The process of Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory management was first introduced in the auto industry to eliminate wastes and improve efficiencies.

  1. The process of Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory management was first introduced in the auto industry to eliminate wastes and improve efficiencies.  According to the text, just-in-time is used to assist companies in analyzing operations to discover better ways to work (Vonderembe & White, 2013). In other words an approach to achieve excellence in different industries based on continuing to eliminate waste (waste is considered things which do not add value to the product). JIT refers to the movement of material at the right time and the right place.

JIT has led to many companies adopting standard work or standardized processes throughout to eliminate non value add work and improve efficiencies. Non value add or waste come in many forms: waiting, over producing, rework, excess motion, over processing, inaccurate inventory levels, and transportation (Vondermebse & White, 2013). Companies like my current employer seek to benefit from lean manufacturing using JIT to reduce direct/indirect labor and space requirements.  In addition, the company thrives to increase quality, responsiveness, innovation, flexibility, and employee enthusiasm using lean practices.

While the auto industry and other OEMs are suited for JIT it is not always appropriate. Advantages to using JIT are when the scope and boundaries of a problem are clearly defined and understood or when results are needed immediately (i.e. capacity constraints). According to Kuzma (2011) people often times dive into ideas to solve problems with understanding the root cause or without completely understanding the idea (Kuzma, 2011).

An example of when JIT is not appropriate is in the healthcare industry. Although some of the methodology can be applied to eliminate wastes and improve efficiencies. JIT inventory is not appropriate in a hospital setting and having supplies on hand could mean the difference between life or death. This constricts the ideology behind being lean or utilizing JIT processes. This could also translate into other emergency care associations like the Red Cross or FEMA. In these companies having inventory on hand is somewhat the point of the organization. In a crisis supplies and talented workers are available and having the right amount of inventory is unknown based on the patient, natural disaster, etc.

However, there are innovative ways to solve some of the pressures of overstocking products. According to Wardlaw (2015) hospitals are creating new ways to manage inventory such as designing nurse server stations. This is a minicloset in each room with stocked items that are used often (Wardlaw, 2015). Without proper supplies on hand could mean more disruptions in a hospital setting compared to automotive or the manufacturing environment. However, JIT may not be appropriate in healthcare, but being creative and using the lean methodology can be useful in certain areas.

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I believe the medical industry would not be a good fit for a just in time system. It makes more sense to have a sufficient inventory of medications along with any other medical related items because we do not know what the future holds. I can’t imagine if an outbreak or disaster happened and we only had enough medicine to cure a handful of people. You can never have enough of these types of things especially given the shelf life of most medications. The oil industry is another field where a just in time system would not work. As a society we depend too much on oil for there not to be a sufficient amount. When reserve is low it affects everyone and ultimately the consumer pays the price. I remember when the BP oil spill happened and how much this disaster affected everything. Another industry that a just-in-time system would not be appropriate is the custom industry. If every order is a custom one then it’s going to be a constant change and no need for a just in time system. Although the just in time system make sense for most industries these are the some that I feel could be inappropriate or challenging.

 

3.Scheduling is collaborating orders to ensure availability of products to deliver optimum customer service.  Scheduling has improved with new technology, which has significantly increase productivity such as working ahead to limit movement of equipment and materials. The main objective in scheduling is to reduce inconsistencies to reduce downtime or disruptions in service. The duties of scheduling include timely delivery of products or materials to customers, regulating inventory, requisitioning products, and coordinating with vendors to meet quantities and related ship dates (Vonderembe & White, 2013).

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