With increased globalization, firms now faced intense competition from the world. Under such circumstances, there is an increased need to reduce cost and increase productivity. As such, firms are constantly seeking out strategies and management styles that may enable them to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. One of the prominent, successful strategies is to implement the Just-in-time (JIT) system. In fact, there is increasing popularity of JIT since the early 1980s, a result of the success of Japanese firms following their implementation of JIT systems.
JIT is a management philosophy that strives to eliminate sources of manufacturing waste by producing the right parts in the right place and at the right time. By establishing flow processes through the linkage of work centers, the objective is to create an even, balanced flow of materials through the production process. It helps to improve profits by reducing inventory levels, improving product quality, reducing production and delivery lead times and reducing unnecessary inventory-related costs.
However, it must be cautioned that JIT is not a "one size fits all" solution. Its success varies from industry to industry. This is because JIT is more suitable for medium to high volume productions. On top of that, transition from other systems to JIT requires the full commitment of both the management personnel and all other employee, which may not be easy to achieve.
The objective of this paper is to explore the philosophy and operational practices of JIT. This paper will focus primarily on 3 journal articles, which will cover different aspects of JIT to provide more breath into the understanding of JIT and its operational practices. Since pull systems is an essential element of manufacturing planning and control for JIT systems, the first paper that will be examined seeks to deepen our understanding...