Production & Operation Management

Topics: Philips, Industrial engineering, Eindhoven Pages: 32 (9947 words) Published: May 25, 2011



1. Explain in brief the origins of Just in Time. Explain the different types of wastes that can be eliminated using JIT.

Just-in-Time (JIT) is a production strategy that strives to improve a business' return on investment by reducing in-process inventory and associated carrying costs. Just In Time production method is also called the Toyota Production System. To meet JIT objectives, the process relies on signals or Kanban between different points in the process, which tell production when to make the next part. Kanban are usually 'tickets' but can be simple visual signals, such as the presence or absence of a part on a shelf. Implemented correctly, JIT focuses on continuous improvement and can improve a manufacturing organization's return on investment, quality, and efficiency. To achieve continuous improvement key areas of focus could be flow, employee involvement and quality.

Quick notice that stock depletion requires personnel to order new stock is critical to the inventory reduction at the center of JIT. This saves warehouse space and costs. However, the complete mechanism for making this work is often misunderstood.

For instance, its effective application cannot be independent of other key components of a lean manufacturing system or it can "...end up with the opposite of the desired result." In recent years manufacturers have continued to try to hone forecasting methods (such as applying a trailing 13 week average as a better predictor for JIT planning, however some research demonstrates that basing JIT on the presumption of stability is inherently flawed.

Philosophy of JIT is simple: inventory is waste. JIT inventory systems expose hidden causes of inventory keeping, and are therefore not a simple solution for a company to adopt. The company must follow an array of new methods to manage the consequences of the change. The ideas in this way of working come from many different disciplines including statistics, industrial engineering, production management, and behavioral science. The JIT inventory philosophy defines how inventory is viewed and how it relates to management.

Inventory is seen as incurring costs, or waste, instead of adding and storing value, contrary to traditional accounting. This does not mean to say JIT is implemented without awareness that removing inventory exposes pre-existing manufacturing issues. This way of working encourages businesses to eliminate inventory that does not compensate for manufacturing process issues, and to constantly improve those processes to require less inventory. Secondly, allowing any stock habituates management to stock keeping. Management may be tempted to keep stock to hide production problems. These problems include backups at work centers, machine reliability, and process variability, lack of flexibility of employees and equipment, and inadequate capacity.

In short, the Just-in-Time inventory system focus is having “the right material, at the right time, at the right place, and in the exact amount”-Ryan Grabosky, without the safety net of inventory. The JIT system has broad implications for implementers.

Transaction cost approach JIT reduces inventory in a firm. However, a firm may simply be outsourcing their input inventory to suppliers, even if those suppliers don't use Just-in-Time (Naj 1993). Newman (1994) investigated this effect and found that suppliers in Japan charged JIT customers, on average, a 5% price premium.

Environmental concerns During the birth of JIT, multiple daily deliveries were often made by bicycle. Increased scale has required a move to vans and trucks. Cusumano (1994) highlighted the potential and actual problems this causes with regard to gridlock and burning of fossil fuels. This violates three JIT waste guidelines:

• Time—wasted in traffic jams
• Inventory—specifically pipeline (in transport) inventory •...
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