Last Updated JUNE 2023

Why manufacturers need an Agile supply chain

A robust supply chain is fundamental to achieving productivity goals, so any optimisation of its processes around agile principles needs to be low risk and non-disruptive. The global supply chain management market was worth around £13.9b in 2020, and over the last decade the market for supply chain management software and procurement has more than doubled1.

Any manufacturer tempted to apply agile methodologies to their own business needs to be aware that a cookie-cutter approach won’t work. Agile solutions need to be customised by decision-makers to solve specific problems within their business or sector. So maybe start by agreeing an agile transformation roadmap that includes clear goals, success metrics, initiatives to be taken by key team leaders, and a product vision.

Don’t be afraid to start small

As a general principle, it’s makes sense to sandbox any new approach and apply it to a problem that qualifies as low-hanging fruit. Once the technology and new approach has been validated, it can then be scaled out to tackle more ambitious objectives. In the experience of Kimberly-Clark Professional™, end-to-end supply chain optimisation certainly benefits from a step-by-step, iterative approach that allows staff to get familiar with a new way of working, and to discover for themselves how technology can make their lives easier and more productive.

Take advantage of data insights

Cross-functional teams equipped with mobile technology play a big part in delivering productivity gains. Gathering people together around the best, most up-to-date data insights enables staff to contextualise problems and ‘connect the dots’. Productivity really takes off when these teams are authorised to identify problems and fix them immediately, without taking up management time.

Adopt a predictive approach

By pro-actively assessing risks, capacity and capability within the global supply network, smart supply chains rapidly start delivering improvements in productivity and responsiveness. Effective collaboration with strategic partners, close monitoring of supplier KPIs, and rigorous compliance audits are all part of the agile supply chain approach. So is keeping a weather eye on capacity requirements ahead. With clearly defined roles and objectives, staff can get on with executing focused improvements, and finding better ways to solve problems. In other words, innovation.

Embrace Industry 4.0

Integrating digital technologies across operational processes, otherwise known as Industry 4.0, has been proven to deliver real-world value to customers and shareholders. Across the global economy, spending on digital transformation has been increasing by 8-13% in recent years, and is forecast to reach £2 trillion in 20232.

The benefits of Kimberly-Clark Professional™ Agile supply chain

At Kimberly-Clark Professional™, we have developed a known, predictable and compact approach to agile supply chains that helps reduce inventory management costs even when subject to the increased demands. We aim to deliver the benefits of this approach to our customers, too.

How can we help?

We are ready to help clients integrate flexible production technology, introduce Agile management processes and accompany their people in new ways of working across all industrial and manufacturing sectors. Our specialist cleaning wipes and solutions are designed for specific applications, materials and activities, so that industrial equipment can be cleaned quickly, accurately and more sustainably without the need for rework. Our range of products and dispensing solutions promotes agility in maintenance and production by improving efficiency and reducing disruptions in the manufacturing process.

Your digitalised future

We would love to partner with you to start implementing the best agile cleaning solutions for your organisation. Interested? Take the next step now:



  • Related Articles