Why “Just in time” method for production and management is great for small businesses

“Just in time” production and management has been proven over several decades that it is a quite profitable method for business. In fact, roughly speaking, it provides companies with a different view of production management. Having its origins in Asia in the decade of 1960, spread in the Western world in the decade of 1980, and widely spread over the world nowadays, the methodology referred as “Just in time” offers lots of benefits for managers, yet it needs to be implemented carefully to take advantage of it at best. I have treated this issue previously, as you can see by clicking here.To read more David Kiger’s posts on small business, click hereThis post, however, is about the great impact that “just in time” production and management brings to small businesses. Keep on reading below to draw the best reasons why the “just in time” method for better production and management is great for your small business.

A little history

Before deepening into the core issue of this post, it is essential to know what the term “Just in time” means and its importance for business production and managing. Just in time production, or simply called J.I.T is an inventory strategy that helps to increase efficiency and decrease waste, used by companies so that production in based on demand. As you might already inferred, it is opposite to a strategy called “Just in case”, which is based on the idea of keeping the company’s inventory full of product and raw material to produce as much as possible. As I said before, this strategy comes from Asia, but due to the fact of being so profitable for business, it quickly spread widely over the U.S and the rest of the world. As everything in business, however, it has not only some advantages, but also there are some difficulties that scare the less risky business people.

The advantages of employing the Just in time method

Businesses, as everything in life, have advantages and difficulties. Let us talk first about the best aspects of using J.I.T production. Perhaps the most important thing for managers is the economic aspect. That is why the most important advantage of J.I.T is the saving of money. That is to say, since J.I.T promotes not buying the raw material that you do not need now, it represent an immense occasion to not wasting money, and investing it in a different raw material that you actually need to start to produce another product.

Another paramount profit of using J.I.T is the space of production and raw material that you will save, as well as the efficacy of your production. In other words, due to the fact that your personnel will be working on a specific product, and that there will be no raw material or product different from the ones that you need, the production managing will be more effective. In addition, you will be able to switch to a different production in case you need, and it will be quite easy.

Business_just in time_david kiger
Image courtesy of Christophe BENOIT at Flickr.com

The difficulties of employing the Just in time method

Nothing is perfect. As a matter of fact, the J.I.T method has its difficulties to cope with. However, these difficulties can be seen as new opportunities to improve and learn. All depends on how you see it. So the major difficulty of using J.I.T in your business is roughly the interruptions that may occur during production. For example, say you are producing and your whole company is focus on that duty. But all of a sudden, your client calls to cancel, reduce or change the product previously asked. This would mean an interruption of production since you would have to wether stop working as soon as possible or put less workers and raw material under that particular operation.

This mere difficulty of putting J.I.T into action represent an immediate change in production. However, the positive aspects of employing this interesting strategy in your small business will bring gains, experience, and more efficacy. In fact, I found many various testimonies of small businesses out there that changed their way of producing, and faced difficulties, mainly in their employees, but learned the huge importance, relevance, and advantages of working and producing the J.I.T style. Read the following case of a husband-and-wife art company to read more on the J.I.T method.

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