A review of agile manufacturing systems

Luis M. Sanchez, Rakesh Nagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3561-3600
Number of pages40
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number16
StatePublished - Nov 10 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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