What is Just-In-Time: A Complete Guide

Just-In-Time, often abbreviated as JIT is one of the most popular Lean manufacturing approaches, which has been designed to achieve higher competitive advantage for the organization. In Lean manufacturing, core objective is to achieve higher efficiency through reducing wastage and improve performance. Just-In-Time is one of the key techniques that can be adopted to implement lean operation in a firm. In this article, our PenMyPaper essay writer has provided a comprehensive discussion on the concept of Just-In-Time and its implications on an organization.

Just-In-Time refers to the approach of continuous and forced problem solving by focusing on improving throughput and reducing inventory. It is one of the most crucial components of Lean operations and its implementation allows the firm to ensure that the materials and products arrivewhere they are needed only when they are needed.

Introduction of Just-In-Time

Following the World War II, the Japanese manufacturers faced severe problems in their operations, especially due to lack of resources and infrastructure. These road-blocks needed to be removed immediately in order to for the firms to survive. During this time, Toyota, the leading Japanese car manufacturer came up with a simple yet effective solution, which is to make their operations Lean. Lean manufacturing was achieved through the application of Just-In-Time philosophy. The core objective of this approach is to reduce the wastage of resources, while producing high quality products, thereby reducing cost of operations and increasing profitability. Thus, the concept of JIT and Lean came from Toyota, which wanted to make the most of the limited resources at the time of crisis. Toyota perfected the JIT approach over several decades and it is now being implemented by uncountable firms worldwide. Now that we have a brief idea of Just-In-Time approach, let us look at its underlying principles, to help you with your college essay.

Principles of Just-In-Time

Just-In-Time is often considered as an effective inventory management system. But in reality, it goes far beyond just managing inventories. If you look into the Amazon organizational structure, you will find that the company too has implemented JIT in their whole foods. JIT is a philosophy of business operations, which can be implemented in almost every organization. It is focused on achieving higher competitive advantage through reducing wastage of resources.

Just-In-Time philosophy is based on the fact that a company loses value and incurs costs when materials arrive late in the process. It increases the waiting time for the customers, reduces throughput and eventually leads to more costs. Likewise, a company is also at a disadvantage, when materials arrive too early in the process. This in turn can lead to increases storage costs and reduced reactivity to market demands. Therefore, the idea situation would be to move materials as and when they are required in the process.

In a manufacturing firm, Just-In-Time approach allows in moving raw materials from the suppliers and producing finished products at a rate which aligns with the market demand. Thus, if the market demand falls, the movement of materials also slows down and vice versa. As a result, it makes the manufacturing process extremely flexible, while eliminating any possible wastagedue to early or late arrival of the materials. In this context, two key principles have been identified, which are:

The Pull System: The ‘Pull’ system refers to the practice where materials are ‘pulled’ by the market demand. As mentioned earlier, the JIT allows an organization to only move materials when and where they are required. Thus, as opposed to the traditional system where products were manufactured only to be ‘pushed’ in the market, JIT manufacturers product units only as much as demanded by the customers.

Elimination of Wastes: The pull system of JIT plays a crucial role in eliminating wastes in the production process, as work items are produced only when there is a requirement for it. Now before you start preparing your MLA format citation paper on JIT, let us first look deeper into the concept of “waste” in the context of Lean operations.  In Lean philosophy, waste is anything that does not add value for the customers and needs to be eliminated. Seven different types of wastes have been identified, which are:

  • Overproduction
  • Queues
  • Transportation
  • Inventory
  • Motion
  • Overprocessing
  • Defective Finished Products

JIT aims to eliminate each of these wastes, by ensuring that resources like manpower, capital and time are only used when they are required and only as much as they are required.

Competitive Advantage Through Just-In-Time Production

By now you must have gained sufficient knowledge about Just-In-Time approach and how it can be applied. However, if you still have any doubt, don’t hesitate to ask for a dissertation proposal outline from us as it can save you much effort and time. Let us now look at all the different JIT techniques that can be used to foster competitive advantage for an organization. The JIT techniques can be summed up as:

  • Close relationship with suppliers and on-time delivery of materials directly to work areas
  • Better organization of workspace; flexible processes and reduced capacity for inventory
  • Much smaller inventory or lot sizes
  • No deviation from designated schedules

All of these JIT techniques allows the organization to achieve:

  • Faster throughput, which frees up assets and tools quickly
  • Reduces operating costs, leading to better profitability
  • Improvement in product and service quality
  • Reduction in variability

Thus, Just-In-Time approach allows a firm to respond to customer requests and orders much faster at a lower cost, while offering higher quality products and services. This is considered to be a significant competitive advantage for the company.

In Summary

To sum it all up, Just-In-Time approach allows organizations to become more efficient in their operational processes. Whether it is a manufacturing process or a service delivery process, JIT helps a firm in generating more value from lesser resources, by eliminating all the non-value adding activities, or wastes. Just-In-Time can be quite beneficial for an organization, especially for creating a strong competitive advantage. The reduction of wastes and increased efficiency leads to lower operating cost and higher profitability. Whenever, you write essay where you need to apply JIT, just keep in mind that this approach seeks to identify and eliminate all wastes, to achieve better process efficiency.

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