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    The Benefits and Disadvantages of Agile Manufacturing  by Carter Mathews

    The Benefits of Agile

    Agile manufacturing is effective due to the ability to focus on the satisfaction of customers. It can enhance an organization’s ability to change. The expectations and wishes of consumers can evolve quickly in today’s globalized world. Agile manufacturing is able to adjust to the trends that can quickly change in the marketplace. A traditional manufacturing approach cannot successfully do this in a quick manner. The length of trends is unpredictable. A new trend could appear in the time that it takes the traditional manufacturing process to shift to the previous trend it attempted to keep up with. The design of a modular product design will guarantee that the product is able to be tweaked and altered so that the final product will meet customer requirements without disrupting the manufacturing process as a whole. This ability will naturally improve customer satisfaction and keep them from other organizations that will fill their new requirements.

    The Disadvantages of Agile 

    Although we focus on the positives and benefits of agile manufacturing, there are some drawbacks to consider. If there is a large spike in demand to a new and popular product, it may be difficult to quickly respond since large inventory amounts are not included in this manufacturing system. For instance, the demand of a popular product in high demand could also experience a drastic drop. The result could leave an organization with unsold products. An organization could suffer in terms of financial cost and customer service. Since one of the main keys of agile manufacturing is knowledge culture, educating employees will be a significantly higher cost than it would be using a traditional manufacturing model. Your workforce will have to be highly skilled. New technology may need to be invested in when using a new modular product design. This can be difficult and of high cost. The increase in production downtime as well as maintenance, can be more complicated with the complexity of new technologies that may need to be invested in. The key to overcome these potential disadvantages is to have intensive management and planning required for the process to be smooth. This can be a difficult goal to achieve but it is possible with extensive and thorough research along with accurate planning that takes into consideration all the potential obstacles.

    For a more detailed analysis of the pros and cons of this manufacturing technique, check out Agile Manufacturing by Carter Mathews.

    Draw Out A Long-Term Plan With Agile Manufacturing by Carter Mathews

    In the previous post, we’d discussed the importance of Researching to understand if agile manufacturing would be suitable for your current business model, Appointing a Task Force to accomplish these goals and Examining the Relations of the Current Supply Base.

    At this point, your long-term plan for agile manufacturing should be established. The process of implementation will take time. Getting the manufacturing up to full speed will be a huge task. When you draw up the long-term plan with the team, it should include:

    • Benchmarks- Define what will be the signs of success in your business. Decide how the objectives can be measured.
    • Milestones- Decide when key objectives should be accomplished.
    • Contingencies- Create a backup plan for if/when things don’t go according to plan. Define how you can correct mistakes or change direction.

    By preparing for the eventual obstacles and issues that are bound to occur sometimes, you can ensure as much possible stability in unstable times. Outline the possible issues and obstacles that may occur beforehand. Create a plan for overcoming any unexpected situations.

    Never be afraid to “start-over.” Review what you’ve learned and re-examine your created action plans to ensure they still suit your business, as business needs constantly change. For a more detailed break-down, see how Carter Mathews approached the situation in Agile Manufacturing.

    Examine the Relations of the Current Suppliers by Carter Mathews

    In the previous post, we’d discussed the importance of Researching to understand if agile manufacturing would be suitable for your current business model and Appointing a Task Force to accomplish these goals.

    The key to agile manufacturing can sometimes be the partnerships that the organizations have. This is the reason why it is important to observe the partnerships that exist and to examine the possible options that you could hold in those relations. You should do this before the new approach is implemented. This is important for two reasons:

    • It will ensure that the stable partnerships will be strengthened in order to enhance agile manufacturing.
    • It enables the partnerships that don’t work for your benefit to be located so that those ties may be cut off. This will benefit the organization by eliminating unnecessary costs.

    It is important to evaluate the partnerships with your existing supplier in order to categorize your relationships into the two groups shown above. Agile manufacturing can be benefited by the relationships you can take advantage of. When you eliminate the ones that do not strengthen the capabilities of your organization, money but more importantly time will be regained. Be mindful of the partnerships with your suppliers you keep; especially those associated with your speed and responsiveness.

