JIT (Just-in-Time Production) is the aproach aimed at reducing cycle times within the production system.
This Kanban term was created in Japan, in the 1960s and then was described and implemented in the 1970s at Toyota.
Organizations were overstocking their warehouses with resources in case customers demand appears. Lots of inventories mean higher costs for maintaining these extra resources, that's why these inventories require additional space and workforce.
People worked at Toyota decided to apply a simple approach that became the main principle of the Toyota Production System. That was Just-in-time production.
It is about a simple inventory system where you only produce if there is a demand for your production.
What are the benefits of using JIT?
The principles of Just-in-time concept play a key role in supporting Lean management processes. Here are the core advantages of JIT:
- Pull System. Applying the JIT philosophy, a company gets the opportunity to create a Pull System and deploy it to production processes.
- Visibility. The JIT approach requires using Kanban boards. A convenient Kanban board helps each team member to recognize current purposes and tasks.
- Smooth workflow that is provided by Kanban boards. The boards make it easier to get a full overview of the working processes, so you are able to observe each stage of the workflow and detect possible bottlenecks.
- Eliminating waste. Pull System means delivering work only if it has been requested. It will allow you to eliminate different waste from your production processes. What are these wastes? Waste of time, transportation waste, waste from overproduction, processing waste, inventory waste, waste of motion, etc.
- Flexibility. With the help of JIT management, you'll be able to find simple solutions for existing issues and be more flexible than teams that work on projects of a great scale.
- Continuous Improvement (Kaizen). JIT encourages everyone in a team to analyze current processes and suggest improvements.
How to put Just-in-time production philosophy into practice?
The Just-in-time philosophy can be effectively applied in various industries, not only in manufacturing.
Dell is one of the most famous examples. JIT helped the company to become one of the most successful computer manufacturers.
The most important thing is that JIT production can significantly change the way companies operate and understand the business. This Lean philosophy helps companies to apply their resources more effectively and achieve sustainability.
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