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JIT Philosophy

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Just-in-time

Supply chain and logistics planning:

Summary of the JIT Philosophy. Abstract

Taiichi Ohno

Just-in-time, pioneered by Taiichi Ohno in Japan at the Toyota car assembly plants in the early 1970s, is a manufacturing organization philosophy.  JIT cuts waste by supplying parts only when the assembly process requires them. At the heart of JIT lies the kanban, the Japanese word for card. This kanban card is sent to the warehouse to reorder a standard quantity of parts as and when they have been used up in the assembly/manufacturing process. JIT requires precision, as the right parts must arrive "just-in-time" at the right position (work station at the assembly line). It is used primarily for high-volume repetitive flow manufacturing processes.


Historically, the JIT philosophy arose out of two other things:

1. Japan's wish to improve the quality of its production. At that time, Japanese companies had a bad reputation as far as quality of manufacturing and car manufacturing in particular was concerned.

2. Kaizen, also a Japanese method of continuous improvement.
 

The Just-in-time framework regards inventories as a poor excuse for bad planning, inflexibility, wrong machinery, quality problems, etc. The target of JIT is to speed up customer response while minimizing inventories at the same time. Inventories help to response quickly to changing customer demands, but inevitably cost money and increase the needed working capital.


Typical attention areas of JIT implementations include:

- inventory reduction

- smaller production lots and batch sizes

- quality control

- complexity reduction and transparency

- flat organization structure and delegation

- waste minimization


Through the arrival of Internet and Supply Chain Planning software, companies have in the mean time extended Just-in-time manufacturing externally, by demanding from their suppliers to deliver inventory to the factory only when it's needed for assembly, making JIT manufacturing, ordering and delivery processes even speedier, more flexible and more efficient. In this way Integrated Supply Networks (Demand Networks) or Electronic Supply Chains are being formed. Just-in-time is sometimes referred to as 'Lean Production'.


Compare:  Kaizen  |  Deming Cycle  |  Six Sigma  |  Value Chain  |  Value Stream Mapping  |  Bricks and Clicks  |  Delta Model

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