The Four Dimensions of Supply Chain Agility

5/31/19 10:30 AM

Currently, our manufacturing and business environment is completely characterized by change, minimized product life cycles, and increased demand uncertainty. The conditions have become the norm, which has made companies and researchers both turn toward the concept of agility and agile in the search for a sustainable source of competitive advantage. Supply chain agility has emerged as the dominant competitive vehicle for organizations operating in uncertain and ever-changing business environments.

The Four Dimensions of Supply Chain Agility

This raises the question of what exactly is supply chain agility and are there ways for your company to develop it? Supply chain agility can easily be categorized and described as the company’s ability to adjust tactics and operations within its production process. This falls into the five dimensions of supply chain agility, which are important to understand before implementing an agile supply chain process. Without further adieu, here are the five dimensions of supply chain agility.

Four Dimensions of Supply Chain Agility

The five dimensions of supply chain agility include the following:

  • Alertness - The first dimension of supply chain agility is alertness. Within sports and the military, alertness is by far one of the most, if not the most, important component. Military science suggest that alertness is a key component of agility, simply because an early awareness of threats allows for a quicker response. Same goes with sports, in which you have to be alert at all times about what is going on within a competition or game. The same concept lies within business and manufacturing, in which a business can respond to changes within its environment, but it must first identify the changes. Agile companies have a high level of alertness in areas such as market trends, listening to customers, information with suppliers, monitoring demand, etc.
  • Accessibility - The next dimension pertains to accessibility. Once a company has utilized the alertness capability to detect change within a certain aspect or factor, it needs to be able to access relevant data within a timely manner and decide how to act. Information access across the supply chain is a key requirement for supply chain agility. At the minimum, supply chain managers need to be able to share real-time, inventory, production information, and more. Accessibility is key within manufacturing operations that are seeking to achieve supply chain agility.
  • Decisiveness - As companies begin to become larger, supply chain networks expand and more functions become involved in making decisions. This ultimately leads to a slowed down decision making process. Speeding up your decision making process through ridding yourself of complexity will aid in your supply chain becoming much more agile and efficient.
  • Swiftness - Once a decision has been made about quickly responding to changes, agility is dependent on a company’s swiftness. Speed is at the core of supply chain agility. If a company detects potential change within the environment, accesses relevant data, and makes a resolute decision on how to act, but it lacks the ability to quickly implement the decision that has been made, then the agility cycle breaks. Agile operations cannot emphasize how important speed is within an operation in terms of efficiency.

A software that can aid with supply chain agility is PlanetTogether’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software (APS). Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software (APS) is a production planning scheduling software that allows you to have thorough visibility of your manufacturing operation. It aids in locating areas of production where efficiency is lacking, waste is prevalent, and cost are exceeding what you are intending. APS software has become a must for production facilities that are seeking to take their production facility to the next level in terms of optimization, efficiency increase, and cost reduction. APS software can be implemented into operations around the globe and can easily aid their production process.

Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software has become a must for modern-day manufacturing operations due to customer demand for increased product mix and fast delivery combined with downward cost pressures. APS can be quickly integrated with a ERP/MRP software to fill gaps where these system lack planning and scheduling flexibility and accuracy. Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) helps planners save time while providing greater agility in updating ever-changing priorities, production schedules, and inventory plans.

  • Create optimized schedules balancing production efficiency and delivery performance
  • Maximize output on bottleneck resources to increase revenue
  • Synchronize supply with demand to reduce inventories
  • Provide company-wide visibility to capacity
  • Enable scenario data-driven decision making

Implementation of Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software will take your manufacturing operations to the next level of production efficiency, taking advantage of the operational data you already have in your ERP.

Related Lean Video

 APS Resources

Topics: Agile manufacturing

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