About a decade ago, the agile manufacturing paradigm was formulated in response to the constantly changing 'new economy' and as a basis for returning to global competitiveness. While agility means different things to different enterprises under different contexts, the following elements capture its essential concept: agility is characterized by cooperativeness and synergism (possibly resulting in virtual corporations), by a strategic vision that enables thriving in face of continuous and unpredictable change, by the responsive creation and delivery of customer-valued, high quality and mass customized goods/services, by nimble organization structures of a knowledgeable and empowered workforce, and facilitated by an information infrastructure that links constituent partners in a unified electronic network. During this period, a significant amount of attention from both the academic and industrial communities has produced a large body of results in research and development related to this topic. Each contribution has tackled a different aspect of this large field. In this paper, we review a wide range of recent literature on agile manufacturing. About 73 papers from premier scientific journals and conferences have been reviewed, and a classification scheme to organize these is proposed. We critique these bodies of work and suggest directions for additional research and identify topics where fruitful opportunities exist.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering