Volume flexibility: the agile manufacturing conundrum

Volume flexibility: the agile manufacturing conundrum Agile manufacturing is a response to competition in environments characterised by unpredictable change, so having the ability to vary capacity, respond to sporadic changes in demand, mass customise at the cost of mass production, and compete in both mass and custom markets is crucial. Empirical justification of the benefits of implementing agile manufacturing is rare in the literature and an in-depth empirical study of the benefits of implementing agile manufacturing practices is lacking. This article aims to address this gap by conducting a preliminary analysis of a much wider empirical research. The adoption and impact of a set of tools - enablers of agile manufacturing - were studied through a survey by questionnaire. The results show lower volume flexibility at higher levels of adoption of the five enablers, thus the resource competencies for enhancing it were not in place. Also, volume flexibility ranked very low in hierarchy of future improvement plans. Suggests virtual cells, and its extension into supply chain networks, as a solution to volume flexibility. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Management Decision Emerald Publishing

Volume flexibility: the agile manufacturing conundrum

Management Decision, Volume 41 (7): 12 – Sep 1, 2003

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0025-1747
DOI
10.1108/00251740310495540
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Agile manufacturing is a response to competition in environments characterised by unpredictable change, so having the ability to vary capacity, respond to sporadic changes in demand, mass customise at the cost of mass production, and compete in both mass and custom markets is crucial. Empirical justification of the benefits of implementing agile manufacturing is rare in the literature and an in-depth empirical study of the benefits of implementing agile manufacturing practices is lacking. This article aims to address this gap by conducting a preliminary analysis of a much wider empirical research. The adoption and impact of a set of tools - enablers of agile manufacturing - were studied through a survey by questionnaire. The results show lower volume flexibility at higher levels of adoption of the five enablers, thus the resource competencies for enhancing it were not in place. Also, volume flexibility ranked very low in hierarchy of future improvement plans. Suggests virtual cells, and its extension into supply chain networks, as a solution to volume flexibility.

Journal

Management DecisionEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 2003

Keywords: Response flexibility; Competitive strategy; Mass customization

References

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