The Basic Elements of JIT
JIT or just in time is a concept that each one of us practices unknowingly throughout our waking hours. One gets up in the morning just in time to complete the various actions that constitute the beginning of the day. Whether it is making that cup of coffee, going down to the gym, or even watering your garden, most of us have fixed schedules with tasks that need to be completed before moving on to the next item or beginning our day.
The elements of JIT, when applied to manufacturing, ensure that parts or raw materials arrive on the factory floor only at the point of required use or when they are actually needed. Not only does this help with inventory control and costs, but also with inventory storage concerns. Ideally, JIT also ensures that the finished product is only achieved when it is required by the end user or customer. If such JIT methods are properly implemented, the vast savings in inventory can translate to lower costs and benefit the customer as well as the manufacturer.
Wallace. J. Hopp, a Herrick Professor of Manufacturing at the University of Michigan and an expert on JIT, has defined JIT as "an approach to achieving excellence in a manufacturing company based on continuing elimination of waste and consistent improvement in productivity."
JIT was originally conceived as a means to eliminate waste. Items were allowed to move into a production system only when they were needed. The elements of JIT include establishing processes that ensure items moved into the production system are at acceptable levels with no defective parts.