Digital Themes

Just-In-Time (JIT)

Just-In-Time (JIT) is a Japanese inventory system that has become a widely accepted management strategy. As JIT directly aligns a business’s raw-material orders from suppliers with production schedules, companies order or receive goods as needed, which is just enough to run the production process. This approach enables companies to improve their efficiencies, remove wastage, and cut inventory costs. Moreover, this approach also helps companies remove various wastages such as process waste, inventory waste, lead-time, defective products, and overproduction.

With JIT, manufacturers only don’t stock extra material but just enough to complete production. As a result, they don’t have to pay storage costs or maintain unwanted inventory. But to implement a JIT strategy, it’s noteworthy that businesses need to forecast demand accurately.

Though JIT’s philosophy can be traced way back to Henry Ford, it was first adopted in the 1970s by Toyota. JIT manufacturing is also known as the Toyota Production System (TPS). JIT’s ruling principle is the Kanban system, a scheduling system that highlights problem areas by measuring lead and cycle times across the production process. It further helps businesses identify upper limits for work-in-process inventory to avoid overcapacity.

 JIT’s success in the production process relies on steady production, high-quality workmanship, no machine breakdowns, and reliable suppliers. For JIT manufacturing to succeed, companies must have constant production, high-quality artistry, glitch-free plant machinery, and reliable suppliers.


JIT’s objective is a complete waste reduction which can be targeted by adhering to the seven zero philosophy:

  • Zero lot size to avoid batching delays 
  • Zero defects to ensure quality at the source
  • Zero breakdowns to ensure smooth production
  • Zero surging to maintain enough resources to avoid buffering
  • Zero setups to allow production in small lots
  • Zero handling to promote the seamless flow of parts
  • Zero lead-time to offer a rapid replenishment of components with no delay

Business Benefits

JIT allows for continuous approvement and helps organizations achieve the following benefits:

  • Short production cycles 
  • Lower costs by minimizing warehouse needs
  • Less money spent on raw materials 
  • Improved efficiency
  • Reduced wastage
  • Constant production rate
  • Low dependency on manpower
Related content