Management Improvement Dictionary: Just in Time Inventory (JIT)

Just in Time Inventory - an approach to inventory management to receive materials just as they are needed. JIT time is one part of Lean Manufacturing and the Toyota Production System.

"The 'Just-In-Time' production philosophy is the foundation of the Toyota process. This concept refers to the manufacturing and conveyance of only what is needed, when it is needed, and in the amount needed. In addition, a minimum amount of inventory is kept on hand. This enhances efficiency and allows quick response to change." Toyota Georgetown - TPS terms Nov 2005

JIT has at least two advantages. First it greatly reduces the costs to the manufacturer of having to maintain a large inventory of supplies (and the related costs of warehouses and staff for warehouses etc.). In addition, the process can be greatly simplified when the logistics of managing large inventories are eliminated.

The first advantage is fairly obvious. The second is more difficult to understand. For some more on this idea, see: Eliminating Complexity from Work: Improving Productivity by Enhancing Quality by Tim Fuller.

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