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Supply Chain Planning. Explanation of Just-in-time philosophy of Taiichi Ohno. ('70)


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What is Just-in-Time? Definition

Just-in-time was pioneered by Taiichi Ohno in Japan at the Toyota car assembly plants in the early 1970s. It is a manufacturing organization philosophy.  JIT decreases waste by supplying parts only when the assembly process requires them. At the heart of JIT lies the kanban, the Japanese word for card. This kanban card is sent to the warehouse to request a standard quantity of parts as and when they have been used up in the assembly/manufacturing process. JIT requires precision, as the right parts must arrive "just-in-time" at the right position (work station at the assembly line). It is used primarily for high-volume repetitive flow manufacturing processes.

History of Just-in-Time

Historically, the JIT philosophy arose out of two other things:

  1. Japan's wish to improve its production quality. At that time, Japanese companies had a bad reputation as far as quality of manufacturing and car manufacturing in particular was concerned.
  2. Kaizen, also a Japanese method of continuous improvement.

The Just-in-time framework regards inventories as a poor excuse for bad planning, inflexibility, wrong machinery, quality problems, etc. The target of JIT is to speed up customer response while minimizing inventories at the same time. Inventories help to respond quickly to changing customer demands, but inevitably cost money and increase the needed working capital.

In 1990 James Womack wrote a book called "The Machine That Changed The World", introducing the terminology 'Lean Manufacturing'. Also you may encounter the word: 'Lean Production'. The principles behind these approaches do not substantially differ from the techniques developed by Ohno at Toyota.

Attention Areas of Just-in-Time

Typical attention areas of JIT implementations include:

  • Inventory reduction.
  • Smaller production lots and batch sizes.
  • Quality control.
  • Complexity reduction and transparency.
  • Flat organization structure and delegation.
  • Waste minimization.

External extended Just-in-Time

Through the arrival of Internet and Supply Chain Planning software, companies have in the mean time extended Just-in-time manufacturing to outside the company borders. By demanding from their suppliers to deliver inventory to the factory only when it's needed for assembly, making JIT manufacturing, ordering and delivery processes even speedier, more flexible and more efficient. In this way, Integrated Supply Networks (Demand Networks) or Electronic Supply Chains are being formed.

Just-in-time Forum
  List of Barriers to Just-in-Time | Barriers to JIT
Though JIT as a theoretical concept seems superb, there are practical barriers in getting this concept to work in reality and get JIT implemented properly. Let's create a complete a list of all those barriers to act as a reference for those wanting t...
  Single Minute Exchange of Dies
Dear reader, I am currently working on a Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) project in a beer production facility.
To implement SMED, I need to determine the baseline on which processes are done now during the changeover. I wanted to FILM thi...
  Customer Support in Just in Time is Needed
I think for implementing Just-In-Time, the customer must support it with firm and better forecasting, co-operative and committed for inwarding supplies as per the issued schedules. Else we will get sandwiched between performance and customer r...
  Can Just-in-Time Work Without Kanban?
Just-in-Time is a basic philosophy or a paradigm. If you read about it, you still have no idea HOW to do it.

Kanban however gives a practical way to achieve Just-in-Time. As Taiichi Ohno says:”Kanban, in essence, becomes the autono...
  The Principles of Lean
Lean works on certain principles:
1. Identify customer specific value (customer requirements);
2. Value stream mapping for the process (identify process);
3. Create flow (reduce cycle time);
4. Eliminate waste and non-value-added ...
  Classification of Lean Tools
Can you briefly explain how to classify lean tools?
I mean: different people seem to classify Lean tools in different ways, for example according to the 8 wastes. Who can give me another way to clas...
  Just-in-time Needs Flexibility
Of course, Just-in-time needs a flexible manufacturing system.
But actually, this flexibility has several aspects. For a proper functioning JIT-system, flexibility is required towards:
* Changes in product demand: the process ...
  How to Reduce the Vendor Risks with Just-in-Time ?
When we execute JIT, we normally require our vendor to prepare some stock to deliver fast.
If there are design change requests, or other products updates, how to reduce vendor stock risk?...
  The Impact of JIT on the Organization of Production Planning
JIT will have a strong impact on your organization of production planning.
With JIT, a factory should operate in a company similar as the autonomic nervous system in the human body. For example the human body will take care of our heartbeat and ...
  Why is a Sustainable Business Approach Capable of Removing So Much Inefficiency after years of JIT?
I had a very interesting conversation with someone who has become recently Chief Sustainability Officer of a top 10 pharma company (after years as global head of engineering there).
He is using a  
  Experiences with Including Purchased Parts in Kanban
Taiichi Ohno was plant manager of a Toyota factory when he started experimenting with JIT, Kanban and other Lean tools. This is one of his stories:
‘ … we used Kanban in select areas only and the purchased parts were the very last to be p...
  Just-in-time: Problematic or Possible?
Just-in-time (JIT) has always been a troublesome part of the management of any supply chain. However, it is feasible if the parties have a better understanding of their respective roles and the value each must bring to the chain.
Managing a supp...
  Definition of Just-in-time
JIT can be considered as:
1. A way of life
2. A philosophy of continuous improvement
3. A way to achieve manufacturing excellence by continually eliminating waste....
  Poka Yoke - Explanation
Poka Yoke is a method that shapes the production process the way it gets almost impossible to make mistakes. Employees have to make improvements in the process and needs to come up with proposals on how to prevent all the mistakes. The process has to...
  Information Velocity
Why is information velocity important in supply chain management?...
  Importance of Inventory Velocity
Why is inventory velocity so important in supply chain management?...
  Lean Manufacturing Tools for Beginners
Could somebody tell me what are the most important lean tools and techniques that should be used in a company that are about to implement lean manufacturing for the first time? Why? Thank you for your suggestions....
  JIT is Playground for Big Companies
I think that JIT or zero inventory or any system aiming similar targets needs power to execute. There are three cushions against delivery time variability.
1. Stock
2. Extra capacity
3. Unhappy customers
Big companies may p...
  JIT in Variable Marketplaces
In trying to implement a JIT system within my organisation. We are finding difficulties due to the random flows we are seeing. This random flow of products is making it hard to establish optimal stock levels.
With optimal stock levels establishe...

