Customers are looking for value. They are also increasingly looking for responsiveness—the desire for more customization and smaller batch sizes has led to faster turnarounds, smaller inventory levels and more just in time (JIT) delivery requirements.
In most cases it is not an “either, or” situation.
- Lean Systems are necessary in order to do things as efficiently as possible – to add value while identifying and eliminating waste.
- Agility and Responsiveness is necessary to be able to quickly react to ever-changing customer demands with speed and flexibility.
The bottom line? Clients don’t want you to stop eliminating waste just because they need things customized and need them quickly.
As Paul Myerson’s Inbound Logistics blog post A Lean and Agile Supply Chain: Not an Option, But a Necessity suggests, there are companies out there that are successfully using this “hybrid” supply chain model. Are you? If not, should you be?