The evolution of agile manufacturing.
Anderson, Alistair R.
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LI, J.-H., ANDERSON, A.R. and HARRISON, R.T. 2003. The evolution of agile manufacturing. Business process management journal [online], 9(2), pages 170-189. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14637150310468380
This paper provides an exploration of the concept and content of agile manufacturing (AM). It describes the nature of the content of AM and synthesises the literature to propose a comprehensive definition of purpose and process. Real agile manufacturing (RAM) is viewed as a strategic process; it is about surviving and prospering in the competitive environment of continuous and unpredictable change by reacting quickly and effectively to changing markets. The paper argues that RAM is evolutionary, in that it is developed from existing systems of management and technologies. However, it is also revolutionary because the full application of RAM involves a departure from existing systems. RAM is shown to be based upon four fundamentals. First, each partner must benefit; thus multiple winners (manufacturers, suppliers, customers) is the objective. Second, integration (recourses, methods, technologies, departments or organisations) is the means of achieving RAM. Third, IT is demonstrated to be an essential condition. Finally, core competence is seen to be the key.