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The Role of Big Data to Facilitate Redistributed Manufacturing Using a Co-creation Lens: Patterns from Consumer Goods

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Theodoulidis, B 
Shapira, P 
Surekli, E 


Manufacturing digitalisation and the growth of big data promises to foster more responsive supply chains and to close gaps between manufacturers and consumers, leading to highly-connected manufacturing operations, mass customisation and more sustainable production. There is widespread recognition that manufacturing in broad terms is entering a new period of transition and change, aided by new technologies and business models and with multiple predictions that there will be significant reconfigurations in the geographical and inclusive distribution of manufacturing operations. A concept that can be used to describe this process of transformation is called redistributed manufacturing. This concept encompasses the empowerment of consumer-inclusive co-creation. In this paper, we investigate whether and how big data can facilitate redistributed manufacturing in consumer goods industries. The research sheds light on how businesses are starting to redistribute their functions among various stakeholders including consumers and co-creating value. The paper proposes a conceptual framework to stimulate and organise thinking about emerging interrelationships between big data, co-creation and redistributed manufacturing, built upon an extensive literature review and qualitative analysis of 15 cases from the consumer goods industry using primary and secondary data. Through these cases, we analyse existing co-creation practices in consumer goods industries, and how they are evolving their manufacturing configurations, their underlying drivers, the role of big data applications, and their impacts on the redistribution of manufacturing. Our analysis finds that big data applications are supporting and prompting redistributed manufacturing approaches in these consumer goods industries.



redistributed manufacturing, big data, digital manufacturing

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