Agile Supply Chain is an operational strategy for achieving maximum profit via optimized responsiveness, velocity and flexibility (for adjusting tactics and operations to market dynamics) within a supply chain. Tactics include precarious labor contracts, wage slavery, and outsourcing.
Although the term has no consistent definition, some recent industry strategists claim that there are five dimensions to supply chain agility: alertness, accessibility, decisiveness, swiftness, and flexibility. Harrison and Van Hoek (2008) claim that to be “agile” is to eschew forecasting in order to respond successfully to changing market demand, to work with “network partners” collaboratively and as a single process, and to view the supply chain as “information-based” instead of inventory-based. Agarwal, A., Shankar, R., & Tiwari, M. K. (2007) define an agile supply chain as a successful solution containing the following variables: market sensitivness, delivery speed, data accuracy, new product introduction, centralized and collaborative planning, process integration, use of IT tools, lead time reduction, service level improvement, cost minimization, customer satisfaction, quality improvement, minimizing uncertainty, trust development, minimizing resistance to change.
“The concept of agility was developed by the group of researchers from Lehigh University, USA, Iacocca Institute, who sought how to describe the activities that should be considered as essential aspects of the production process (Yusuf et al., 1999).” —Supply Chain Agility Concept Evolution
“Agile organizations are market-driven, with more product research and short development and introduction cycles…The faster materials, information, and decisions flow through an organization the faster it can respond to the demands of the market. The keys are flow and time.” —Rockford Consulting
“A survey of recent research suggests that there are five dimensions of agility that are common not only to military and sports science but also to the supply chain world: alertness, accessibility, decisiveness, swiftness, and flexibility. Each dimension represents a capability that companies must develop to achieve the desired level of agility.” —Supply Chain Qtrly