Agility of Defence Supply Chain management Christopher and Towill
Supply Chain Management
Assessment 2— Position Paper (2000 words)
Agility of Defence Supply Chain Christopher and Towill (2001) asserted that uncertainty was impossible to remove in a supply chain due to the type of product involved. They also stated that where demand was volatile and the customer requires variety, a high degree of supply chain flexibility or ‘agility’ was required. Oakden and Leonaite (2011, pp224 – 226)) argued, that while a ‘lean’ approach to manufacturing and supply chain management (as used so successfully by Toyota Motor Corporation since the early 1950s) lean was “not the answer to all challenges.” They further asserted that a focus toward a more agile approach to manufacturing and supply chain management was more appropriate in those circumstances where the requirement for flexibility in production and/or distribution was high and, critically, where there was a high degree of variety and in “ engineer to order (ETO)” projects. In many cases, manufacturers have focused on a lean approach by eliminating waste where it occurs in operations, particularly, avoiding over-production, reducing inventory, minimising product defects and minimising processes and operations that do not add value. Is this the best approach in defence industry? Is there a need to balance manufacturing and supply chain management by also focusing on agility? What does the future holds for defence companies (Gates 2004)? Note: If you are not familiar with Defence Industry, you can focus on an industry that you are familiar with, e.g. automotive industry, or building industry. The same words/meanings apply.