Just In Time (JIT) Paper

Essay by babydoll77stlUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, July 2010

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Process Analysis Technique � PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT �1�

Just in Time (JIT)

University of Phoenix



There are many ways to become a successful lean organization. There are a number of processes that can be used in order to be considered lean. Some examples are Six Sigma, Kaizen Improvement Process, 5S, and Just-In-Time (JIT). The purposes of this paper is to go over the Just-In-Time process and to show exactly how this process has become so successful for Toyota, and to explain if this process could work for the United States or not.

Just-In-Time Concept

The purpose of the Just-In-Time process is the consumption of resources at the last possible moment in order to meet the needed production for customer demand. By doing so, the elimination of wastes and non-value added activities need to be eliminated from the manufacturing processes. The emphasis of a JIT program is on the minimization of warehousing costs/reduced inventories, frequent shipments and short delivery lead times.

Management must adopt a method of inventory control which features high inventory turns and low safety stocks. This is just the opposite of a conventional system where inventory is stockpiled.

There are many different benefits to utilizing the JIT process. Some of the many benefits include a base for an increase in annual turnover, halving of inventory, a cut in lead time from weeks to days, a drop in labor turnover, and a reduction of waste and re-work levels. It also increases the number of skills per employee. J-I-T incorporates a better company image, improved morale and good housekeeping. Another great example of using the JIT process is the minimization of quality problems with machinery or parts that sit for long periods of time because there are so many inventories.

Success of Toyota and the JIT Technique

Toyota has been in business for many years. Besides having quality products to offer, Toyota uses the JIT technique for their manufacturing and they also utilize automation which regulates the amount of human interaction concerning inspections of parts or products. The most important reason that Toyota is so successful is because of the JIT process that they use (Someren, 2007). Toyota realized that they could not follow the same manufacturing technique as American manufacturing because of their relatively low space, resources, and demand. Toyota utilized the kanban to control the flow of inputs and outputs in the production system. There are two different kinds of kanbans that Toyota used. The production kanban lets the workers know that more of a certain part needs to be produced. The conveyance kanban lets the workers know that parts need to be transported to another center. The kanban system is also considered to be a pull system, which is another reason why there is so much success for Toyota. The pull system is basically producing based on consumption, not just forecasts. The Toyota production strategy is highlighted by the fact that raw materials are not brought to the production floor until an order is received and this product is ready to be built. No parts are allowed at a node unless they are required for the next node, or they are part of an assembly for the next node. This philosophy has allowed Toyota to keep a minimum amount of inventory which means lower costs. This also means that Toyota can adapt quickly to changes in demand without having to worry about disposing of expensive inventory.

Success in the US with JIT

In several ways Western businesses tried to copy the JIT system, but could not be translated one-on-one', Van Someren adds. 'After 25 years of trying to copy Toyota's strategy, its advantage in productivity is still as large as it was 25 years ago. It seems non-technological innovations are much more hard to copy than technological improvements. No matter how hard you try to copy those management principles, the advantage will always be with the first mover. This is the explanation of Japan's success. An example of Toyota's just-in-time system is that they always asked customers about their family planning. They wanted to know if the customer would have a need for a cabriolet type of car or a station wagon in the future. Those questions are a bit impertinent in the West, but it works over in the East.


Toyota has proved to be a successful leader in the JIT process, and the Lean process overall. They do not carry unnecessary inventory, therefore saving the company money and passing those savings along to their customers. The main purpose of JIT and Lean processes is to eliminate wastes and save money for the organization. By saving money, the company can create more products, spend money on better parts for current products, or expand the organization. Based on the information provided, this paper proves that Toyota has successfully utilized the JIT process and the United States companies try to use the process but have not successfully implemented it yet.


Someren, T. V. (2007). Sustainability, Key to Toyota's Success. Retrieved May 24, 2010, from NYENRODE: http://www.nyenrode.nl/businesstopics/sustainability/Pages/KeytoToyota'ssuccess.aspx