Agile manufacturing, a recently popularised concept, has been advocated as the 21st century manufacturing paradigm. It is seen as the winning strategy to be adopted by manufacturers bracing themselves for dramatic performance enhancements to become national and international leaders in an increasingly competitive market of fast changing customer requirements. This paper identifies the drivers of agility and discusses the portfolio of competitive advantages that have emerged over time as a result of the changing requirements of manufacturing. The need to achieve the competitive advantages of manufacturing in synergy and without trade-offs is fundamental to the agile paradigm. To further the understanding of agility, this paper reviews the meaning of agility from different perspectives and suggests a comprehensive definition which can be adopted as a working definition by practitioners. Four underlining concepts of agility has emerged from the working definition and the paper presents a representation of these concepts and their interactions. Finally, the paper highlights some of the key enablers of agility and identifies potential future research directions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Business, Management and Accounting
- Economics and Econometrics
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering