Title: Requirements for change in a traditional industry to be competitive: transformation towards an agile supply chain

Authors: Päivi Iskanius, Harri Haapasalo, Tom Page

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland. ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland. ' Department of Design and Technology, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK

Abstract: The work reported here reflects on the importance of agility in the supply chain of a traditional manufacturing industry. The call for agility for the purpose of enhancing competitiveness has often been associated with the manufacture and supply of innovative products, such as high-tech industry products characterised by short life cycles, volatile and uncertain levels of demand and irregularity in supply. Nevertheless, traditional industries, such as the steel supply and manufacturing industry, as reported here, face similar challenges. In order to be truly agile, a supply chain must be market sensitive, virtual and network-based in its communication systems and it must demonstrate process integration. Some aspects of agility, such as the formation of a network-based entity and a move towards more market sensitive approach, are clearly already demonstrable in this case study. With other aspects, for example the achievement of process integration to its full potential as well as being completely able to demonstrate real and virtual communication lines within he network, there remains much work for the supplier network yet to do.

Keywords: agility; supply chain management; SCM; steel supply; steel manufacture; agile supply chains; agile systems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2006.010942

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2006 Vol.1 No.3, pp.258 - 278

Published online: 19 Sep 2006 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article