Just-in-time manufacturing

Just in time manufacturing is a strategy that several companies adopt to limit expenses and manage resources. In many organizations, the production department usually manufactures goods in surplus, just in case there are needs or orders. Nowadays, some companies choose to adopt just-in-time manufacturing because it shields them from excessive production, and assists in managing their resources better. In this article, you will learn what just-in-time manufacturing is, the five (5) principles of JIT, its advantages, disadvantages, and its main purpose.

Just In Time Manufacturing

The term ‘’just-in-time’’ also stands for JIT manufacturing. It is a system whereby business organizations manufacture goods just in time to be sold. The idea of just-in-time was initially formed by the Toyota Motor company in Japan, in the 1970s. Then, transformed into a management system when the company met the specific demands of its customers, such as the car’s model and color. This helped Toyota Motor company to meet the demands of their customers just in time, with minimum delays.

Moreover, since the Toyota Motor company was the first to apply JIT manufacturing, its founder Taiichi Ohno is called the father of the JIT inventory system. Just-in-time is a system that has been adopted by several business organizations and industries such as automobiles, tech manufacturing, publishing on demand, retailers, etc. 

What Is Just In Time Manufacturing

Just-in-time manufacturing is a Japanese inventory management technique, in which manufactured goods and materials are only provided when they’re in demand. This simply means that business organizations or industries that apply this inventory technique, do not manufacture their goods in surplus. Such industries only produce the number of goods and materials that are in demand.

With the proper application of the JIT technique, many industries are able to extend a competitive advantage through the increment in production capacity. Also, it aids consistent improvement, minimizes waste, and increases the quality of productivity.

Elements of JIT

The elements of JIT manufacturing are what make up the entire technique. There are several elements of the JIT technique, however, these are the two (2) main ones, they include:

  • Elimination of waste 
  • Continuous improvement

Elimination of waste

In the manufacturing and production process, waste is categorized into seven main parts. They include:

  • Processing wastage
  • Time wastage
  • Inventory wastage
  • Transportation wastage
  • Waste caused by overproduction
  • Waste caused by defects in products

One of the main objectives of just-in-time manufacturing is to reduce wastage, by implementing it throughout the supply chain to gain good results.

Continuous improvement

JIT manufacturing aids continuous improvement by recognizing the activities that do not add much value to the entire production process. By eliminating such activities and problems, the amount of waste will be reduced in every category. Systems should be made simple so that the workers can easily manage and understand the procedures. 

Moreover, a product-oriented layout should be made available as each part will consume less time. There are several other things that aid continuous improvement such as quality control, preventive maintenance, simplification of procedures, etc.

What are the Benefits of Just-in-time Manufacturing?

The just-in-time technique has a lot of benefits, especially when its application is done the proper way. These benefits will help your business organization to grow and flourish. Below are some of the benefits of JIT, they include:

  • Smooth production flow
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Reduction in storage and waiting time
  • Reduction of inventory costs
  • Maintenance of equipment

#1. Smooth production flow

A smooth production flow is one of the major benefits that JIT provides. The JIT technique focuses on preventing the late arrival of the production materials from the manufacturers, increasing and decrease in production rates, delivery of goods to customers, etc. Shifting the focus to sensitive areas like this automatically eliminates delays and extra work processes. 

#2. Employee satisfaction

The system of JIT helps to facilitate multi-skilled workers and flexible equipment and builds stronger relationships among the workers through teamwork. All these contribute to the improvement of the production system. Therefore, enabling the business organization to maintain a competitive edge in the market. Further, it promotes several ways to improve the quality of a product, eliminating the costs of the less valued asset and achieving effective operations.

#3. Reduction in storage and waiting time

With the application of the JIT technique, you will be able to buy the materials you need on time and manufacture goods according to demand, instead of producing huge stocks of goods for future purposes. This will cut down the need to create extra space for surplus products, therefore leading to less wastage. 

#4. Reduction of inventory costs

One of the major aims of JIT is to reduce the cost of inventory. This is done by improving the stock turns along with the quantity of stock that is being held. In some business organizations, the just-in-time technique aids up to 90% in the reduction of stock and several other benefits.

#5. Maintenance of equipment

JIT management completely transforms an organization because it requires several routine management schedules which involve strict adherence. Maintaining the organization’s equipment prevents costly downtime from the breakdown of machines.

What are the Five (5) Principles of JIT Manufacturing?

When It comes to applying the just-in-time technique, there are five principles that you have to adhere to. These principles make just-in-time manufacturing easier and faster. The five (5) principles of JIT manufacturing are:

  1. Zero inventory or stock
  2. Zero delay
  3. Zero defect
  4. Zero paper
  5. Zero breakdown

#1 Zero inventory or stock

Zero inventory or stock in JIT manufacturing simply means no surplus products or goods. It is an act of producing goods and making them available just in time for the consumers. Excessive inventory or stock is a burden to a lot of manufacturers, and one of the main purposes of applying just-in-time manufacturing is to eliminate excessive storage. As a result of the JIT strategy, many organizations are able to minimize unnecessary storage.

