Just in time (“JIT”)
- GCSE, AS, A-Level
- AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB
Last updated 22 Mar 2021
JIT is a ‘pull’ system of production, so actual orders provide a signal for when a product should be manufactured. Demand-pull enables a firm to produce only what is required, in the correct quantity and at the correct time.
This means that stock levels of raw materials, components, work in progress and finished goods can be kept to a minimum. This requires a carefully planned scheduling and flow of resources through the production process. Modern manufacturing firms use sophisticated production scheduling software to plan production for each period of time, which includes ordering the correct stock. Information is exchanged with suppliers and customers through EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to help ensure that every detail is correct.
Supplies are delivered right to the production line only when they are needed. For example, a car manufacturing plant might receive exactly the right number and type of tyres for one day’s production, and the supplier would be expected to deliver them to the correct loading bay on the production line within a very narrow time slot.
The main advantages and disadvantages of JIT can be summarised as follows: