Just in Time (JIT) – Concepts and its Benefits in Manufacturing

by Vijayalaxmi Meharwade

What is JIT?

JIT is an opposite form of JIC (just in case). JIT is an example of pull system whereas JIC is an example of push system.

JIT means producing the right part in right quantity, at the right time, thus reducing manufacturing waste. The objective is to produce a continuous flow of value so that the customer can pull. JIT supports quick response to customer, better sense of takt time and abnormality control. The JIT system comprises kanban and production leveling or heijunka.

JIT is a management idea, a tool that enables the internal process of a company and adapt to sudden changes in demand pattern.

Different types of JIT:

JIT distribution (JITD) - It is the inclusion of a third party logistics. This allows the companies to focus on their core competencies and areas of expertise and logistics distribution carried out by a third party.

JITD requires efficient transportation management system, because inbound and outbound material can have a great effect on production when there is no buffer inventory.

JIT purchasing (JITP) - this is counter to traditional purchasing where materials are bought well in advance, before their use. Under JITP supplier selection, product development and production lot sizing are critical.

Benefits of JIT

  • No big storage areas or godowns are required, avoiding building costs.
  • No additional security personnel to guard these godowns, reducing labor costs.
  • No excessive buying leading to less capital investment
  • No excessive production leading to time & labor cost saving.
  • Reduced overheads & scrap
  • Reduced WIP as a result of production against demand
  • Storage costs & damages during storage are totally avoided.
  • Strong supplier/customer relationships
  • Enhanced competitive position in the market
  • Improved worker & equipment efficiency
  • Increased team work & flexibility
  • Reduction in paperwork & follow-ups involved there-in
JIT is a time saver, cost saver, labor saver & subsequently a value enhancer of our product.
JIT Strategy

JIT is built on the concept of ‘Sell One- Make One’ (SOMO). It leads towards significant quality and productivity. It is result oriented such that workers responsibility and commitment are enhanced. It manages the material flow bringing down the inventory levels. 

Sl. No.
Techniques under JIT
Objectives possible on application
1Batch size reduction Reduced lot size
Reduced inventories and costs there-of
2Set-up time reduction Eliminate wastes such as long set up times
Eliminates zig-zag material flow and scrap
Reduces rework, inspection and machine breakdown
3Scientific machine and factory design Planned layout with minimum transport between machines reduces material carrying cost
4Group technology layout Identifying and eliminating non-value adding activities and elements systematically
5Flexible and multi-functional workforce Cross-training workers enabling them to operate various machines
6Mixed model of production Enabling workers to retain their freshness and reduce fatigue. (long duration of single job leads to lack of interest)
7Balanced scheduling Focusing and targeting on continuous improvement using workers knowledge to the maximum achieve 'zero defects' in manufacturing process
8Vendors orientation to JIT concept This is required to make sure that materials are delivered & received on time.
Done on the basis of mutual understanding & relations with vendors/suppliers

Implementation of JIT: Implementing JIT is possible through organizational changes and physical plant changes. Organizational changes include performance measures, organization structure and pay pattern to employees.

Physical plant changes are aspects related to ergonomics. Physical changes also include grouping machinery and equipment into manufacturing cells. Here U-shaped cells are preferred to increase workers interaction and reducing material handling.

Implementation takes longer times and is tougher because of the organizational changes.

Read previous parts of BIG FAT LEAN series

About Vijayalaxmi Meharwade: Vijayalaxmi is a graduate (B.E.) in Textile and Master is Textile Technology (Garment Technology). She has 14 years of experience in research, and working in industry concerning textile and garment manufacturing. She has also worked as a teaching faculty. 

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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