    In the following blog post, we’ll review the importance of Drawing Out a Long-Term Plan.

    Appoint A Task Force Agile Manufacturing by Carter Mathews

    In the previous post, we’d discussed the importance of Researching to understand if agile manufacturing would be suitable for your current business model.

    It will take time in order to accurately create an agile manufacturing plan. It is important that you make clearly defined selections of the individuals that are in charge. This will smooth out the process and also ensure accountability. Your task force will be in charge of creating this plan. In order to allow a group of individuals to complete this plan, job responsibilities within the organization can be shifted in order to allow this to be possible. Anyone with any previous knowledge of agile manufacturing will be greatly beneficial. The group should be supported and provided with resources that are necessary in order for your team to be swift and successful. A board member should be a part of this team. The future of the business will be changed and shaped through this strategic shift. Regular updates should be provided by the task force during this process. The group should be provided with objectives that are clearly set in order for them to thoroughly understand what is to be achieved through implementation. A timetable for the process should be implemented.

    An important role that is played by the task force is the knowledge culture. By narrowing down the amount of individuals that are working on research, more focus can be applied to the ways of implementation. Every individual in the organization should be involved in the process whether they are on your narrowed elite team or not. The State of Agile Survey reported that one of the biggest barriers experienced in the adoption of agile manufacturing in organizations is the “general resistance to change”. It is the tendency to resist the change within an organization. By getting every individual involved, you can prepare the whole organization for the change. Whether this means putting them on your elite team, or simply getting them familiarized with the process and necessities for change, it will help everyone get on board.

    In the following blog post, we’ll review the importance of Examining the Relations of the Current Suppliers and Drawing Out a Long-Term Plan.

    Agile Manufacturing Research by Carter Mathews

    We’ve discussed the difference between lean and agile, and even “leagile,” in What is Agile Manufacturing. Now we’ll show you how to put your plan into effect in this 4-part series.
    Research

    The first important step is to make sure that you have a solid and thorough understanding of what is accompanied with agile manufacturing. The three main points to include are:

    • The costs involved with agile manufacturing
    • The processes that are required with agile manufacturing
    • The tasks involved in the process that are concrete

    Depending on the type of business industry your organization is a part of, the cost to implement the manufacturing process can greatly vary. A good way to get a better sense of understanding is to investigate and examine other businesses. By finding organizations that are similar to yours in terms of product or are currently using agile manufacturing, you can accurately observe the system and improvements made by their example.

    Regarding your current business, make a list of pros and cons. Consider the benefits to be obtained along with the downsides that may occur when transforming the model of your current manufacturing system into the agile type. Advantages and disadvantages of agile manufacturing are further discussed in Benefits and Disadvantages of Agile Manufacturing.

    Consider that certain products are more compatible and sustainable with agile manufacturing compared to other types. Examine the type of products your business is currently manufacturing and ask yourself these questions:

    • Would the added touch of personalization be a benefit that would better this product?
    • Is there the potential for a market that would create the product as a modular product?
    • Is there a product that could be developed through the agile manufacturing model?
    • What type of advantages that are competitive could your business provide to a compatible product?

    In the following blog posts, we’ll review the importance of Appointing a Task Force, Examining the Relations of the Current Suppliers and Drawing Out a Long-Term Plan.

    Difference Between Lean Manufacturing and Agile Manufacturing

    The key similarity is that both lean and agile manufacturing are intended to lower costs while making improvements through all processes. However, there are still some differences in both of the methodologies.

    Being able to minimize and reduce the costs that are involved with manufacturing is the main goal of lean manufacturing. It focusses on what is necessary. Just how an individual that is considered lean most likely obtains that body figure by not eating more than what is necessary for their body. Lean manufacturing has a demand-based and aims to eliminate the storage of inventory. It improves the effective uses of utilities, facilities, and materials. This type of manufacturing puts emphasis on improvement and the measure of performance.

