5.05 - Just in Time (JIT) Concepts


The introduction of Just in Time (JIT) methodologies allows an organisation to improve competitiveness in business by improving product quality, reliability of delivery, and reductions in product costs. All this can be achieved with a positive cash flow by releasing money tied up in inventory.

JIT is a philosophy to eliminate waste where waste is anything that adds cost without adding value to a product. Value being what the customer is prepared to pay for.

The introduction of JIT philosophy requires a total systems approach in which many aspects of a business have to be radically altered. This involved dedicated multi-disciplinary task forces to implement the changes, not just in manufacturing but also other areas such as business development and commercial operations of the company.

The reduction of stock levels helps expose those problems within the system, which buffer stock has actually masked for many years, if not decades.

Just in Time Concepts

This can be illustrated by the rocks in the river analogy. While the water (stock levels) are high the rocks are covered, but as the water level falls the rocks (poor quality, long lead and set-up times, machine types, and poor design for manufacture) have to be eliminated to allow the river to flow freely and prevent the ship floundering. By using this guide we can expose the problems and eliminate them.

Application of JIT Philosophy

JIT Implementation Results


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Present System









Supplier Development

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Flowcharting simplification & natural grouping

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Waste elimination (see below)

Changeover reductions

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Levelled Schedules

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Total quality control

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Cellular Manufacture

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Improved manufacturing environment (see below)

Total preventative maintenance

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Continuous improvement Groups

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Elimination of Waste

  • Reduction of work in progress (WIP)
  • Reduced inventory
  • Elimination of buffer stock
  • Floor space made available
  • Reduced scrap and re-work
  • Reduced changeover cost

Improved Manufacturing Environment

  • Flexible machines and manpower
  • Shorter lead times
  • Simpler organisation structures
  • Fast reaction time
  • Reduced changeover cost
  • Capital available for investment
  • Small batches (one at a time)
  • Mixed product flexibility

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