27. Lean Production and Agile Manufacturing
Market Forces and Agility
Reorganizing the Production System for Agility
Managing Relationships for Agility
Agility Versus Mass Production
Comparison of Lean and Agile
Two new systems of doing business in manufacturing have evolved in recent decades: lean production and agile manufacturing. One might argue that these new systems represent paradigm shifts from mass production. Lean production can be traced to the 19605 in Japan, when Toyota Motors started innovating changes in mass production to deal with its domestic automotive market. The term "lean production" was coined around 1989 with the popularity of the book, The Machine that Changed the World, written by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Agile manufacturing originated from a research study at Lehigh University in the early 1990s.This study attempted to peer into the future to answer the question: What things would successful manufacturing companies be doing in 15 years? What they discovered was that successful companies were already doing these things.
We identify lean and agile as "new systems of doing business." They have their ori· gins in manufacturing. However, as we shall see in the present chapter, lean and agile prin