The concept of agile supply chains is attracting increasing research attention, and has been picked up with enthusiasm by commercial organisations, as a conference at Cranfield recently demonstrated (see below). Agile supply chains have a number of distinguishing characteristics. They not only need to be network-based, but they also need to be market-sensitive, with highly integrated virtual and critical processes. Agile supply chains need to synchronise both supply and demand, if they are to respond in ever shorter time-frames to both volume and variety changes. The agile supply chain needs to be able to adjust output quickly to match market demand and switch rapidly from one variant to another
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