Pathways to Agility: Mass Customization in Action (National Association of Manufacturers)

John D. Oleson

Published by Wiley, 1998
ISBN 10: 0471191752 / ISBN 13: 9780471191759
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Synopsis: In today's business environment, it is simply no longer enough to react to changing market conditions or customer demands. Companies must become agile by developing foresight—the ability to anticipate how events and trends in business will unfold. Agile companies anticipate future trends and know what their customers are going to want.

In Pathways to Agility, John Oleson, a renowned manufacturing expert, presents a practical, step-by-step guide for developing and implementing agile manufacturing processes. Using examples from some of America's largest manufacturing companies, including John Deere, Levi Strauss, GM, and Chrysler, Oleson demonstrates the many ways in which agile manufacturing methods can be adapted and incorporated into companies of any size to help insure their continued growth and success.

"John Oleson has been moving Dow Corning's manufacturing technology forward for more than thirty years with 'outside-the-box' thinking. In Pathways to Agility he now shares his creative and provocative ideas with a wider audience."—Richard A. Hazleton Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.Dow Corning Corporation

"A breath of fresh air in a field of confusion. [Oleson] understands that agility is neither a new business concept nor an all-encompassing competitive model—but simply a competency that must be matched with the turmoil of the times, and must be integrated with the rest of the business strategy. He . . . shares his businessman's view of the business needs and underscores his discussion with examples from a broad cross-section of industry."—Rick Dove Chairman Paradigm Shift International.

"Insightful reading for manufacturing leaders who are committed to radical change to achieve a world-class enterprise. John Oleson puts the importance of agility in the extended supply chain in perspective as an essential competitive capability for the twenty-first century manufacturing organization."—Charles W. Lacefield Vice President, Executive Director, Business Processes & Information Technology Dow Corning Corporation.

What does Wayne Gretzky, one of hockey's premier players, have in common with the most successful manufacturing companies? The ability to anticipate the next move correctly and consistently. While Gretzky can sense where the puck is headed, top-notch manufacturers foresee where the market is headed—and prepare to change with it in order to meet the needs of their customers. In today's business reality, agility—the ability to predict trends and establish appropriate procedures for handling them—is becoming increasingly important if manufacturers are to stand out from the crowd—and stay on top of the competition.

In Pathways to Agility, John Oleson, Director of Manufacturing Technology at Dow Corning Corporation and a leading member of the Agility Forum, offers an authoritative overview of this revolutionary new approach to manufacturing. One of the first books to deliver strategies for applying agile concepts, this groundbreaking resource provides concise explanations of the fundamentals of agility and its role in mass customization, as well as practical, step-by-step guidelines for its effective implementation and smooth integration.

Representing a significant alternative to the age-old "one-size-fits-all" model, agile manufacturing is being used by such leading firms as Levi Strauss, General Motors, Kodak, and Chrysler. A proven method for responding quickly and effectively to the individual—and ever-changing—needs of customers, it is an invaluable means of not only winning the war for market share, but becoming more streamlined and dynamic—and ultimately, more profitable.

Providing a clear pathway to agility, this indispensable resource covers strategic as well as technical issues, and is packed with a wealth of real-world case studies, first-person perspectives from leading manufacturing professionals, and vital benchmarks from the field. Here's where you'll find comprehensive details on:

  • Developing agility in the supply chain
  • Integrating computers into the manufacturing process
  • Improving the capability of the supply chain
  • Including automation and discipline as components of agility
  • Involving employees in the agile strategy.

An invaluable primer for companies of all sizes, Pathways to Agility is must reading for manufacturing managers and engineers who are looking to incorporate the tenets of agility into their companies' objectives and operations.

From the Publisher: The first practical guide to a revolutionary new approach that top manufacturing firms, world-wide, are using to win the war for market share. One of the biggest evolutionary leaps in manufacturing since the assembly line, agile manufacturing provides an alternative to the age-old "one-size-fits-all" manufacturing model. This breakthrough book clearly explains the agile manufacturing concept and offers methods for implementation. It demonstrates how to create a leaner, more agile organization that can respond quickly to the changing needs of customers.

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Title: Pathways to Agility: Mass Customization in ...
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: 1998
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition.

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