In previous articles, we have seen the importance and advantages of the Just in time philosophy for companies in different industries. Currently, this is a very useful methodology, which let organizations to reach better production levels, increasing their manufacturing times and the customer’s service experience. As we have seen, this technique has its roots in Japan, more specifically in Toyota, where they created a very innovative method to keep production at the highest levels, reducing costs and improving the company’s productivity. Today, this system is used for many companies around the world.
In this article, we will talk about the principal basis of this methodology, but before going deeper into this concepts, it is important to define in a few words what the Just in time philosophy is and its benefits for manufacturing businesses.
The Just in time method
Basically, we can define this concept as the production system that let organizations increase its productivity, removing all those processes that are unnecessary for them. In other words, this system is the way how businesses can improve the way how they manufacture their products more efficient and effectively.
In addition, if one organization adopts the Just in time philosophy, it will be more competitive, reducing production costs, and letting know what is needed in a particular procedure and what does not.
In conclusion, and for the understanding of the concepts that we will show, we can say that the Just in time methodology is the system that allows organizations to produce what they need, at the right moment and with the adequate amounts. If we understand this, then we can explain the basis of this system.
Related: Unfolding Just In Time in the Western World by David Kiger
In the Just in time methodology, productivity is paramount, so workers of a particular task must work also for other ones. In addition, in a manufacturing line, all participants must be able to be multi-tasking, because some phases could require simultaneous work. Moreover, operators must take advantage of and produce in dead times between production stages.
The flexibility concept is crucial for the system’s basis, as through it, the Just in time philosophy makes the workers focus their efforts on multiple activities within a particular process, and not just in a specific one.
Fabrication and delivery times
This is a very important concept and could be defined as the spine of this methodology. The Just in time approach focuses a lot of its energies for reaching the perfect balance in what the company must manufacture, and the right time and amount, so it is vital to structure the production times.
For this, the fabrication and delivery times concept defines four vital elements; the waiting time, the movement time, the adaptation time and the processing time. These four components determine the total fabrication time.
The waiting time is related with the flexibility component, described above, due to it lets workers and operators work in different processes without having to wait that a particular stage ends. The movement time is connected with the operator’s displacement. If a particular employee is moving to different places to finish a particular activity, this will be reducing the manufacturing times. The adaptation time is a very important concept and is associated with the knowledge and adoption of new technologies, which will help workers to do better their tasks. The processing time is correlated with reduction of the production lots size.
As we have mentioned, the Just in time methodology is only focused on the productivity improvement, so errors are not tolerated. To reach the best levels of production and manufacturing, companies must think in working without defects. In other words, if a specific organization is adopting the Just in time philosophy, must redesign all its processes to be error-free.
The no errors concept is what ensures to manufacturing companies the highest levels of quality and service. For this, organizations must plan and design their processes, get the best resources to execute them and improve all those activities that avoid being able to be defects-free. If one organization includes all these components in its processes, it will be more easily accomplishment the perfection levels sought by the Just in time philosophy.
The just in time methodology is a very demanding one, so it must involve both companies and providers. The successfully implementation of this methodology depends largely on suppliers. They should not only have high-quality standards but also must be trustworthy, showing to organizations that they can supply them at any time, anywhere and at any moment.
Currently, one of the most important trends for manufacturing organizations is to be located near their providers so they can be supplied easily and in a more effective way. This not only benefits the producer but also suppliers, because they will also be reducing transportation costs, establishing a win-win relation between them.