Just-in-time is not just for manufacturing: a service perspective
There is a need for confronting the challenges posed by global competition, so companies are focusing on the needs of customers to improve product quality along with customer service. This philosophy has long been followed in manufacturing sector, and they are aware of the need to reduce waste as means to reduce costs and improve product quality.
Just – in – time (JIT), the formalized process of reducing waste reduction, has achieved a strong foothold in the manufacturing sector. However, the services sector has not been able to recognize the benefits of JIT. Services are very much like the manufacturing in sense, both employ processes that add value to the basic inputs used to create the end product. JIT focuses on the process, not the product. It can therefore, applied to any process within manufacturing or service operations. This article gives you insights as to how the principles of JIT can be implemented in services.
The JIT concepts adopted by manufacturing organizations are process- oriented and can be summarized, following Benson (1986), as:
➢ Total visibility – of equipment, people, material and processes;
➢ Synchronization and balance – of production to sales and supply to production;
➢ Respect for people – line operators are responsible for production, problem solving and improvement;
➢ Flexibility – adapt production to customer needs;
➢ Continuous improvement – never satisfied with the process;
➢ Responsibility for the operation’s environment – those who design, manage and operate the processes are responsible for the outcome;
➢ Holistic approach – company-wide philosophy of elimination of waste.
Each of these JIT themes may be applicable to service organizations. Benson (1986) argues that, in fact, service operations are “organized systems of production processes” with the same potential for improvement through...
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