An illustration in figure 1 shows  the changes experienced from moving from a craft industry to mass production, to lean manufacturing and lastly to agile manufacturing.[1]

 Figure 1: Paradigm Shift[1]

Early manufacturing is represented by a dinosaur. The dinosaur was heavyweight, slow moving and responded slowly to changes in the external environment. An example of this is the craft industry which had high product variety and low response. There was also a direct relationship between trades-persons and customers from product development to the delivery of the finished product.[1]

New manufacturing methods and mass production brought about the ‘mule enterprise’. This met the needs of the market slowly and steadily through dedicated production lines. Achieving economies of scale (optimizing output whilst reducing costs) lead to lean manufacturing. This is signified by the horse with weights which reflects the idea that when the weights are removed the horse will move faster. This meant that the manufactures opted to optimised quality and reducing waste. [1]

The ‘lizard enterprise’ represents the agile enterprise which reacts quickly and adapts to the changes around it. To operate efficiently, the enterprise must be an agile competitor, meaning that it must reinvent itself as well as have the necessary technology and processes to meet customer needs.[1]


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  • Authors

    Agius Yanika
    Azzopardi Jean Paul
    Borg Althea Kate
    Calleja Giulio
    Chan Axel

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