Agile or lean? Figure 1
Agility be defined as the ability of an organization to respond rapidly to changes in demand, both in terms of volume and variety. The market conditions in which many companies find themselves are characterized by volatile and unpredictable demand;
The agile supply chain
Hybrid strategies are often appropriate
Market sensitive : Zara’s designs reflect the latest in international fashion trends through design teams’visits to fashion shows, competitors' stores, university campuses, pubs, cafes, and clubs, plus any other venues or events deemed relevant to the lifestyles of the target customers. Besides, the teams also use information from electronic point of sale (EPOS) data and other information from all of the company's stores and sites around the world.
Virtual: Zara’s supply chains are information-based. Electronic data interchange (EDI) and, now, the Internet have enabled Zara’s partners in the supply chain to act upon the same data, i.e., real demand, rather than be dependent upon the distorted supply chain, effectively avoiding the bullwhip effect.
Process integration means close cooperation with suppliers and relevant partners in the supply chain. Zara has established long-term partnership with its worldwide suppliers. Raw materials are procured through the company's buying offices in the United Kingdom, China, and The Netherlands, with most of the materials themselves coming from Mauritius, New Zealand, Australia, Morocco, China, India, Turkey, Korea, Italy, and Germany. In terms of local partnership, Zara has built a long-term network of smaller contractors in Spain. Material or fabric is also held in “grey” (i.e., undyed and unprinted) and, if demand for a particular garment is higher