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Just in time is a ‘pull’ system of production, so
actual orders provide a signal for when a product should
be manufactured. Demand-pull enables a firm to produce
only what is required, in the correct quantity and at the
correct time.

This means that stock levels of raw materials,

components, work in progress and finished goods can be
kept to a minimum. This requires a carefully planned
scheduling and flow of resources through the production
process. Modern manufacturing firms use sophisticated
production scheduling software to plan production for
each period of time, which includes ordering the correct
stock. Information is exchanged with suppliers and
customers through EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)
to help ensure that every detail is correct.

Supplies are delivered right to the production

line only when they are needed. For example, a car
manufacturing plant might receive exactly the right
number and type of tyres for one day’s production, and
the supplier would be expected to deliver them to the
correct loading bay on the production line within a very
narrow time slot.
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JIT originated in Japan. Its introduction as a
recognized technique/philosophy/way of working is
generally associated with the Toyota motor company, JIT
being initially known as the "Toyota Production System".
Note the emphasis here - JIT is very much a mindset/way
of looking at a production system that is distinctly
different from what (traditionally) had been done
previous to its conception.

The technique was first used by the Ford Motor

company during 1920s. But the technique was
subsequently adopted and publicised by Toyota Motor
Corporation of Japan as part of its Toyota production
System(TPS). In 1954 Japanese giant Toyota
implemented this concept in order to reduce wasteful
overstocking in car production.

Within Toyota Taiichi Ohno is most commonly

credited as the father/originator of this way of working.
The beginnings of this production system are rooted in
the historical situation that Toyota faced. After the
Second World War the president of Toyota said "Catch up
with America in three years, otherwise the automobile
industry of Japan will not survive". At that time one
American car worker produced approximately nine times
as much as a Japanese car worker.

Toyota was able to meet the increasing challenges

for survival through an approach that focused on people,
plants and systems. Toyota realised that JIT would only be
successful if every individual within the organisation was
involved and committed to it, if the plant and processes
were arranged for maximum output and efficiency, and if
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quality and production programs were scheduled to meet

demands exactly.

JIT manufacturing has the capacity, when properly

adapted to the organisation, to strengthen the
organisation's competitiveness in the marketplace
substantially by reducing wastes and improving product
quality and efficiency of production.

There are strong cultural aspects associated with the

emergence of JIT in Japan. The Japanese work ethic
involves the following concepts.

 Workers are highly motivated to seek constant

improvement upon that which already exists.
Although high standards are currently being met,
there exist even higher standards to achieve.
 Companies focus on group effort which involves the
combining of talents and sharing knowledge,
problem-solving skills, ideas and the achievement of
a common goal.
 Work itself takes precedence over leisure. It is not
unusual for a Japanese employee to work 14-hour
 Employees tend to remain with one company
throughout the course of their career span. This
allows the opportunity for them to hone their skills
and abilities at a constant rate while offering
numerous benefits to the company.

These benefits manifest themselves in employee loyalty,

low turnover costs and fulfilment of company goals.
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Just in Time is a philosophy and not the technique for

elimination of wastes. The JIT strategy is to have "the
right product at the right place at the right

The Just-in-time philosophy that emerged, is a

management logic based on simplicity and continuous
improvement. It may be applied to any process where it
will aim to make improvements through elimination of
excess, waste and unevenness.

The Just-in-Time concept comprises methods

and techniques that aim to increase the potential for
short times to delivery.

Production system in which both the movement

of goods during production and deliveries from suppliers
are carefully timed so that at each step of the process the
next (usually small) batch arrives for processing just as
the proceeding batch is completed
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The "Just in time" (JIT.) inventory concept, also

called Kanban, asserts that just enough inventories,
arriving just in time to replace that which was just used,
is all the inventory that is necessary at any given time.
Excessive inventory unnecessarily ties up money, adds
warehousing costs, increases risk of damage and risks
obsolescence, and most of all, can possibly obscure
opportunities for operational improvements.

Storing inventory is still the basics of

warehousing, but in today’s business it constitutes only
part of the total. A modern thought on warehousing is
that large inventories are really not as necessary as once

To some companies storing large quantities of

inventory is detrimental to business because it ties up
capital and can also disguise poor management
practices. The JIT philosophy emphasizes flow flexibility
and developing supply chains to reduce all excess and
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The philosophy of JIT is simple: inventory is

waste. JIT inventory systems expose hidden causes of
inventory keeping, and are therefore not a simple
solution for a company to adopt. The company must
follow an array of new methods to manage the
consequences of the change. The ideas in this way of
working come from many different disciplines including
statistics, industrial engineering, production
management, and behavioral science. The JIT inventory
philosophy defines how inventory is viewed and how it
relates to management.

