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Once you eliminate the risks and carrying costs of inventory, yourorganization can become more flexible and responsive. Gone are thedays of stalling a product enhancement or pushing product on aclient while you wait for inventory to draw down.What’s more, JIT proponents argue that excess inventory hidesweaknesses in the production cycle and that reducing inventory forcesgreater quality control throughout the operation—with everything from fewerproduction mistakes to better customer service.As one of the leaders at Toyota—the company generally credited with developing just-in-time—once said, waste is “anything other than the minimum amount ofequipment, materials, parts, space, and worker’s time, which are absolutely essentialto add value to the product.”
Under this definition, waste includes overproduction,waiting, transport, inventory, unnecessary motion, and product defects.The JIT philosophy is that inventory should not act as a mechanism foraccommodating inefficiencies in other areas of the system. By optimizing the supplychain, inventory (i.e. waste) is reduced.Multiple opportunities for waste exist throughout the supply chain. A JIT initiativeendeavors to eliminate as many inconsistencies as possible including:
times, staff productivity
Just-in-time principles are closely aligned with lean manufacturing.Lean systems seek to reduce operational inefficiencies and wastethrough a total system of continuous improvements. Just-in-time isone of multiple tools in a lean initiative.
At Green Gear, customization goes far beyond color choices. Customers submit theirheight, weight, inseam measurements, age, and preferred riding position with everyorder. The company builds bikes to accommodate everyone including children, littlepeople, and the very tall.Standard delivery time is four weeks, although the company can accommodate lastminute orders—for a premium.
4 Hyer, Nancy Lea. Reorganizing the factory competing through cellular manufacturing. Portland,Or: Productivity P, 2002.