Hybrid Manufacturing Systems and Hybrid Products: Services, Production and Industrialisation
by John R. Bryson
Manufacturing has changed, but our understanding of it has not. The production process of both goods and services has become blurred; service firms increasingly provide service functions that are combined within goods whilst goods manufacturers are stretching their value chains to profit from the provision of services. It has become difficult to differentiate between goods and services and, in many instances, the attempt to apply such a distinction distorts understanding of complex production processes. Four processes have been at work that require detailed attention: the shift towards service employment, changes to manufacturing, the blurring of services and manufacturing functions and the rise of hybrid products and production systems and finally alterations in the control systems required to manage complex hybrid production systems.