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Just-in-time Education & Events

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Best Practices - Just-in-time Premium
  Combining JIT and Outsourcing
JIT and outsourcing go hand in hand.
On one side it seems contradictory. JIT stands for producing and delivering to the customer what he wants when he wants. This is an extreme challenging condition. So you would expect that we should not furthe...
  Assumptions of Just-in-time (JIT)
Assumptions for effective JIT:
1. It depends on the type of product a company is manufacturing. JIT works best in food (perishable) business, fashion but can also be applied in cars manufacturing like in Toyota.
2. Deep buyer-supplier relat...

Expert Tips - Just-in-time Premium

Main Advantages of JIT?

Among the main causes for the success of Just-in-time are its capabilities to deal with certain major economic trends:
a. Deal with decrea...
Usage (application): Benefits of Just-in-time

Lean Tools to Attack Waste

What lean tools you can use for every waste you can find at your company?
Before you try to implement these lean tools you have to train your ass...
Usage (application): Waste Management, Waste Tools Overview

7 Things to Avoid in Just-in-Time

The seven zeros or seven areas of wastes in JIT / Lean Thinking are:
- Zero Defects: To avoid delays due to defects
- Zero (Excess) Lot Siz...
Usage (application): Just-in-Time Pitfalls

Use of Andon as Part of Just-in-time

Just-in-time is a pull-system. That means that when the customer places his order, the machine starts rolling.
Of course the whole organiz...
Usage (application): Signaling Abnormalities

The 8 Wastes of Lean Explained

T - Transport - Moving people, products & information
I - Inventory - Storing parts, pieces, documentation ahead of requirements
M - Motion ...
Usage (application): Waste Management

Standard Work in Just-in-Time

A just-in-time organization has to be capable to function 100% reliable when ‘pulled’ by the customer.
To achieve this readiness the organ...
Usage (application): Just-in-Time

Operation Management Issues and Focus Areas

According to Heizer and Render, there are 10 decision areas of Operation Management (each having typical issues):
1. Goods and Services De...
Usage (application): Operations Management, JIT, Kaizen

How to Focus your Improvement Efforts?

Very often organizations consider continuous improvement as committing on improvement efforts, and thus creating projects to implement them, in all ar...
Usage (application): Achieve More With Less, Kaizen, BPR, JIT, Lean, Value Chain

Synonyms of Just-in-time (JIT)

Instead of JIT, you may also find the following similar terms:
- Continuous Flow Manufacturing (IBM)
- Stockless Production (HP)
- Repe...
Usage (application): Other Terms that are used to Indicate JIT


The term JIT II has been applied as co-location and is a further step toward reducing unnecessary logistics times and costs and exploring further oppo...
Usage (application): JIT with supplier

Obtaining a High Supplier Quality

W. Edward Deming, a well-known management consultant, strongly recommended Sole (Single) Sourcing as the only management way to obtain high supplier q...
Usage (application): Best Practice to Consider

Resources - Just-in-time Premium

Summary of Lean Manufacturing and Maintenance. History, Tools, PROs and CONs

Detailed presentation about Lean Production, including the interesting origins of Lean Production in Toyota Motor Company. By Hong, E. Sledge, S. And ...
Usage (application): Operational Excellence, Maximizing Efficiency

The Role of Value Chain Functions, Quality Management and Innovation in Competitive Advantage

This presentation firstly presents the role of functional strategies and the value chain in the achievement of competitive advantage by ...
Usage (application): Value Chain Management, Quality Management, Innovation, Operational Excellence

Financial Consequences from Implementing Lean Manufacturing

In the last 30 years, many U.S. firms have adopted lean manufacturing strategies. Despite evidence of substantial variation in firms' success with JIT...
Usage (application): JIT, TQM

Lean Production for a Green Environment

Presentation about lean manufacturing and its relation with sustainable business. The presentation includes the following sections:
1. Introducti...
Usage (application): Lean Production, Lean Manufcaturing

Lean Assessment Tool

Spreadsheet calculates current and future Lean and Six Sigma scores based on scoring in 28 criteria. Generates Lean Overview and Radar Chart. By Brian...
Usage (application): Lean / Six Sigma Assessment

Managing your Inventory: Quick Introduction to Just in Time, Stock Review and ABC Analysis

This video gives a brief introduction to three popular Inventory Management Techniques:
1. JIT (Just in Time):
Involves having orders arrive...
Usage (application): Basic Understanding of 3Inventory Management Techniques


Jit Philosophy


Jit Just-in-time


Jit Philosophy


Jit Just-in-time


Jit Philosophy


Jit Just-in-time


Jit Philosophy


Jit Just-in-time

Compare with: Kaizen  |  Deming Cycle  |  Scientific Management  |  Six Sigma  |  Value Chain  |  Value Stream Mapping  |  CPFR  |  Bricks and Clicks  |  Delta Model  |  3rd Party Logistics (3PL)  |  RFID Technology

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