University Of Tasmania

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An economic geography of a manufacturing/transport logistics association

posted on 2023-05-27, 06:36 authored by Bradshaw, M. B.(Matthew Boyd), 1967-
Australian Newsprint Mills Ltd (ANM) was formed in 1938 and is Australia's only manufacturer of newsprint. ANM's first paper machine was started up in 1941 at Boyer, approximately 30 kilometres up the River Derwent from Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania, Australia. In 1981 ANM's second newsprint mill was brought on-line at Albury on the border between New South Wales and Victoria. Until the early 1990s, weekly or fortnightly newsprint delivery put ANM well ahead of its traditional competitors, primarily mills in Canada, Finland and Norway. During the 1990s, however, new developments, particularly in South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea, brought issues of quality, volume and cost effective competition closer to home, threatening ANM's approximately 70 per cent share of the Australian newsprint market. ANM needed to improve its transport logistics if its inherent geographic competitive advantage was to be maintained. Following the philosopher of science Roy Bhaskar, my position in this study is a combination of ontological realism and epistemic relativity. My approach in the transitive dimension to producing knowledge of the intransitive dimension proceeds by way of an epistemological dialectic, drawn from Marx and inflected through dialectical critical realism, that also uses the work of Deleuze and Guattari to theorise relations between structures and agents, and necessity and contingency. My social theoretical entry point is anti-essentialist Marxism and I particularly discuss my understanding of the Marxist conception of ideology as it relates to culture. Research that contributes to understanding manufacturing ‚ÄövÑvÆ service linkages by investigating how manufacturing establishments are becoming increasingly dependent on service expertise to distribute their products more effectively is lacking in the economic geography literature. In this study, I focus on the economic geography of ANM's transport logistics. These transport logistics have been restructured, and are organised and operated, through SMART Distribution Pty Ltd (Service Means Action Responsiveness and Timeliness). SMART is an organisational service network believed by its partners to be unique in Australia as well as to be at the leading edge of world best practice in the coordination and the continuous quality and cost improvement of the transport logistics of its manufacturing enterprise partner, ANM. Through SMART, ANM is organisationally involved in and broadly controls, but does not actually operationally perform any part of, its transport logistics. ANM/SMART is less clear-cut and more sophisticated than simple two party internal-buyer ‚ÄövÑvÆ external-supplier input linkages, and is an example of capitalist enterprises further maturing in their approach to organisation by blurring or re-articulating the boundaries between enterprises through an output organisational network. Understanding an economic geography of ANM's transport logistics involves considering the decisionmaking logic (which is partly geographic), process (which is partly cultural) and structure (ANM/SMART) behind these transport logistics. In this respect, I relate ANM's two most innovative and world competitive initiatives of the last ten years, the SMART organisational network, and corporate culture change, exploring the manifestation of customer focus, continuous improvement and entrepreneurialism in ANM/SMART.


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No access until 30 June 2015. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2000. Includes bibliographical references

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