Agile manufacturing: a framework for research and development

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Agile manufacturing (AM) is a new concept in manufacturing intended to improve the competitiveness of firms. Manufacturing processes based on AM are characterized by customer-supplier integrated process for product design, manufacturing, marketing, and support services. This needs decision-making at functional knowledge levels, stable unit costs, flexible manufacturing, easy access to integrated data, and modular production facilities. Agile manufacturing requires enriching of the customer, co-operating with competitors, organizing to manage change, uncertainty and complexity, and leveraging people and information. In the recent years, a number of research papers have been published in the area of AM. However, a framework for the development of AM has not received due attention from both researchers and practitioners. Realizing the importance of agile manufacturing in the 21st century manufacturing competitiveness, an attempt has been made in this paper to review the literature available on AM with the objective to: (i) identify key strategies and techniques of AM, (ii) suggest some future research directions and (iii) develop a framework for the development of agile manufacturing systems (AMSs) along four key dimensions which include strategies, technologies, systems and people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-105
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 20 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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