When facing competition—particularly fierce competition—it’s important to know all you can about your adversary and their weapons, the battlefield on which the fight will take place, and the best time to strike or retreat. In other words, knowledge is power, and the ability to remain flexible and fast to emerging or changing developments is a tremendous tactical advantage. This notion of changeability is at the heart of new movements in manufacturing based in production agility.
While certainly a modern business concept, agile manufacturing goes beyond simply being another version of 1980’s-styled computer integrated manufacturing or 1990’s lean manufacturing. Rather, agile manufacturing represents a complete shift in the mindset of production industries in the 21st Century; one in which there is both a greater relationship between technology and worker skills, and greater customer access to, and demands upon, the core competencies of their manufacturers/vendors.
The basic concept of agile manufacturing is to develop what could best be called a nimble mindset when it comes to understanding market environments. In short, rapid changes in the market environment are not (more…)