Supply chain management and Just-in-Time (JIT)
Supply chain management and Just-in-Time (JIT)
Modern organizations are aware of the importance of manufacturing excellence in developing competitive advantage. In a global business environment characterized by intense competition, organizations must come up with better ways of wadding off competition. In the manufacturing industry, organizations can develop competitive advantage by producing products of the highest quality at the lower possible cost. Besides, organizations must have the flexibility of being able to cope with increasing product demands and sort life cycles of production that come about with international competition. Top global manufacturers have been able to respond the increasing demands of competition by modifying their production systems. In order to improve on quality and eliminate wastage, modern organizations have shifted to a modern inventory control system known as the Just-in-Time (JIT) system. Although this system was first developed in Japan, it has gained global popularity. JIT inventory control system is a system where materials and parts for producing components when they are needed. This means good are not produced until an order is received for them. However, because all product components are always ready, the good are produced just in time for the shipment to the customer (Deniz, 2007). Most organizations have adopted the use of JIT to eliminate manufacturing wastages by producing the right component at the right time. The main aim of JIT is to keep inventories at minimum because holding inventory is counterproductive in manufacturing. JTI in manufacturing
In manufacturing, JIT is used as a system for operating factories. It is mainly intended to facilitate the production of the right units and reducing on wastage. Besides, it facilitates the production of the right quantities of products at the right time. Organizations that use JIT do so with the aim of creating an inventory system that allows the organization to have people and equipments ready for a manufacturing plan. In order for this aim to be achieved, there are four key elements that must be taken into consideration before success can be realized JIT (Li, 2009). The organization must reduce the operational time, develop a flexible workforce, improve the layout of the plan and maintain a zero defect (Agrawal, 2010). By implementing the elements above, a manufacturer can be able to manage and effectively eliminate wastage. In order for JIT to implement effectively, it is incumbent upon factories to improve their manufacturing flow. The plant layout is particularly important in ensuring a smooth flow of material during the production process. Under JIT, the plant design is in modified to create a “focused factory” (Li, 2009). Through this approach, the factory is separated into mini factories where machines are separated to specific parts. The flow of development of parts is developed in such a way that the work process is not moved from one place to another (Agrawal, 2010). With this kind of a setup, the volume of production can be increased without necessarily increasing the production time. Organizations that implement JIT appear to be committed in eliminating production wastage. If just one unite of a finished product is found to be defective, the entire process of production must be repeated. The repetition of production can delay the shipment of products to the customer cause a host of other problems relating to the delivery of orders. In a JIT system, therefore, suppliers are required to be responsible of for the quantity of materials and parts. It is the responsibility of the production workers to identify and sort incoming units to ensure that defective products are not passed over to the consumers. This calls on workers in a JIT system to not only be flexible, but also multiskilled (Gupta,...
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