Six Sigma Blog: Just In Time For JIT

Just In Time For JIT

JIT or Just-In-Time is a lean manufacturing principle that works on the theory that minimizing the inventory on hand, either raw materials or work-in-progress inventory, will only serve to enhance efficiency of processes and reduce waste. The name is derived from the fact that inventory arrives just in time to be processed into the finished product. The salient features of JIT are:

  • Elimination of warehouse space
  • Building strong, long-term relationships with a handful of suppliers who can be relied upon to deliver on demand. If one of them is unable to supply for some extenuating reason, the others should be willing to step in and make up the difference.
  • Standardization of parts
  • Usage of assembly line manufacturing process
  • Easy identification of bottlenecks and weak points in the production line
  • Usage of visual, manual systems to signal the shortage of inventory, where the level of items in standard sized containers is used as a reorder point rather than a computer-generated report. The Japanese coined the word Kanban to describe this process.
  • Improvement of the process of developing new products