In short, the just-in-time inventory system focus

is having “the right material, at the right time, at the right
place, and in the exact amount”, without the safety net of
inventory. The JIT system has broad implications for
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The main Benefits of Just In Time Manufacturing

system are the following:

1. Funds that were tied up in inventories can be used

2. Areas previously used, to store inventories can be
used for other more productive uses.
3. Throughput time is reduced, resulting in greater
potential output and quicker response to customers.
4. Defect rates are reduced, resulting in less waste and
greater customer satisfaction.

As a result of advantages such as those cited above,

more companies are embracing just in time
manufacturing system each year. Most companies
find, however, that simply reducing inventories is not
enough. To remain competitive in an ever changing and
ever competitive business environment, must strive for
continuous improvement.

Other benefits of JIT

Product Cost: This is greatly reduced of manufacturing
cycle time, reduction of scraps, inventories, space
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requirement, and material handling and eliminations of

non-value adding operations.

Quality: It has greatly improved due to fast detection

and correction of defects, use of automatic stop devices,
higher quality of purchased parts, worker centered
quality control and statistical process control. Total
preventive maintenance an d lower inventory levels also
help in quality improvements.

Design: Due to fast response to engineering change,

alternative designs can be quickly brought on the shop

Productivity: Order magnitude productivity

improvements are obtained due to the use of flexible
workforce, reduced rework, reduced inspection, reduced
part delay and reduced throughout time. Workers acquire
multiple skills and become highly productive.

JIT systems have a number of other Important Benefits

also, which are attracting the attention of various
companies. The main benefits are:
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 Reduced levels of in-process inventories,

purchased goods, and finished goods.

 Reduced space requirements.

 Increased product quality and reduced scrap and


 Reduced manufacturing lead times.

 Greater flexibility in changing the production mix.


 There is little room for mistakes as minimal stock is

kept for re-working faulty product

 Production is very reliant on suppliers and if stock is

not delivered on time, the whole production schedule
can be delayed

 There is no spare finished product available to meet

unexpected orders, because all product is made to
meet actual orders – however, JIT is a very
responsive method of production
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We can observe implementation of the JIT

concept as a process which must be Taken seriously. How
a company will implement the JIT concept depends on
many Factors.
For example, if a company has more than 100.000
workers and production in different places, then the
implementation of JIT needs to be done in interaction with
all departments. It is obvious that for large companies
more time will be spent. On the other hand, smaller
companies have the opportunity to implement the JIT
concept much faster because their organization structure
is not so complicated. But it doesn’t mean that smaller
companies are better in JIT implementation.

There are several general guideline steps for easier JIT

implementation. The following algorithm shows what the
company has to do if it wants to implement the
JIT concept.
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First of all, top management must accept idea of

the JIT. Without their permission it is not possible to move
on with the whole process. They are responsible for
ensuring financial resources for the project. Perhaps the
most difficult thing for engineers is to convince managers
that the company under consideration really needs
implementation of the JIT concept in order to improve
business processes. Convincing managers to allow
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evaluation of JIT is not only a problem that comes from

Second step for a company is success which is
connected with the fact that employees also have to
understand significance of the new concept. Very
important in this step is to explain to workers that JIT is
not some kind of bad monster and not something
unimportant for their work. It is desirable to hold a series
of training sessions to familiarize employees with the
fundamentals of the JIT concept. When we succeed once
to explain to our human resources the importance of the
new concept and if they become cognizant about it, now
it is possible to continue.

The third step would be the setup of ERP

(Enterprise Resource Planning). ERP is a System which
integrates all data and processes of an organization into a
single unified system. It is impossible nowadays to run
successful production without strong Support of an
information system. So, it means that ERP requests the
software and hardware systems with a secure and huge
data base which is able to collect all Information about
resources. With a centralized data base it is much easier
to Manage all enterprise resources. It is especially
important for logistics because, as We mentioned before,
logistics can be considered as a tool for getting
resources, like Products, services, and people, where they
are needed and when they are desired.
If the ERP system is well established, the next
step would be to test our own system. Now all
preconditions of the JIT implementation are considered
and we are trying to Figure out: are there any difficulties
to start with implementation. In this step one Question
comes up: "Is the system ready for JIT implementation?".
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When the answer is NO, it is recommendable to go back

and do changes. If the answer is YES, everything is
prepared for the implementation process.

The last step is testing and control. For

successful existence and developing of the JIT system
there must be continuous control. Without control things
can sway from the right direction. Of course, feedback
loops also exist and they are very important for the whole
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Stabilize and level the MPS with uniform plant

loading (heijunka in Japanese): create a uniform load
on all work centers through constant daily production
(establish freeze windows to prevent changes in the
production plan for some period of time) and mixed
model assembly (produce roughly the same mix of
products each day, using a repeating sequence if several
products are produced on the same line). Meet demand
fluctuations through end-item inventory rather than
through fluctuations in production level. Use of a stable
production schedule also permits the use of
backflushing to manage inventory: an end item’s bill of
materials is periodically exploded to calculate the usage
quantities of the various components that were used to
make the item, eliminating the need to collect detailed
usage information on the shop floor.

Reduce or eliminate setup times: Aim for single digit

setup times (less than 10 minutes) or "one touch" setup --
this can be done through better planning, process
redesign, and product redesign. A good example of the
potential for improved setup times can be found in auto
racing, where a NASCAR pit crew can change all four tires
and put gas in the tank in under 20 seconds. (How long
would it take you to change just one tire on your car?)
The pit crew’s efficiency is the result of a team effort
using specialized equipment and a coordinated, well-
rehearsed process.
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Reduce lot sizes (manufacturing and purchase):

reducing setup times allows economical production of
smaller lots; close cooperation with suppliers is necessary

to achieve reductions in order lot sizes for purchased

items, since this will require more frequent deliveries.

Reduce lead times (production and delivery):

production lead times can be reduced by moving work
stations closer together, applying group technology and
cellular manufacturing concepts, reducing queue length
(reducing the number of jobs waiting to be processed at a
given machine), and improving the coordination and
cooperation between successive processes; delivery lead
times can be reduced through close cooperation with
suppliers, possibly by inducing suppliers to locate closer
to the factory.

Preventive maintenance: use machine and worker idle

time to maintain equipment and prevent breakdowns

Flexible work force: workers should be trained to

operate several machines, to perform maintenance tasks,
and to perform quality inspections. In general, JIT
requires teams of competent, empowered employees
who have more responsibility for their own work. The
Toyota Production System concept of “respect for people”
contributes to a good relationship between workers and

Require supplier quality assurance and implement

a zero defects quality program: errors leading to
defective items must be eliminated, since there are no
buffers of excess parts. A quality at the source (jidoka)
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program must be implemented to give workers the

personal responsibility for the quality of the work they do,
and the authority to stop production when something
goes wrong. Techniques such as "JIT lights" (to indicate
line slowdowns or stoppages) and "tally boards" (to
record and analyze causes of production stoppages and
slowdowns to facilitate correcting them later) may be

Small lot (single unit) conveyance: use a control

system such as a kanban (card) system (or other
signaling system) to convey parts between work stations
in small quantities (ideally, one unit at a time). In its
largest sense, JIT is not the same thing as a kanban
system, and a kanban system is not required to
implement JIT (some companies have instituted a JIT
program along with a MRP system), although JIT is
required to implement a kanban system and the two
concepts are frequently equated with one another.

Companies currently using JIT

Harley Davidson
Toyota Motor Company
General Motors
Ford Motor Company
Manufacturing Magic
Hawthorne Management Consulting
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 Strategy Manufacturing Inc.

An example of the use of JIT in General Motors is given below.

General Motors (GM) in the USA has

(approximately) 1700 suppliers who ship to 31 assembly
plants scattered throughout the continental USA. These
shipments total about 30 million metric tons per day and
GM spends about 1,000 million dollars a year in transport
costs on these shipments (1990 figures).

JIT implies frequent, small, shipments. When GM

moved to JIT there were simply too many (lightly loaded)
trucks attempting to deliver to each assembly plant. GM's
solution to this problem was to introduce consolidation
centres at which full truckloads were consolidated from
supplier deliveries.

This obviously involved deciding how many

consolidation centres to have, where they should be, their
size (capacity) and which suppliers should ship to which
consolidation centres (suppliers can also still ship direct
to assembly plants).
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As of 1990 some 20% by weight of shipments go

through consolidation centres and about 98% of suppliers
ship at least one item through a consolidation centre.

All this has been achieved without sacrificing the benefits

of JIT.


Hence we can see that to have a Total JIT

manufacturing system, a company-wide commitment,
proper materials, quality, people and equipments
must always be made available when needed. In
addition; the policies and procedures developed for an
internal JIT structure should also be extended into the
company's supplier and customer base to establish
the identification of duplication of effort and
performance feedback review to continuously reduced
wastage and improve quality. By integrating the
production process; the supplier, manufacturers and
customers become an extension of the manufacturing
production process instead of independently isolated
processes where in fact in clear sense these three
sets of manufacturing stages are inter-related and
dependent on one another. Once functioning as
individual stages and operating accordingly in isolated
perspective; the suppliers, manufacturers and
customers can no longer choose to operate in
ignorance. The rules of productivity standards have
changed to shape the economy and the markets
today; every company must be receptive to changes
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and be dynamically responsive to demand. In general,

it can be said that there is no such thing as a KEY in
achieving a JIT success; only a LADDER; where a
series of continuous steps of dedication in doing the
job right every time is all it takes.