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How to incorporate agile manufacturing into your existing system

Agility is a term that is often used to describe sports players.An agile individual is quick and can respond to changes well.Likewise, agile manufacturing is a manufacturing system that works to be able to create the processes and tools necessary to adapt to the ever changing consumer environment.Anyone can make changes, but another important attribute of agile manufacturing is that changes are made while still upholding the highest levels of quality and controlling costs.

Agile manufacturing is similar to lean manufacturing in several ways.Like lean manufacturing, agile manufacturing must eliminate wasted time, processes and resources if the end result is to be acceptable financially.The main difference between lean manufacturing and agile manufacturing is the fact that lean manufacturing has such a distinct emphasis in being ready to accommodate the changing needs of the consumer.

4 key elements for how to incorporate agile manufacturing into your existing system

As there are no set steps for how each individual manufacturing company is to incorporate different systems into their own unique set of processes, below are some key elements that you should try to stay true to.

1. As you brainstorm ways of incorporating agile manufacturing into your existing manufacturing system, remember that the whole purpose of working to better your operation is to deliver value to the customer.If the customer does not perceive value in your product or company, they will take their business elsewhere.And without customers, even the best of systems will not be enough to make your manufacturing business successful.
2. Be ready for change.Agile manufacturing is different from all of the other manufacturing systems because of this emphasis on change.Come up with plans for how to handle the changing needs of the consumer.Brainstorm ideas for how to anticipate and move with the changing needs of your customers rather than trying to catch up to your customer.
3. The only way to anticipate change is to have an experienced and knowledgeable team of individuals. Sophisticated technology can not anticipate the needs of humans the way that humans can.Never underestimate the value of having quality staff members who possess the knowledge and skills necessary to make your agile manufacturing system goals possible.
4. Partnerships are a key element in both lean manufacturing and agile manufacturing.Having product and service providers that are dependable are essential if you are to gain maximum efficiency with minimum waste.One specific difference that you will need to look into when developing an agile manufacturing system is the importance of having virtual partnerships.Virtual partnerships enable faster communication and therefore a better ability to make changes quickly.

Warnings to watch out for during your incorporation of agile manufacturing techniques

Agile manufacturing may be difficult to master because by definition constant changes to a system can lead to challenges in the long-run.Designers, managers, and production personnel can only make so many changes in a certain period of time.If your manufacturing system is in a constant state of change it becomes difficult to make any long term analysis of progress and development.It is difficult to obtain a representative picture of what the company is doing at any one time.Of course not all changes made are going to completely alter the face of the manufacturing company.But small problems can easily go unnoticed in their beginning stages and the development of such problems can be dramatic if they are left unchecked for a prolonged period of time.Simple solution that is harder to implement than to describe is to catch and solve problems as quickly as possible so that they are not allowed to magnify and hinder the process.

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