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Strategic site reasons re-visited, digging deeper in the rationale of global manufacturing networks: An empirical study from a headquarters perspective

2022-08 , Kaiser, Jens , Saretz, Benedikt , Friedli, Thomas

The site role concept developed by Ferdows and empirically tested by Vereecke et al. discusses the specific advantages of globally distributed manufacturing plants. It conceptualizes the primary reasons for manufacturing sites to exist–the strategic site reasons. This article presents the results of a multiple case study further examining the reasons to establish a site, the sites' main advantage today, and related contingency factors. The findings show that the main reasons to establish or acquire a manufacturing site are access to low-cost labor, new technologies, and reliable transportation. The most stable reason over time is access to skills and know-how.