#2 Zero delay

Zero delay is one of the major principles of JIT manufacturing. It is a strategy that enables business organizations and industries to manage their time better. During the manufacturing and production of a good, there should be zero delays. In fact, the entire process starts with the manufacturing of goods and when it gets to the final consumer. By applying this principle, there would be less time consumption, therefore making the entire production process faster.

#3 Zero defect

By adhering to the zero defect principle in just-in-time manufacturing, you are automatically preventing loss of time, effort, and materials. For instance, if a company mistakenly produces a defective product and it ends up getting to the final consumer, this product may be sent back. Consequently, causing a lack of satisfaction in the consumer, including waste of effort and materials in the organization.

#4 Zero paper

The rule of zero paper applies to several other categories other than JIT manufacturing. There is no doubt that the use of paper and other similar materials tends to slow down procedures. With the help of recent technology, there are easier and faster ways to get things done and this is why ‘’zero paper’’ is one of the principles of JIT.

#5 Zero breakdown

Zero breakdowns are an act of applying preventive maintenance to the equipment of the industry. This is one of the best ways to secure continuous and trustworthy production. By using the preventive maintenance method, industries will be able to run through their production processes smoothly without the breakdown of any equipment. 

What is just-in-time (JIT) with examples?

Certainly, one of the best examples of just-in-time implementation is the Toyota  Motor company. JIT manufacturing generally aims at eliminating wastage and the Toyota Motor company was the first to apply this technique. There is no doubt that through the application of just-in-time manufacturing, Toyota Motors were able to attain great success. 

With the help of this technique, the company was able to minimize wastage and simplify the process of production. There were no excess raw materials or goods available, therefore increasing speedy delivery to their customers. This made it easy for the company to adapt to high and low demands. Other examples of companies that use JIT manufacturing are Dell, Mcdonalds, Apple, etc.

What is the Main Purpose of Just-in-time Manufacturing? 

Companies, business organizations, and industries use JIT manufacturing to reduce wastage, costs, and unnecessary storage and improve efficiency in delivery. This is why the basic principles of JIT consist of the five zeros, which are; Zero inventory or stock, zero delays, zero defect, zero paper, and zero breakdowns. 

What is the Difference Between JIT and Lean Manufacturing?

JIT manufacturing and lean manufacturing are so similar that a lot of individuals cannot tell the difference. These two manufacturing techniques are so alike that they even share the same principles. This is why many people and companies often confuse them. The only difference between JIT and Lean manufacturing is that JIT focuses more on the production process and Lean shifts its focus to the customer.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of JIT?

There is no doubt that just-in-time manufacturing has a lot of advantages that come with it. However, this popular manufacturing strategy also has its downsides. Many manufacturing industries and companies try to reduce their cost of production in order to make more profit. By doing this, they are simply increasing the company’s efficiency as a whole. Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of JIT manufacturing. They include:


  1. Reduced storage space: When a manufacturing industry applies the JIT strategy, it reduces the need for large storage space. For instance, an industry or organization that makes use of JIT will not produce surplus goods. The only form of production they’ll carry out will strictly be for the products that are in demand. Due to this technique, the industry will not need large storage space.
  1. It enables smaller investments: JIT manufacturing is of greater advantage to smaller manufacturing industries than the larger ones. This is because a small industry may not have adequate funds to produce goods in large quantities and afford a large storage space. With JIT manufacturing, they will be able to produce goods in small quantities and according to their customer’s demands. Therefore cutting down the expense of having a large warehouse for storage and preserving raw materials.
  1. Enables time management and reduces wastage: More often than not, companies that produce goods in surplus often experience wastage. This is simply because demands fluctuate from time to time and if a specific product stays too long in a warehouse, it may develop a defect. Consequently, leading to waste in raw materials, time, and effort.


  1. It requires more planning: Just-in-time manufacturing requires more planning because consumer demands fluctuate from time to time. 
  1. Risk of depending on suppliers: For every demand made, a company using JIT manufacturing relies on the suppliers for either raw materials, or something that needs to be in the process of production and this is quite risky
  2. Running out of inventory: Since JIT requires goods to be delivered just-in-time then surplus goods are never available and may lead to a lack of inventory or stock.


Surely, just-in-time manufacturing has contributed highly to the success of many manufacturing industries. In brief, when JIT manufacturing is applied correctly it increases the efficiency of the company and boosts sales.

How Your Business Can Practice Sustainable Manufacturing

MANUFACTURING BUSINESS: Best Manufacturing Business Ideas

4 Reason Industrial Compactors Are A Must-Have

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like