One of the most important and significant approaches for having better production and manufacturing practices is the Just in time system. As we have seen in other articles from this blog, this methodology not only gives to organizations the possibility of being more productive but also more organized and effective, which lets them be more competitive, adding value to their products and services. In addition, this way of going about manufacturing has been implemented by different companies from multiple industrial fields around the planet, making it one of the most recognized and optimal ways to manufacture.
The Just in Time system has its origins in Japan, where companies like Toyota started to implement different changes in their manufacturing processes, so they could improve them and be more productive. Basically, Just in Time thinking is focused on the reduction of unnecessary activities which make production activities slower. In other words, this approach could be defined as the mechanism for manufacturing what is needed, in the adequate quantities and in the required time, reducing costs, inventories and removing every non-essential element in the company’s processes.
As we have mentioned, this philosophy has been applied by different companies around the world, from small organizations to giant corporations like Toyota, Dell or McDonalds. In this post, we will see how these businesses used Just in time thinking and the benefits brought by it.
The Just in time system in companies
The Just in time methodology could be applied in any industrial sector, not only in manufacturing organizations. For example, restaurants can work under this philosophy in order to have the required inventories and producing what customers need at the right time. Another industry with successful cases for using the Just in time system is the retail. These companies can have low stocks of their products so they will not need to pay over costs for more storage space.
For a better understanding of the application of this concept in today’s organizations, we will see some successful cases of huge corporations using Just in time thinking and how this philosophy made them more productive and effective, turning them into leaders in the market they are part of.
As we have seen, Toyota was practically the founder and creator of the Just in Time system. This company is currently considered the most important one for using this methodology in the world and one of the best in the automotive manufacturing industry. Basically, the implementation of this philosophy in Toyota is focused on organizing every process so they can use what they need at the right time. Put differently, in this company, every procedure uses what they need when it is needed, that is to say, that they use and have just what they require in a particular moment.
Another reason for the success Toyota has had by implementing the Just in Time thinking is that they are in continuous processes improvement. In other words, they are constantly making changes to know what their procedures need, how their production times are and what raw materials amounts are needed. All this lets them to be more productive and have a more successful Just in time system.
Dell is probably one of the most important and biggest manufacturers of computer parts and hardware in the world. They currently, they have excellent delivery times, making them one of the best marketers of technology parts on the planet. The Just in time methodology in Dell is focused mainly on their providers, making them the main ally of their business.
Basically, Dell’s providers must have what the company in the right time so they can demand the parts they need and assemble their computers in very short times, having better delivery times, and thus being able to get their products out to their customers faster.
This company is probably the most famous and recognized one in the motorcycle industry around the planet. The implementation of the Just in Time methodology in this organization started after the World War II, making them a very productive and effective company, after having a very inefficient production chain.
In short, the application of the Just in time thinking in Harley-Davidson was focused on the reduction of their inventories. After the adaptation of this system, the company reduced the stock levels by almost 75%. Thanks to this reduction, Harley-Davidson lowered its fabrication costs, which gave them more profits.
Another excellent successful example is McDonald’s, which is considered the biggest fast food company in the world thanks to the short delivery times. Moreover, every restaurant from any part in the world has the same quality and customer experience, which indicates an excellent implementation of the Just in time approach. To back this up, McDonald’s has a delivery promise of one minute or less, which is a huge challenge even for the giant it is and for every fast food organization in the world.
Related: Some significant and used methods for the Just in time approach by David Kiger
* Featured Image courtesy of Aaron Morton at Flickr.com