Just-in-time manufacturing

Implications for fashion marketing ," in Fashion Marketing:

Organize your Industry

Matthews was contacted by the Seattle Seahawks late in the season. At the time it was reported Matthews was working at a Foot Locker when the Seahawks reached out to him. Truth was, he was still working for his father but had applied at several shoe stores, including Foot Locker, for a job. That Super Bowl is remembered for the Seahawks driving to the one-yard line.

Head coach Pete Carroll decided to throw a pass that was intercepted by cornerback Malcolm Butler to give New England a victory. You have to roll with the punches. After coming close to winning a Super Bowl Matthews is thrilled for another chance to win a championship. I was 13 the last time I won a championship and that was in basketball. My month-old daughter is growing up. When she gets older, I need to tell her your daddy was a champion too.

Now Reading Just in Time: Matthews addition exactly what Stamps needed. With his receiving corps decimated by injuries, head coach Dave Dickenson made a shopping list. Ferg Are the Stamps one win away from a dynasty? At six-foot-five and pounds, Matthews helped fill some gaps. Get all the top stories from across the league delivered to your inbox. We do not have a perfect world. Even for good companies, there are small inventories needed to buffer fluctuations.

Working without any buffer inventories will cause delays in the machines, even for good companies. The important part is that inventories between processes should be reduced, and JIT does not only require an arrival on time but also little waiting times for material between processes.

JIT is reduction of material in the supply chain, with particular focus of the material arriving just when it is needed. Yet, it is almost impossible to truly hand over the material just at the moment when the worker needs it.

Even good companies have small inventories at the manufacturing location, and other small inventory buffers at different points along the supply chain. So, how little do you need to call your process JIT?

Unfortunately, there is no clear answer. Nobody has defined when you are JIT. Just in Time primarily reduces inventory. This reduction in inventory then reduces cost. Factors relevant here are, for example, less tied-up capital, less handling, less storage cost, less administrative overhead for inventory, and less scrapping or obsolescence see The Hidden and Not-So-Hidden Costs of Inventory. However, there are two derived benefits from reduced inventory trough JIT that I would like to especially point out.

In my view, one of the two big benefits of JIT and the resulting reduction of inventory is the reduced lead time and hence the reduced response time. With less inventory, your ability to react to changes will improve drastically.

If you reduce your inventory by half, your lead time goes down by half too. Product design changes will progress through the system faster, defects will be detected earlier downstream, production plan adjustments can be reacted on faster, and so on. Overall, this is one of the big benefits of JIT. Yet, this is the more difficult part where your material has to both depart and arrive on time.

The other big benefit of reduced inventory is the reduced storage space. While this sounds obvious, there is an interesting twist to it for JIT.

You could store it in a dedicated storage area, or you could store it right next to your manufacturing processes. While it would be convenient for logistics to have the material right where it is needed, it would be better to store your material elsewhere. The combined cost of storing material is not equal everywhere. The closer you get to the manufacturing processes, the more precious your floor space becomes. The less material you have at manufacturing, the closer together you can place your processes.

This is good for efficiency. If you have large piles of material around your processes, then the processes have to be farther apart. Workers have to walk more, material has to be transported farther, information flow is slowed down, and so on. With JIT, you can reduce the inventory, especially around the processes where space is most valuable.

Best of all, for this it is enough when the part arrives just on in time. It does not matter when the part departed. You do not need to reduce inventory along the entire supply chain, but only at the last stop where the material is consumed.

The benefit of reducing inventory around your machines and processes can also be achieved simply by storing the material elsewhere, without an overall reduction in material. Of course, reducing inventory still has lots of other benefits and is usually worthwhile. Just in Time is popular although slightly declining since Hence, lots of companies want to do it.

Unfortunately, implementing JIT is quite difficult, as explained in my next post. It is much easier to do some pretending. Another company used a third-party warehouse across the street. Most of the material was stored in this warehouse. Their ability to get material from across the street was then called JIT, even though this usually required a three-day notice beforehand.

Overall, JIT is quite powerful, bringing all the benefits of reduced inventory, especially at the critical manufacturing processes where space is at a premium. Unfortunately, while it is easy to claim to be JIT, it is much more difficult to actually get it working. In my next posts I will go into more detail on the different ways to move toward JIT. In the meantime, go out and organize your industry! JIT is a great process if everyone owns up to it.

You need to rely on responsible vendors. If a vendor is late so are you. That is why you need to have lead times. I was very fortune in a company I worked in where we hired consultants to review our process.

This is what we learned: Vendors are internal as well as external 2. Review your process with teammates of all departments.

People are department focused instead of plant focused. You will fine that you may be affecting other departments to be slow when you make decisions for you own department. Departments should work close with their previous departments.

For example, packaging department should be on top of production to reduce reworks and defects.