JIT Practices and the Related Activities: Analysis
The concept of Just-in-Time is a comparatively recent addition to the array of manufacturing strategies that are supposed to help reduce the waste levels in the organization, at the same time improving the product quality and contributing to a rapid increase in the customer satisfaction levels (Azevedo 2013). By definition, the subject matter implies that the use of the resources available to the organization should be rationalized by using only the items that are required for the production process and avoiding waste by reducing inventory costs.
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JIT includes the concepts such as the lead time, the decoupling point, the process selection, the process flow design, and the facility layout (Kuljanic 2015). Although the framework is very efficient in improving operational processes, it needs to be coupled with a powerful forecasting tool and a good leadership strategy to maintain customer and employee satisfaction rates high.
The use of standardization as the means of reducing time spent on the production processes is typically viewed as a sensible decision to make in the context of the modern manufacturing environment. However, the identified choice may come at a price. The framework admittedly offers a plethora of opportunities, such as the chance for reducing the number of errors and, therefore, an opportunity for bringing down the percentage of defects.
Nevertheless, the choice of standardization as the means of enhancing the success of JIT may come at the price of losing the uniqueness of the company’s brand product. In addition, the promotion of the identified framework will contribute to the firm’s vulnerability to trade barriers (Bamford and Forrester 2010). Therefore, the adoption of the standardization technique should be taken with a speck of salt (Green et al. 2013).
The Lean Manufacturing principle, in its turn, also has its benefits and disadvantages. As far as the opportunities of LM are concerned, it allows for a rational and efficient use of the available resources. As a result, a significant reduction in waste rates is expected along with a drop in the company’s costs. Finally, the monitoring process becomes considerably easier.
However, the approach also has its problems. For instance, the employees are likely to be unwilling to adopt lean techniques since they imply that each of the staff members must show their best performance. Furthermore, the correlation between the production rates and the demand needs to be monitored consistently (Yasin, Small and Wafa 2009).
Therefore, in order to incorporate the main principles of lean thinking into the supply chain, one will have to take account of the internal and external factors, such as the motivation levels of the employees and the tendencies in the market demand. As a result, the use of LM tools will require that careful market research should be conducted (Piercy & Rich 2015). The use of a quantitative analysis as the foundation for financial forecasting, as well as the identification of the current trends in demand and the overall customer behavior paradigm, should be considered as well.
Although JIT tools give the company a momentum for improving the quality of its services and products, it also needs support that will help reinforce its significance among the staff members and make sure that the company’s efforts are appreciated by the target customers. The use of a quantitative market analysis, which can be performed as a combination of statistical studies and the assessment of survey results, is likely to improve the firm’s chances to meet the demand by which the market in question is currently characterized. The evaluation of the staff’s attitude toward the innovative strategy, in turn, is likely to help address possible internal problems and avoid numerous conflicts related to the lack of motivation and a drop in the staff’s performance rates.
Azevedo, A. (2013) Advances in sustainable and competitive manufacturing systems: 23rd International Conference on flexible automation and intelligent manufacturing. New York, NY: Springer Science and Business Media.
Bamford, D. R. and Forrester, P. L. (2010) ‘6. Developing lean operations’, in Bamford, D. R. and Forrester, P. L. (ed) Essential guide to operations management: concepts and case notes. New York, NY: Wiley, pp. 103-120.
Green, K W, Inman, R A, Birou, L M, and Whitten, D (2013) ‘Total JIT (T-JIT) and its impact on supply chain competency and organizational performance’, International Journal of Production Economics, 147, pp. 125-135.
Kuljanic, E. (2015) Advanced manufacturing systems and technology. New York, NY: Springer Science and Business Media.
Piercy, N & Rich, N (2015) ‘The relationship between lean operations and sustainable operations’, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 35(2), pp. 282-315.
Yasin, M M, Small, M H and Wafa, M A (2009) ‘Organizational modifications to support JIT implementation in manufacturing and service operations’, OMEGA, 31(3), pp. 213-226.