Variety, postponement and reconfiguration: insights from automotive order fulfilment systems

Bart MacCarthy*, Philip G. Brabazon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


High product variety is challenging for manufacturing enterprises that strive for operational efficiency whilst also satisfying customer demands for specific product variants. Here we consider innovative and flexible order fulfilment mechanisms that are emerging, particularly in the automotive sector. The concept involves reconfiguring products in the planning pipeline. The potential benefits are illustrated with results from a large scale simulation study conducted with a major automotive manufacturer. The logic of a reconfiguration strategy is compared with a postponement strategy and the similarities and differences identified. The relevance of pipeline fulfilment and reconfiguration strategies in non-automotive sectors is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication12th IFAC Symposium on Information Control Problems in Manufacturing, INCOM 2006, and Associated Industrial Meetings
Subtitle of host publicationEMM'2006, BPM'2006, JT'2006
PublisherIFAC Secretariat
Number of pages6
EditionPART 1
ISBN (Print)9783902661043
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2006

Publication series

NameIFAC Proceedings Volumes
ISSN (Print)1474-6670


  • automotive
  • customisation
  • order fulfilment
  • postponement
  • product variety
  • reconfiguration


Dive into the research topics of 'Variety, postponement and reconfiguration: insights from automotive order fulfilment systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this