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.