This paper investigates how HRM policies can contribute to the creation of a production environment in which the proposed benefits of the implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies can be realized. For one, data from twelve Dutch and eight British companies in the chemical and food & drink industries indicate that the use of advanced manufacturing technologies significantly alters the production environment. The strength of the impact is, however, dependent on the type(s) of automation methods implemented. Subsequently, a framework is developed to relate these changes to the design of HRM policies, incorporating the moderating effect of current structural arrangements. Although the majority of companies in the sample employs consistent HRM - technology combinations, also cases of ''over''-fit were detected in which firms invested more in HRM than would be required by their current manufacturing technology. The overall conclusion is, however, that the emergence of the new manufacturing technologies indeed opens up a whole array of new strategic opportunities in which elements of cost and differentiation strategies can be exploited simultaneously.