We’ve all heard that Lean and the Just in Time System are the Same. And, while there are some similarities, the two systems are in fact, different. Generally speaking, the Just In Time System makes up one pillar of a Lean Organization and although the principles and techniques can be applied to service environments, the Just In Time philosophy is mainly used in manufacturing. The philosophy helps an organization achieve three main focuses:
In short the Just in Time Philosophy produces what is needed, when it's needed and in the quantity needed. When you think of Just in Time, inventory should come to mind. Whether that inventory is information or material based is not important, but the Just in time system seeks to improve the flow, management and control of inventory. There are typically four main goals of the Just in Time philosophy:
As you may have guessed these 4 goals may be difficult to achieve in a traditional Batch, Lot or Mass manufacturing environment. These environments seek to spread costs over the pool of products and often stock inventory that is later pulled and shipped to customers. In addition, traditional manufacturing methods must dedicate one line to a limited number of products or suffer the consequences of lengthy changeover times. By implementing the Just in Time System an organization is better able to produce a variety of products in a shorter lead time, in a smaller quantity to meet the needs of their customers. This oftentimes requires organizations to change the way they look at production and analyse just how they can build to customer demand, create flow and balance, develop appropriate schedules and continuously improve everyday.
Supporting Tools for the Just In Time System
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