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Just-in-Time and Lean Operations. Developments of JIT and Lean Operations. 1960’s: Developed as Toyota Production System by Taiichi Ohno and his colleagues 1970’s: U.S. and European auto makers began to apply JIT to improve quality and productivity

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Just-in-Time and Lean Operations


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Developments of JIT and Lean Operations

  • 1960’s: Developed as Toyota Production System by Taiichi Ohno and his colleagues

  • 1970’s: U.S. and European auto makers began to apply JIT to improve quality and productivity

  • 1990’s and beyond: Expanded the JIT concept to streamline all types of operations


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Definition of JIT

  • A set of techniques to increase, productivity, improve quality, and reduce cost of an operations

  • A management philosophy to promote elimination of waste and continuous improvement of productivity



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Main Elements of JIT

  • Elimination of waste

  • Quality at the source

  • Balanced and flexible work flow

  • Respect for people

  • Continuous improvement (Kaizen)

  • Simplification and visual control

  • Focus on customer needs

  • Partnerships with key suppliers




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Quality at the Source

  • Jidoka – autonomation (automatic detection of defects, e.g., Poka-yoke)

  • Employee empowerment

  • Statistical process control

  • Prevention orientation (elimination of root causes through PDSA cycle)


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Balanced and Flexible Work Flow

  • Yo-i-don (ready, set, go) system

  • Stable production schedule

  • Set-up time reduction

  • Flow-shop and cellular layouts

  • Shojinka (flexible & multi-skilled workforce)

  • Teamwork

  • Total productive maintenance (TPM)


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Respect for People

  • Productivity improvement needs employee support

  • Demonstrate by

    • providing cross-training opportunities

    • creating a safe and equitable work environment

    • encouraging people to achieve their potential by giving them greater responsibility and authority

    • promoting teamwork (formal and informal)

    • developing partnerships with unions


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Continuous Improvement (Kaizen)

  • Employee suggestion system

  • Process improvement

  • 5S’s

    • Seiri - organization

    • Seiton - tidiness

    • Seiso - purity

    • Seiketsu - cleanliness

    • Shitsuke - discipline


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Simplification and Visual Control

  • Standard and simple product designs

  • Andon boards

  • Kanban pull system

  • Flag systems

  • Music as signals

  • Performance display systems


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Focus on Customer Needs

  • Customer needs determine the “value” of a product or service

  • Be responsive to customers needs (present and future)

  • Strive to “delight,” not just “satisfy” customers


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Partnerships with Suppliers

  • Reduce number of suppliers

  • Use long-term contracts

  • Emphasize price, delivery, and services

  • Improve communication

  • Share information

  • Develop local just-in-time delivery

  • Provide technical support to suppliers


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JIT Implementation

  • Top management commitment

  • Steering committee

  • Education program

  • Pilot project planning

  • Employee training

  • Pilot implementation

  • Pilot post mortem

  • Feedback to steering committee

  • Expansion to next project


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Advancements in JIT (JIT II)

  • Backwards Integration of staff and line functions to suppliers (e.g., purchasing)

  • Requires EDI or web access to materials and logistics systems

  • On-site supplier representative(s) with transaction processing authority

  • Goal: link suppliers’ cycle to firm’s cycle to mutually reduce wait and move times




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