In today’s competitive global business environment, the goal of all manufacturing systems is long-term survival. A manufacturing company’s survival in an increasingly competitive market closely depends upon its ability to produce highest quality product at lowest possible cost and in a timely manner with shortest possible lead time. In addition, these goals should be achieved by paying utmost respect to the humanity of the employees who make the system work. Sometime, the difficulty of achieving the goals lies in the complexity of manufacturing operations. It is not difficult to build the high quality product, but is extremely difficult to do so while maintaining excellent quality, and at some time respecting the humanity of people who do the actual work of building that product.
Just-in-Time (JIT) Based Quality Management is both philosophy and guiding set of principles that integrates the basic management techniques, existing improvement efforts, and technical tools. This approach stressed on long term benefits resulting from waste elimination, and continuous improvements to systems, programs, products, and people. It has significant impact on quality control, purchasing functions, and work culture with a philosophy that encompasses cost, meeting delivery schedules, employee’s empowerment and skill development, supplier relations and development of new products. But, this approach requires the plants to keep trim inventories because even small glitch in supply chain management, and small failure rate of defective items can bring production to standstill. Some unique techniques of purchasing and quality control are therefore developed in such a way that raw material or components of high quality can be arrived at factory just as they needed, and production of defective items can be reduced to near zero level. Just In Time (JIT) is a production and inventory control system in which materials are purchased and units are produced only as needed to meet actual customer demand. When Companies use Just in Time (JIT) manufacturing and inventory control system, they purchase materials and produce units only as needed to meet actual customers demand. In just in time manufacturing system inventories are reduced to the minimum and in some cases is zero. JIT approach can be used in both manufacturing and merchandising companies. It has the most profound effects, however, on the operations of manufacturing companies which maintain three class of inventories-raw material, Work in process, and finished goods. Traditionally, manufacturing companies have maintained large amounts of all three types of inventories to act as buffers so that operations can proceed smoothly even if there are unanticipated disruptions. Raw materials inventories provide insurance in case suppliers are late with deliveries. Work in process inventories are maintained in case a work station is unable to operate due to a breakdown or other reason. Finished goods inventories are maintained to accommodate unanticipated fluctuations in demand. While these inventories provide buffers against unforeseen events, they have a cost. In addition to the money tied up in the inventories, expert argue that the presence of inventories encourages inefficient and sloppy work, results in too many defects, and dramatically increase the amount of time required to complete a product.
History of JIT Manufacturing
Jit philosophy evolved in Japan after World War II, as a result of their diminishing market share in the auto industry. Toyota Motor Company is the birthplace of the JIT philosophy under Taiichi Ohno. Taiichi’s JIT philosophy also encompasses many of W. Edwards Deming’s 14 points of Management concepts. JIT is now on the rise in American Industries.
JIT is sometimes said to have been invented by Henry Ford because of his one-at-a-time assembly...