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Just In Time Manufacturing

What Is Just In Time Manufacturing?

Just in time manufacturing, popularly abbreviated as JIT, is an industrial process geared towards meeting the prevailing market demand. Unlike a typical industrial process, where production aims to sustain supply chains throughout the year by creating surplus products, JIT manufacturing means satisfying exact market needs and not more. 

Benefits Of JIT Manufacturing

JIT manufacturing has various business benefits, including:

  • Cost-efficient operations due to reduced, sometimes zero wastage.
  • Focuses on quality improvement due to reduced processing time.
  • Optimized storage space and costs since there is no surplus.
  • Fosters good business relationships because you can meet supply needs “just in time”.
  • Greater customer satisfaction, thanks to quality products.

Disadvantages of Just In Time Manufacturing

Like any industrial process, just in time technique has its drawbacks too. For instance, you might not have surplus stock to meet unexpected demands, something that can taint your relationship with suppliers. At the same time, your whole operational schedule relies on suppliers that can hinder rapid scaling.

Just In Time Manufacturing Examples

The JIT approach is a go-to option for many manufacturers who want to cut inventory costs. Prevalent examples include:

  • Car Assembly at Toyota Motor Corporation — the plant receives car parts only when it’s ready to assemble them after a client places an order.
  • Food processing at Burger King — the food retailer has all the ingredients at hand but only prepares the burger after customers place their orders.
  • Mobile phone assembly at Apple Inc. — Apple has JIT relationships with independent manufacturers all over the world to reduce its warehouse costs.

How JIT Production Differs From Traditional Manufacturing

Both the JIT approach and traditional processes focus on sustainable supply chains. However, traditional processing focuses more on cutting the costs of creating a particular product, by creating it in voluminous numbers.

On the other hand, the just in time technique is aimed at optimizing the intermediate production process with regard to the prevailing market demand. In other words, this process relies on the current customer needs to reflect them in the final product design.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Just In Time Manufacturing

Who invented just in time manufacturing?

Well, it’s Taiichi Ohno, when he was working at a Japanese Toyota assembling plant in the 1970s.

Just-in-time production is most associated with which manufacturing process?

This technique is synonymous with car and mobile phone assembly processes. Players in these industries often get into just-in-time relationships with independent manufacturers who are close to the consumer.

Does JIT manufacturing fit my business?

This technique might fit your business if you often produce items that rely on the customer placing an order to sell, such as food. This approach might be ideal if your business keeps a low inventory or the inventory is non-existent altogether.

What are the requirements for implementing JIT production?

The prerequisites for implementing just-in-time manufacturing are:

  • Reduced wastage;
  • Total quality control;
  • A healthy relationship with suppliers.

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