As part of a shift in chemical production occurring across the globe, the UK chemicals industry is increasingly moving from commodity to speciality production. In the UK the industry's batch production methods are little changed from previous decades and the speciality chemicals industry faces mounting challenges that argue for an increase in agility throughout the industry value stream. Individual companies and managers have responded in a variety of ways to these challenges. The Britest research project is a concerted industry response that seeks to improve the three key value streams of the industry by introducing new philosophies and methods into plant and process design. This article outlines the Britest approach to introducing agile manufacturing concepts in the speciality chemicals industry and then extends the approach to a more holistic focus on supply networks rather than concentrating on individual production units.