Toyota first pioneered the concept of just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing in the 1970s. Since then, thousands of companies have successfully taken a page from its playbook. From Dell to Burger King and Harley Davidson, the JIT approach makes sense for a wide range of businesses.
The main philosophy behind JIT is to eliminate waste, whether stock, inventory or time. Manufacturers keep a lean supply of materials on hand and produce their products when demanded in rapid-fire fashion. It takes a widespread, end-to-end supply chain approach, which can be tricky, but worth it.
Pulling off a winning JIT strategy requires the right building blocks, said Dr. Robert Lee Gordon, program director of reverse logistics management in the American Public University System. "It requires putting the right structure and monitoring systems in place," he told Supply Chain Dive.