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




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 Special Interest Group

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Just-in-time Forum  

Recent topics

  Single Minute Exchange of Dies      
  List of Barriers to Just-in-Time | Barriers to JIT      
  Customer Support in Just in Time is Needed      

Best Practices - Just-in-time
  Definition of Just-in-time
  Assumptions of Just-in-time (JIT)
  Combining JIT and Outsourcing
  The Principles of Lean
  Lean Manufacturing Tools for Beginners

All you need to know about management

  How to Reduce the Vendor Risks with Just-in-Time ?
  Just-in-time: Problematic or Possible?
  Can Just-in-Time Work Without Kanban?
  Importance of Inventory Velocity
  Experiences with Including Purchased Parts in Kanban
  The Impact of JIT on the Organization of Production Planning
  Lean and JIT Manufacturing
  Classification of Lean Tools
  Kanban and Procurement Planning
  Just-in-time Needs Flexibility
  JIT in Variable Marketplaces
  Information Velocity
  Poka Yoke - Explanation
  Why is a Sustainable Business Approach Capable of Removing So Much Inefficiency after years of JIT?
  Disadvantages of JIT
  JIT is Playground for Big Companies
  Intent of Just in Time

Expert Tips - Just-in-time

Main Advantages of JIT?


Lean Tools to Attack Waste


7 Things to Avoid in Just-in-Time


Use of Andon as Part of Just-in-time


The 8 Wastes of Lean Explained


Standard Work in Just-in-Time


Operation Management Issues and Focus Areas


How to Focus your Improvement Efforts?


Synonyms of Just-in-time (JIT)




Obtaining a High Supplier Quality


Advance yourself in business administration and management

Resources - Just-in-time

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


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


Financial Consequences from Implementing Lean Manufacturing


Lean Production for a Green Environment


Lean Assessment Tool


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


News about Jit Philosophy


News about Jit Just-in-time


Videos about Jit Philosophy


Videos about Jit Just-in-time


Presentations about Jit Philosophy


Presentations about Jit Just-in-time


Books about Jit Philosophy


Books about Jit Just-in-time


More about Jit Philosophy


More about Jit Just-in-time


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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

Return to Management Hub: Change & Organization  |  Supply Chain & Quality

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Special Interest Group Leader
Eric Schmitz

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