    Agile manufacturing is best compared when thinking of an individual that is fit. An individual can be both lean and fit at the same time. Taking that same analogy, an organization can both be lean and agile. However, agile does not immediately mean that an organization is also lean. It has been mentioned that agile manufacturing is considered to stem from the processes of lean manufacturing. This is because these practices of lean manufacturing allow the practices and approaches of agile manufacturing to be successfully completed. The similarities to both types of manufacturing are listed below:

    • The support of sustainability and revenue creation
    • The improvement of competitiveness

    When both types of manufacturing are combined, it’s often referred to as leagile manufacturing. By using the listed types of approaches, leagile manufacturing can be successfully applied.

    • Make-to-stock manufacturing is an approach of lean that can be used for manufacturing products that are in high demand. Make-to-order will allow the high demand products to be made as they are order as an approach of agile manufacturing.
    • By using the creation of a flexible production capacity, this allows an organization to respond to the unexpected surges of demand of customer requirements and orders.
    • The implementation of postponement strategies allows a product to be manufactured in advance. This then allows any variation and other changes to be added to the product in the process of the final assembly for the finished product.

    When you are able to understand how both manufacturing processes and approaches are used in order to benefit the organization, higher levels of success will be achieved when you use them to the specific needs your consumers require. Lean and agile manufacturing both have many benefits to reap when you commit to using one, the other, or both.

    What is Agile Manufacturing?

    cover

    Agile manufacturing is an approach that refers to the processes that enable organizations to quickly respond to customer needs and market changes while still controlling costs and quality.

    There are four key elements that make agile manufacturing a highly effective approach in the marketplace.

    1. Modular Production Design- A modular fashion is used in order to produce products. This allows the modules to serve as a base product that can be formed into a variation. This allows the variation process to be fast and easy.
    2. Inform Technology- This type of technology allows the automation of dissemination processes that are rapid when it comes to the product information. This information is spread throughout the company in order to allow the orders to be responded to in a fast and swift response.
    3. Corporate Partners- Short-term alliances can be created with other companies in order to benefit each other. These type of relationships can be used in order for the time-to-market to be improved for the selected product segments.
    4. Knowledge Culture- Investments made in the training of employees can be made in order to successfully achieve a good knowledge culture. This knowledge will help employees to understand the rapid change and the ongoing adaptation that occurs in the marketplace.

    The Benefits and Disadvantages of Agile Manufacturing  by Carter Mathews

    The Benefits of Agile

    Agile manufacturing is effective due to the ability to focus on the satisfaction of customers. It can enhance an organization’s ability to change. The expectations and wishes of consumers can evolve quickly in today’s globalized world. Agile manufacturing is able to adjust to the trends that can quickly change in the marketplace. A traditional manufacturing approach cannot successfully do this in a quick manner. The length of trends is unpredictable. A new trend could appear in the time that it takes the traditional manufacturing process to shift to the previous trend it attempted to keep up with. The design of a modular product design will guarantee that the product is able to be tweaked and altered so that the final product will meet customer requirements without disrupting the manufacturing process as a whole. This ability will naturally improve customer satisfaction and keep them from other organizations that will fill their new requirements.

    The Disadvantages of Agile 

    Although we focus on the positives and benefits of agile manufacturing, there are some drawbacks to consider. If there is a large spike in demand to a new and popular product, it may be difficult to quickly respond since large inventory amounts are not included in this manufacturing system. For instance, the demand of a popular product in high demand could also experience a drastic drop. The result could leave an organization with unsold products. An organization could suffer in terms of financial cost and customer service. Since one of the main keys of agile manufacturing is knowledge culture, educating employees will be a significantly higher cost than it would be using a traditional manufacturing model. Your workforce will have to be highly skilled. New technology may need to be invested in when using a new modular product design. This can be difficult and of high cost. The increase in production downtime as well as maintenance, can be more complicated with the complexity of new technologies that may need to be invested in. The key to overcome these potential disadvantages is to have intensive management and planning required for the process to be smooth. This can be a difficult goal to achieve but it is possible with extensive and thorough research along with accurate planning that takes into consideration all the potential obstacles.

    For a more detailed analysis of the pros and cons of this manufacturing technique, check out Agile Manufacturing by Carter Mathews.

    Draw Out A Long-Term Plan With Agile Manufacturing by Carter Mathews

    In the previous post, we’d discussed the importance of Researching to understand if agile manufacturing would be suitable for your current business model, Appointing a Task Force to accomplish these goals and Examining the Relations of the Current Supply Base.

