Flexibility - Reality or just an Illusion?

Joachim Althaler, Roland Schmidt, Günter Thaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There is hardly a company that would not claim to be very flexible. Being flexible has become essential in today’s busi-ness world. It is a common misconception to consider high flexibility as the ability to compensate for weaknesses in proc-esses or their design. On the other hand it is associated with the readiness or acceptance of the staff to cushion surges in needed capacity without additional expenses being incurred whatever induced the fluctuations. In times of market depression as we see today the narrow limits become blatantly apparent in the light of the current redundancy trend. If flexibility to such an extent is an important characteristic of manufacturers how and where can we see it? Proper process design which orients itself by the principles of simplicity and clarity is the core of highly flexible manufacturing systems. In conclusion by examining manufacturing processes of a low volume production the necessary prerequisites, the potential gains as well as limitations to flexibility are revealed.
Translated title of the contributionFlexibility - Reality or just an Illusion?
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)12-15
JournalIndustrie Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • Flexibilität
  • kurze Durchlaufzeiten
  • Prozessgestaltung
  • Prozessmanagement

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