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Understanding, Implementing and Exploiting Agility and Leanness.

By James Aitken, Martin Christopher and Denis R. Towill


The latter part of the 20th century saw the lean production paradigm positively impact many market sectors ranging from automotive through to construction. In particular, there is much evidence to suggest that level scheduling combined with the elimination of muda has successfully delivered a wide range of products to those markets where cost is the primary order winning criteria. However, there are many other volatile markets where the order winner is availability, which has led to the emergence of the agile paradigm typified by "quick response" and similar initiatives. Nevertheless, lean and agile are not mutually exclusive paradigms and may be married to advantage as is shown in the lighting industry case study. The outcome of our review of the characteristics of "lean" and "agile" supply is the proposition of a model for enabling change to the agile enterprise. This incorporates the three levels of principles, programmes and actions. We conclude by showing that the model encompasses the major factors executed within the case study, which covers agility throughout the product introduction process and product delivery process. It appears to be a feature of the successful implementation of agility that it is an organisation-wide shift in culture and cannot be restricted to just a few activities

Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Year: 2002
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13675560110084139
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

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