The objective of this study was to examine the trends in the specialty chemical industry that have led to the rising number of agile practices and “virtual” organizations. The current state of the industry is also presented. An agile company can be defined as an enterprise that is capable of operating profitably in a competitive environment of continually, and unpredictably, changing customer opportunities. The five most prevalent agile practices in the specialty chemical industry can be summarized as, entering niche markets through custom chemicals manufacturing, improving relationships with suppliers (also, a lean manufacturing practice), formation of strategic partnerships, adaptation of advanced technology/research, and the emergence of “virtual” firms. Examples and case studies from other authors are cited and commented upon with respect to these five agile practices. In addition, actual results from the study of a small specialty chemical firm have been used to ascertain the level of agility that this firm utilizes. A comparison of this manufacturing company's practices with the case studies from the literature reveals how a small‐intermediate size manufacturer can properly implement many agile manufacturing practices and position itself for growth and competitiveness in its category and class.
Guisinger, A. and Ghorashi, B. (2004), "Agile manufacturing practices in the specialty chemical industry: An overview of the trends and results of a specific case study", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 24 No. 6, pp. 625-635. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570410538140Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited