Supply chain agility has received increasing attention as markets have become more dynamic and companies must contend with shorter product cycles and volatile demand patterns. The term “agile supply chain” at its core is the capability of an organization and its supply chain partners ‘adapt and respond’ to the changes in its business environment, whether they be opportunities or threats, expected or unexpected, in a timely manner. Supply chain agility represents the enterprise’s readiness to meet changes in the face of increasing demand volatility. That nimbleness results in better customer response time and ultimately, competitive advantage.
There are four key characteristics of agile supply chains:
- They are market sensitive and are capable of reading and resonding to market demand.
- They are vitual supply chains based on information rather than inventory.
- They are network based through an ecosystem of partners linked together.
- They have a high level of process integration that allows information to be shared.
An agile supply chain is useful for companies that manufacture products under unique specifications for each customer or a “make to order” process. This is typically seen in industries that are characterized by unpredictable demand. Agile supply chains are all about enabling visibility of the supply chain from end-to-end.
Download our whitepaper, Is an Agile Supply Chain the Right Model for Your Organization, to learn more about agile supply chains and how your company can be best equipped for success in today’s dynamics markets from this competitive market strategy.