    At this point, your long-term plan for agile manufacturing should be established. The process of implementation will take time. Getting the manufacturing up to full speed will be a huge task. When you draw up the long-term plan with the team, it should include:

    • Benchmarks- Define what will be the signs of success in your business. Decide how the objectives can be measured.
    • Milestones- Decide when key objectives should be accomplished.
    • Contingencies- Create a backup plan for if/when things don’t go according to plan. Define how you can correct mistakes or change direction.

    By preparing for the eventual obstacles and issues that are bound to occur sometimes, you can ensure as much possible stability in unstable times. Outline the possible issues and obstacles that may occur beforehand. Create a plan for overcoming any unexpected situations.

    Never be afraid to “start-over.” Review what you’ve learned and re-examine your created action plans to ensure they still suit your business, as business needs constantly change. For a more detailed break-down, see how Carter Mathews approached the situation in Agile Manufacturing.

    Examine the Relations of the Current Suppliers by Carter Mathews

    In the previous post, we’d discussed the importance of Researching to understand if agile manufacturing would be suitable for your current business model and Appointing a Task Force to accomplish these goals.

    The key to agile manufacturing can sometimes be the partnerships that the organizations have. This is the reason why it is important to observe the partnerships that exist and to examine the possible options that you could hold in those relations. You should do this before the new approach is implemented. This is important for two reasons:

    • It will ensure that the stable partnerships will be strengthened in order to enhance agile manufacturing.
    • It enables the partnerships that don’t work for your benefit to be located so that those ties may be cut off. This will benefit the organization by eliminating unnecessary costs.

    It is important to evaluate the partnerships with your existing supplier in order to categorize your relationships into the two groups shown above. Agile manufacturing can be benefited by the relationships you can take advantage of. When you eliminate the ones that do not strengthen the capabilities of your organization, money but more importantly time will be regained. Be mindful of the partnerships with your suppliers you keep; especially those associated with your speed and responsiveness.

    In the following blog post, we’ll review the importance of Drawing Out a Long-Term Plan.

    Appoint A Task Force Agile Manufacturing by Carter Mathews

    In the previous post, we’d discussed the importance of Researching to understand if agile manufacturing would be suitable for your current business model.

    It will take time in order to accurately create an agile manufacturing plan. It is important that you make clearly defined selections of the individuals that are in charge. This will smooth out the process and also ensure accountability. Your task force will be in charge of creating this plan. In order to allow a group of individuals to complete this plan, job responsibilities within the organization can be shifted in order to allow this to be possible. Anyone with any previous knowledge of agile manufacturing will be greatly beneficial. The group should be supported and provided with resources that are necessary in order for your team to be swift and successful. A board member should be a part of this team. The future of the business will be changed and shaped through this strategic shift. Regular updates should be provided by the task force during this process. The group should be provided with objectives that are clearly set in order for them to thoroughly understand what is to be achieved through implementation. A timetable for the process should be implemented.

    An important role that is played by the task force is the knowledge culture. By narrowing down the amount of individuals that are working on research, more focus can be applied to the ways of implementation. Every individual in the organization should be involved in the process whether they are on your narrowed elite team or not. The State of Agile Survey reported that one of the biggest barriers experienced in the adoption of agile manufacturing in organizations is the “general resistance to change”. It is the tendency to resist the change within an organization. By getting every individual involved, you can prepare the whole organization for the change. Whether this means putting them on your elite team, or simply getting them familiarized with the process and necessities for change, it will help everyone get on board.

    In the following blog post, we’ll review the importance of Examining the Relations of the Current Suppliers and Drawing Out a Long-Term Plan.

    Agile Manufacturing Research by Carter Mathews

    We’ve discussed the difference between lean and agile, and even “leagile,” in What is Agile Manufacturing. Now we’ll show you how to put your plan into effect in this 4-part series.
    Research

    The first important step is to make sure that you have a solid and thorough understanding of what is accompanied with agile manufacturing. The three main points to include are:

    • The costs involved with agile manufacturing
    • The processes that are required with agile manufacturing
    • The tasks involved in the process that are concrete

    Depending on the type of business industry your organization is a part of, the cost to implement the manufacturing process can greatly vary. A good way to get a better sense of understanding is to investigate and examine other businesses. By finding organizations that are similar to yours in terms of product or are currently using agile manufacturing, you can accurately observe the system and improvements made by their example.

