Agile supply chain transformation matrix: an integrated tool for creating an agile enterprise

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  • Supply Chain Management: An International JournalAgile supply chain transformation matrix: an integrated tool for creating an agile enterpriseManisra Baramichai Emory W. Zimmers Jr Charalambos A. Marangos

    Article information:To cite this document:Manisra Baramichai Emory W. Zimmers Jr Charalambos A. Marangos, (2007),"Agile supply chain transformation matrix: anintegrated tool for creating an agile enterprise", Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 12 Iss 5 pp. 334 - 348Permanent link to this document:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13598540710776917

    Downloaded on: 25 November 2014, At: 11:43 (PT)References: this document contains references to 42 other documents.To copy this document: permissions@emeraldinsight.comThe fulltext of this document has been downloaded 3739 times since 2007*

    Users who downloaded this article also downloaded:Remko I. van Hoek, Alan Harrison, Martin Christopher, (2001),"Measuring agile capabilities in the supplychain", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 21 Iss 1/2 pp. 126-148 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01443570110358495Damien J. Power, Amrik S. Sohal, Shams#Ur Rahman, (2001),"Critical success factors in agile supply chain management # Anempirical study", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 31 Iss 4 pp. 247-265 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09600030110394923Martin Christopher, Denis Towill, (2001),"An integrated model for the design of agile supply chains", International Journal ofPhysical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 31 Iss 4 pp. 235-246 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09600030110394914

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    http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13598540710776917

  • Agile supply chain transformation matrix:an integrated tool for creating an

    agile enterpriseManisra Baramichai, Emory W. Zimmers Jr and Charalambos A. Marangos

    The Center for Engineering Logistics and Distribution (CELDI), Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

    AbstractPurpose The purpose of this paper is to propose a tool, the Agile Supply Chain Transformation Matrix (ASCTM), and the implementationmethodology for a systematic approach to achieve agility in the supplier-buyer supply chain.Design/methodology/approach The conceptual framework for agile capability creation is developed based on literatures in the supply chainmanagement and manufacturing agility field and the ASCTM tool is constructed using the quality function deployment (QFD) and the analytic hierarchyprocess (AHP) technique. The implementation methodology including the tools to support the implementation of the ASCTM tool are developed basedon the QFD/AHP approach and the agility concepts established through the Agility Program at Lehigh University. A practical case study is used toillustrate the applicability of the ASCTM tool.Findings This tool can help companies create and improve their agility by relating the business changes with the appropriate approaches forsupplier-buyer supply chain configuration and supplier-buyer relationship establishment and determine the business processes and the infrastructuresneeded to support the creation of agile capability.Research limitations/implications The ASCTM tool constitutes an important effort to bridge the gap between theory and practice as it is used toachieve supply chain agility in practice. Additional case studies need to be conducted to validate the practicability of the ASCTM tool.Originality/value The ASCTM tool is developed with the aim to help companies identify the most appropriate way to improve their supply chainagility by contrasting the environmental dynamics and changes to the companys ability to keep pace using the systematic approach. This tool isnecessary because different companies experience different sets of changes and require different degree of agility and combination of strategies andpractices to achieve agility. For practitioners, the ASCTM tool provides a basis for assessing their business situations and a guideline for identifyingcapability required for creating/improving supply chain agility.

    Keywords Agile production, Supply chain management, Quality function deployment, Supplier relations

    Paper type Research paper

    Introduction the need for agility tools

    Over the last two decades, globalization has resulted in a

    highly competitive business environment. The turbulent

    market condition in the twenty-first century has heightened

    the need for more competitive enterprise strategies. Speed,

    quality, flexibility and responsiveness, which are the key

    components of agile capabilities, are necessary to meet the

    unique needs of customers and markets. Enterprises benefit

    from having such agile characteristics by anticipating

    uncertainties and enabling rapid changes to achieve greater

    responsiveness to the variability in their business (Jackson and

    Johansson, 2003).The fundamental drivers for agility include ever-shorter

    response cycles, representing a change from static systems

    with significant time allowances, batched information flows

    and periodic decision making, to dynamic systems where

    change, information flow and decision making are

    continuous. In addition, the fundamental challenge indesigning agile systems at each operating level is to find theoptimal balance in the agility space between the extremes ofideal lean and instant response (Preiss, 2005). Managing inthis new framework depends on the availability of somespecial infrastructure components, especially improved dataand information systems (Preiss and Ray, 2000).Today, companies have moved beyond their own walls to

    create relationships and integrate parts of their businesseswith their partners. This means that the achievements of thecompanies depend not only on how well their internalprocesses are performed but also on how well they integrateand manage the relationships with all their business partners(Mentzer et al., 2001; Lambert, 2004). To survive andprosper under the ever-changing business environment,companies need to enhance their supply chain agility byimplementing the right approach in configuring the supplychain structure and establishing the relationship with theirpartners (Christopher and Towill, 2000). The focus of thispaper will be on supply chain agile capabilities improvement.

    The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at

    www.emeraldinsight.com/1359-8546.htm

    Supply Chain Management: An International Journal

    12/5 (2007) 334348

    q Emerald Group Publishing Limited [ISSN 1359-8546]

    [DOI 10.1108/13598540710776917]

    This material is (in part) based upon work supported by the NationalScience Foundation under Grant no. EEC-0434210 as well as thePennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development(DCED). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendationsexpressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarilyreflect the views of the sponsoring entities.

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  • Literature review supply chain agility

    The meaning and the benefit of agility in supply chains are

    generally acknowledged. The concept of agility as a business

    strategy was presented by Dove (1996) as the enterprises

    ability to thrive in a continuously changing and unpredictable

    business environment. An agile enterprise has designed its

    organization, processes and products in such a way that it can

    respond to changes appropriately within a useful time frame.

    This concept was refined by Naylor et al. (1999) with a majorfocus on agility in supply chains. They provided the

    distinction between lean and agile supply chains by defining

    agility as using market knowledge and a virtual corporation

    to explore profitable opportunities in a volatile marketplace

    and lean as developing a value stream that eliminates all

    waste within the supply chain. Christopher (2000) and Hoek

    (2001) extended the definition of agility into a wider business

    context by relating agility in supply chains to both the

    enterprises processes and the interfaces between those

    processes and the market. Companies that focus on agility

    are market-sensitive and will profit by exploiting their supply

    chains to rapidly and cost effectively respond to unpredictable

    changes.The