Essay by agunnUniversity, Master'sA, May 2007

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Leagility is a strategy in used in supply chain design that has seemingly been talked about and studied for several years now, and yet research tells me that there are few well known companies that are using it or have tried implementing it. My suspicion is that many organizations have supply chains that have grown up to be leagile on their own to match the demands of today's global economy and volatile market demand. The rationale behind this is quite simple, but it may be difficult to prove in just a few pages. Leagility is a supply chain design strategy that uses both lean management and agile management fundamentals. My belief based on my own experience as a Logistics Readiness Officer in the United States Air Force is that every supply chain no matter what product you are helping to provide, and no matter what kind of market demand your supply chain is subject to, your supply chain should always be saturated with mean management practices.

However, the question that remains is, Are Agile management practices right for your supply chain too, and how can they be incorporated with Lean management practices?Lean ManagementThe objective in Lean management is to eliminate waste in the supply chain, and to eliminate waste you must streamline your processes, reduce inventory, increase the efficiency of the internal and external flow of information, and reduce lead times. This also all has to be done without degrading the quality of the product. Lean encompasses parts of Just in Time manufacturing and Total Quality Management. Lean is designed around idea of producing a limited number of products high in quality. Supply chains commonly referred to are that of commodities. Commodities typically have a predictable rate of demand, and the product design remains relatively static. Without the having to...