities before customer order decoupling point, and the degree of product customization could be increased by interactive activities after customer order decoupling point. Both of them would enable manufacturers to better respond to customized demands.


Service-oriented manufacturing Postponement strategy Customer order decoupling point Service time 



The authors express sincere thanks to the editor(s) and anonymous reviewers of IJAMT for their careful reading and suggestions in improving the quality of this paper.

Funding information

The paper is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 71772080 and 71472077).


  1. 1.
    Ferreira KA, Tomas RN, Alcântara RLC (2015) A theoretical framework for postponement concept in a supply chain. Int J Log Res Appl 18(1):46–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Graman GA (2010) A partial-postponement decision cost model. Eur J Oper Res 201(1):34–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Luo JQ, Zhao YP, Song HM (2010) Implementation mechanism and application of postponement strategy under service-oriented manufacturing environment. Chin Mech Eng 21(22):2693–2698Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Karmakar U (2004) Will you survive the services revolution? Harv Bus Rev 82(6):100–107Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wang K, Jiang Z, Li N, Geng N (2013) Optimal production and admission control for a stochastic SOM system with demands for product and PSS. Int J Prod Res 51(23–24):7270–7288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hobo MS, Watanabe CH, Chen CJ (2006) Double spiral trajectory between retail, manufacturing and customers leads a way to service-oriented manufacturing. Technovation 26(7):873–890CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Van Hoek RI (2001) The rediscovery of postponement a literature review and directions for research. J Oper Manag 19(2):161–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Garg A, Tang CS (1997) On postponement strategies for product families with multiple points of differentiation. IIE Trans 29(8):641–650Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Van Hoek RI, Van Dierdonck R (2000) Postponed manufacturing supplementary to transportation services. Transp Res E 36(3):205–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Li J, Wang S, Cheng TCE (2008) Analysis of postponement strategy by EPQ-based models with planned backorders. Omega 36(5):777–778CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Graman GA, Magazine MJ (2002) A numerical analysis of capacitated postponement. Oper Prod Manag 11(3):340–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Zhou W, Zhang R, Zhou Y (2013) A queuing model on supply chain with the form postponement strategy. Comput Ind Eng 66(4):643–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jeff H, Willem S, Zhou D et al (2007) Postponement strategy from a supply chain perspective: cases from China. Int J Phys Distrib Logist Manag 37(4):331–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Li S, Ragu-Nathan B, Ragu-Nathan TS et al (2004) The impact of supply chain management practices on competitive advantage and organizational performance. Omega 34(2):107–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Baines TS, Lightfoot HW, Benedettini O, Kay JM (2009) The servitization of manufacturing: a review of literature and reflection on future challenges. J Manuf Technol Manag 20(5):547–567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Vandermerwe S, Rada J (1988) Servitization of business: adding value by adding services. Eur Manag J 6(4):314–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Vargo SL, Lusch RF (2004) Evolving to a new dominant logic for marketing [J]. J Mark 68(1):1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Beuren FH, Ferreira MG, Paulo A et al (2013) Product-service systems: a literature review on integrated products and services. J Clean Prod 47(5):222–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Grönroos C (2008) Service logic revisited: who creates value? And who co-creates? Eur Bus Rev 20(4):298–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Schmenner RW (2009) Manufacturing, service, and their integration: some history and theory. Int J Oper Prod Manag 29(5):431–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gao J, Yao Y, Zhu VC et al (2011) Service-oriented manufacturing: a new product pattern and manufacturing paradigm. J Intell Manuf 22(3):435–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Zhen L (2012) An analytical study on service-oriented manufacturing strategies. Int J Prod Econ 139(1):220–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hanafy M, Elmaraghy H (2015) Developing assembly line layout for delayed product differentiation using phylogenetic networks. Int J Prod Res 53(9):2633–2651CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial Engineering, School of ManagementJiangsu UniversityZhenjiangChina

Personalised recommendations