Just In Time

March 29, 2012

Just-in-Time (JIT) is a method that reduces the company’s cost and improves workflow by scheduling materials to arrive at a work station or facility, just in time for use. JIT basically focuses on the performance of a company’s activities and its immediate need or demand. (1) In the article, A Review Of The Adoption Of Just-In-Time Method And Its Effect On Efficiency, the authors state that there are four major points that revolve around JIT: 1) The elimination of activities that do not add value to a product or service; 2) a commitment to a high level of quality; 3) a commitment to continuous improvement in the efficiency of an activity; 4) and an emphasis on simplification and increased visibility to identify activities that do not add value. (1, p26)

The Just-in-Time method, also called the JIP philosophy, evolved from the Japanese motor industry in the 1940’s. While the American manufactures were producing and storing as much inventory as possible; the Japanese, most notable Toyota’s Taichi Ohno, begin creating systems that could compete with the American automotive industry without dealing with the cost of long productions. (2) Taichi Ohno created a system called the Toyota Production System (TPS) which eliminated waste in the automobile industry while minimize stock. The two main components of TPS were just-in-time and autonomotion. “Autonomation is the practice of determining the optimal way to perform a given task and then making this the ‘best practice’ standard method.”(3) By 1965, with the implementation of TPS, Toyota begin to see a decrease in their production time and cost; and in the 1980’s the American care manufactures, who had not yet changed their procedures, suddenly realized that they had fallen behind the Japanese in the automotive industry.

The readings for this summary proves that when a manufacturing company implements the JIT philosophy, it wills increases the efficiency of operation, improve quality, increase customer satisfaction, and improve management workers relations which could help the company gain a competitive advantage. (4, p.78) It is also true that JIT can be equally successful if used in the private sector. Although many believe that methods used to increase efficiency and productivity in the manufacturing industry should be different from those used in the private sector; the authors of the article, Benchmarking JIT, prove otherwise.The example of how a hospital, that was previously using 35% of their budget on supplies and inventory, had decided to us the JIT in regards to their ordering procedures saw a 90% reductions in about 18 months proves this point. (4, p. 76) The authors state that benefits of JIT, such as increased organizational efficiency and effectiveness, improve communications internally within an organization, while fostering organizational disciple are improvements that are need in any industry; and using the JIT philosophy would work.(4)

For any industry, in order for JIT to be successful it will take time. Since JIT is often called a philosophy (because of the numerous amount of changes required for implementation) and not a production method, the organization that implements JIT will have to make the decision that they must undergo corporate changes. Since change of any kind for an entire organization is often a slow process, the full implementation of JIT will not happen overnight. It is stated in the article, Benchmarking JIT, that a successful implementation of JIT only happens when the organization’s strategic philosophy changes. Because of the number of things that could possible change when using JIT, from operational and production procedures to customer relations and employee management, leadership is force to realize that not only the company’s methods must change, but the way in which the company operates and how it makes decisions will be affected as well. (3)

By Cheryl Johnson

1) Younies H, Barhem B, Hsu C. Review of the adoption of just-in-time method and its effect on efficiency. Public Administration and Management: An Interactive Journal, 2007 (1), 25 – 27, 35.

2) Petersen, Peter. The misplaced origin of just-in-time production methods. Management Decision; 2002; 40, 1/2; ABI/INFORM Global, pg. 82-84

3) Hopp W, Spearman M. To Pull or Not to Pull: What Is the Question?

Manufacturing & Service Operations Management; Spring 2004; 6, 2; ABI/INFORM Global

pg. 133

4) Yasin M, Wafa M, Small, M. Benchmarking JIT: An analysis of JIT implementations in the manufacturing service and public sectors. Benchmarking; 2004; 11, 1; ABI/INFORM Global; p. 74-78.

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One Response to “Just In Time”

  1. Lakevia Bibb said

    Another good example of a company that utilizes “Just In Time” very effectively is Wal-Mart. With JIT strategy, companies can reduce operational and production costs because they are no longer responsible for storage of inventory. JIT strategy gives the cost of storage of inventory to the supplier, relieves the customer of that additional cost.

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