    Regarding your current business, make a list of pros and cons. Consider the benefits to be obtained along with the downsides that may occur when transforming the model of your current manufacturing system into the agile type. Advantages and disadvantages of agile manufacturing are further discussed in Benefits and Disadvantages of Agile Manufacturing.

    Consider that certain products are more compatible and sustainable with agile manufacturing compared to other types. Examine the type of products your business is currently manufacturing and ask yourself these questions:

    • Would the added touch of personalization be a benefit that would better this product?
    • Is there the potential for a market that would create the product as a modular product?
    • Is there a product that could be developed through the agile manufacturing model?
    • What type of advantages that are competitive could your business provide to a compatible product?

    In the following blog posts, we’ll review the importance of Appointing a Task Force, Examining the Relations of the Current Suppliers and Drawing Out a Long-Term Plan.

    Difference Between Lean Manufacturing and Agile Manufacturing

    The key similarity is that both lean and agile manufacturing are intended to lower costs while making improvements through all processes. However, there are still some differences in both of the methodologies.

    Being able to minimize and reduce the costs that are involved with manufacturing is the main goal of lean manufacturing. It focusses on what is necessary. Just how an individual that is considered lean most likely obtains that body figure by not eating more than what is necessary for their body. Lean manufacturing has a demand-based and aims to eliminate the storage of inventory. It improves the effective uses of utilities, facilities, and materials. This type of manufacturing puts emphasis on improvement and the measure of performance.

    Agile manufacturing is best compared when thinking of an individual that is fit. An individual can be both lean and fit at the same time. Taking that same analogy, an organization can both be lean and agile. However, agile does not immediately mean that an organization is also lean. It has been mentioned that agile manufacturing is considered to stem from the processes of lean manufacturing. This is because these practices of lean manufacturing allow the practices and approaches of agile manufacturing to be successfully completed. The similarities to both types of manufacturing are listed below:

    • The support of sustainability and revenue creation
    • The improvement of competitiveness

    When both types of manufacturing are combined, it’s often referred to as leagile manufacturing. By using the listed types of approaches, leagile manufacturing can be successfully applied.

    • Make-to-stock manufacturing is an approach of lean that can be used for manufacturing products that are in high demand. Make-to-order will allow the high demand products to be made as they are order as an approach of agile manufacturing.
    • By using the creation of a flexible production capacity, this allows an organization to respond to the unexpected surges of demand of customer requirements and orders.
    • The implementation of postponement strategies allows a product to be manufactured in advance. This then allows any variation and other changes to be added to the product in the process of the final assembly for the finished product.

    When you are able to understand how both manufacturing processes and approaches are used in order to benefit the organization, higher levels of success will be achieved when you use them to the specific needs your consumers require. Lean and agile manufacturing both have many benefits to reap when you commit to using one, the other, or both.

    What is Agile Manufacturing?

    cover

    Agile manufacturing is an approach that refers to the processes that enable organizations to quickly respond to customer needs and market changes while still controlling costs and quality.

    There are four key elements that make agile manufacturing a highly effective approach in the marketplace.

    1. Modular Production Design- A modular fashion is used in order to produce products. This allows the modules to serve as a base product that can be formed into a variation. This allows the variation process to be fast and easy.
    2. Inform Technology- This type of technology allows the automation of dissemination processes that are rapid when it comes to the product information. This information is spread throughout the company in order to allow the orders to be responded to in a fast and swift response.
    3. Corporate Partners- Short-term alliances can be created with other companies in order to benefit each other. These type of relationships can be used in order for the time-to-market to be improved for the selected product segments.
    4. Knowledge Culture- Investments made in the training of employees can be made in order to successfully achieve a good knowledge culture. This knowledge will help employees to understand the rapid change and the ongoing adaptation that occurs in the marketplace.