When looking at which kind of supply chain is best, it really comes down to a matter of priority. What is more important to the organization: more inventory or more information?
Lean Supply Chain
In a lean supply chain there is focus on removing
Lean supply chains rely heavily on analysis because there needs to be a thorough understanding of the numbers before it is determined what a company should and should not stock or eliminate.
Much of lean manufacturing is focused on reduction. Ultimately, supply chain managers want to avoid shipping items unnecessarily, hoarding unsold inventory, moving items during production, overproduction, lengthy processing times, and defective or inadequate products.
Agile Supply Chain
Agile supply chains are, as their name suggests, flexible. The focus here is on giving customers exactly what they want with a lessened focus on shaving costs.
There is also a reliance on understanding customer demand before completing a finished product. Coordination among all of the moving parts becomes critical.
This is a strategy for organizations that need to adapt to evolving situations and circumstances such as
An agile supply system bases its actions on market demand before finishing production. It relies on short-term forecasts is most beneficial in industries that produce fast-changing and customizable
This strategy may produce shorter lead times and is better equipped to deal with the unexpected.
It can be argued that to be most efficient, organizations need to implement a combination of both agile and lean strategies. Why not keep your supply chain flexible while cutting costs?
A hybrid strategy may leverage lean strategies for higher volume, stable demand product