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Just In Time (JIT): New Concepts of Japanese Manufacturing

Just In Time (JIT) is not a new concept as it has been a part of the Japanese manufacturing industry since a long time. JIT was initially known as Toyota Production System and Toyota motor company recognized its very philosophy and working techniques. The objective of this manufacturing system is to eliminate waste totally. It basically means making what the market demands when it is in need. JIT not only increases the work productivity but also saves the cost along with work performance and producing quality products.


In order to have a complete JIT manufacturing system it is important to meet the demands of the market whenever needed. These include a company wide commitment; proper material, quality, people involvement as well as equipment must always be available there. Moreover, to establish the identification of duplication of the efforts, it is also important to extend the developed policies and procedure of an internal JIT structure into the company’s supplier and customers. Furthermore, in order to reduce wastage and improve the quality of work, it is important to get in hand a continuous feedback of the performance. (Gregory Jobe, Danny Misson, Adam Smith)


This Japanese management manufacturing company was developed in the 70’s and was first adopted by the Toyota manufacturing plants by Taiichi Ohno. JIT gained extensive support by the mid 70’s by many companies thus many companies followed the JIT management strategies. If we trace back the history for the actual incentive to develop a good manufacturing technique, which would be an elementary part to rebuild their economy was the major set back of the Toyota Company after World War II. They wanted to catch up with America as soon as possible in order to save their (Japans’s) automobile industry. Nevertheless the roots are traced back to their strong work ethic rather then sitting idle or wasting time in relaxation. (Danny Misson, 2006)

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Though the Japanese people were very hard working since the beginning even so, they did not achieve this stage of economic recognition in a day or two. Basically the existing system at that time had many defects in the manufacturing fields.

The major defects in the manufacturing industry at that time included the inventory problems, defects in the products, the high cost and delivery delays as well as the large lot production. (Imai (1986)) Nonetheless, only a single product defect is enough to destroy the reputation of the producer, so it was needed to develop a manufacturing system, which was completely defect free. Therefore, JIT took the initiative to introduce a very strong and solid manufacturing system that was not only defect free from the existing defects of that time but also provided a faster and reliable delivery system in regard to satisfy the needs and demands of the customer. (Gregory Jobe, 2006)


JIT is an integrating production process where the suppliers, manufacturers as well as the customers are inter-related to each other for the successful competition of the JIT manufacturing. The process of JIT does not work on the basis of independence in regard to the stages of manufacturing process. Therefore, the process of the JIT manufacturing needs to complete the following stages as a manufacturing process: Prior to set a JIT manufacturing system, every company needs to define its plan and objectives. However the degree of appropriateness varies from one individual company to another. So planning for JIT is the most important process for setting up a JIT manufacturing system. Furthermore, while planning for JIT, the objectives should be very much clear, as the system needs a complete understanding of its objectives. Once these objectives are set then the process of planning start determining the requirements to meet these well-planned objectives. However to make the goal and objectives successful, it is also important to be equipped to integrate and optimize each and every step of the manufacturing system, to produce the products in time and on demand, to develop manufacturing flexibility as well as to produce quality products to maintain commitments and communication among the customers and suppliers. (Gregory Jobe, 2006)

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However, manufacturing flexibility is the ability to start new projects or the rate at which the production mix can be adjusted to meet customers demand. (China time report) where planning for flexibility is related to the understanding of the very elements of the manufacturing process that limits flexibility and improves in the areas needed. So the production managers need to focus on certain important factors to be made flexible like the supplier lead time, the time for the process of production as well as the setup time for the process and so on. (Adam Smith, 2006)

Furthermore, the process also includes the reduction of the manufacturing cost in order to build up the product to any specified benefit. A good employer and employee relationship can serve best to the completion of this process. This will help in cost savings as well as encourage a strong relationship among the members and the manufacturing company resulting in great success of the JIT system.

Nonetheless, a successful JIT system demands a healthy communication between the customers and suppliers. This will help encouraging suggestions, getting to know the demands of the users as well as very much responsibility to fulfill it’s commitments.