Agile manufacturing as a model is built on four key elements. They are:
Modular Product Design: In its most basic terms, this means designing in a way that allows for its easy modification or variation. Instead of making the widget out of one piece of molded plastic, perhaps there is a way to make it into a few pieces so that updates or modifications can be added quickly.
Information Technology: Primarily, this involves improving and automating the dissemination of information throughout the company. With quick and clear information, all employees can respond quickly and efficiently to client requests and orders.
Corporate Partners: Leveraging short-term relationships with other companies that can help your organization go to market more quickly than your competitors. For example, for someone in the U.S hoping to enter Canada, this might involve developing a partnership with a Canadian company that can more quickly serve that market.
Knowledge Culture: This might be the biggest key to agile manufacturing. Investing in training that emphasizes and supports a culture built on rapid change and ongoing adaptation. Some employees will embrace this way of thinking and have very little trouble adapting. Others may find the constant rate of change challenging. Either way, it’s important to provide employees with all the proper tools so you can quickly determine who is and who is not a cultural fit.