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Introduction to TQM and JIT[1]

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Introduction to TQM and JIT

Concept of JITWhat is JIT? Background of JIT

The Goal Of JIT Focus of JIT? Elements of JIT JIT-Philosophy or Technique? Kanban, Jidoka and Andon Implementation of JIT How JIT Implementation can be successful? Problems Implementing JIT Guidelines for Successful Implementation Benefits of JIT Drawbacks of JIT Factors Debilitating JIT

JIT in manufacturing

JIT and Costs

Kanban-An Integrated System When and How Kanbans are effective?

Case Study: From three various Countries of the world ConclusionBibliography

Introduction to TQM and JIT

Total Quality Management (TQM) Total quality management (TQM) is not a technique; it is a broad management approach or methodology, dealing with processes and attitudes. TQM places quality as the primary objective for the organization, as opposed to the traditional management objective of maximizing production and subsequently controlling costs. Although, TQM was initially developed for the manufacturing environment, it can be equally applicable to any environment, which involves inputs and outputs, such as knowledge service industry like universities.

Principles of TQM may be summarized as follows: There is a goal of Continuous Improvement against achieving some static level of quality. It is about approaching excellence in an incremental way. Quality is a continuous ongoing process. Quality is responsibility and mission of all. Hence all employees should be continuously trained and motivate to consistently achieve better and better quality. Even Commitment of Top Management should be visible and clear to all. Instead of reactive and person dependent system, TQM is a Proactive Systematic Approach. This means prevention and immediate detection of errors and problems at root source is preferred over of correction for problems after its occurrence. Responsibility for quality takes place at the source. This feature demands Quality Design rather than inspection of quality after poor design.

TQM attempts to expose problems rather than hide or burry them. Just in Time (JIT) helps us to understand more on this. TQM identifies and addresses causes of problems, not effects.

TQM creates, encourages and nurtures simplicity, instead of bureaucratic approach of adding controls. It attempts to identify and eliminate non-value-added activities thus naturally motivating people to use quality procedures.

The essence of TQM is the simple but extremely powerful belief that it is better and hence cheaper; to do every process right at first time, rather than not to do it right and then corrects it afterwards. Doing things right at first time requires no money. Doing things wrong is what only costs money, as allowing defective products to get produced wastes time and resources.

Thus, longer it takes to identify problem, more will be the cost incurred to correct it. TQM is systematic way of guaranteeing that all activities within an organization happen as planned. It is the management attitude that concerns with preventing problems at source, rather than allowing problems to occur and then correcting them afterwards.


Just-In-time or JIT, is a management philosophy aimed at eliminating manufacturing wastes by producing only the right amount and combination of parts at the right place at the right time. It is also that Just in Time (JIT) enforces Continuous Improvement by continual reduction of non-value-added inventory stocks to lower and then further lower levels. This is based on the fact that wastes result from any activity that adds cost without adding value to the product, such as transferring of inventories from one place to another or even the mere act of storing them.

The goal of JIT, therefore, is to minimize the presence of non-value-adding operations and non-moving inventories in the production line. This will result in shorter throughput

times, better on-time delivery performance, higher equipment utilization, lesser space requirement, lower costs, and greater profits.

JIT was developed as a means of meeting customer demands with minimum delays. Thus, in the olden days, JIT is used not to reduce manufacturing wastage, but primarily to produce goods so that customer orders are met exactly when they need the products.

JIT is also known as lean production or stockless production, since the key behind a successful implementation of JIT is the reduction of inventory levels at the various stations of the production line to the absolute minimum. This necessitates good coordination between stations such that every station produces only the exact volume that the next station needs. On the other hand, a station pulls in only the exact volume that it needs from the preceding station.

The JIT system consists of defining the production flow and setting up the production floor such that the flow of materials as they get manufactured through the line is smooth and unimpeded, thereby reducing material waiting time.

This requires that the capacities of the various workstations that the materials pass through are very evenly matched and balanced, such that bottlenecks in the production line are eliminated. This set-up ensures that the materials will undergo manufacturing without queuing or stoppage.

Another important aspect of JIT is the use of a 'pull' system to move inventories through the production line. Under such a system, the requirements of the next station are what modulate the production of a particular station. It is therefore necessary under JIT to define a process by which the pulling of lots from one station to the next is facilitated.

JIT is most applicable to operations or production flows that do not change, i.e., those that are simply repeated over and over again. An example of this would be an automobile assembly line, wherein every car undergoes the same production process as the one before it.

Some semiconductor companies have likewise practiced JIT successfully. Still, there are some semiconductor companies that dont practice JIT for the simple reason that their operations are too complex for JIT application. On the other hand, thats precisely the challenge of JIT creation of a production set-up that is simple enough to allow JIT. (find a semi conductor factory)

Inventory stocks allow production process to continue even when some problem occurs. In a way, inventory stocks act like a buffers to hide any problem that may occur. But, with JIT, there are no buffers to hide problems and thus, occurrence of problem can shut down the entire production process. Thus, JIT philosophy helps organization to prominently expose problems and thus, bring a clear focus on removal of it at source, by eliminating the cause, rather than effects, of problem.

With JIT, it is believed that the root causes of most problems are due to faulty production process design. Hence, with JIT, nothing is taken for granted, everything is subject to analysis.

Each activity is identified as either Value-Added or Non-Value-Added. The reduction of Non-Value-Added activities is achieved mainly through increasing manufacturing flexibility and improved quality.

JIT is an extremely powerful tool to identify where improvements should be made. It helps you to identify cause (not the effect) of problem and its elimination. Failures and exceptions are treated as opportunities to improve the system. In fact, JIT initiates failures due to problems to expose them. It is a system of trouble-shooting, within a culture of constant analysis and improvement. It is clear, as an attitude and approach, JIT and TQM are perfectly complimentary to each other, to expose and correct problems at source, so as to avoid wasting resources on production of defective products.

Just-in-time manufacturing is a process where suppliers deliver inventory to the factory only when it's needed for assembly. Companies are beginning to turn to Internet-based technologies to communicate with their suppliers, making the just-in-time ordering and delivery process speedier and more flexible.

A Walk from PastBackground of JIT

JIT finds its origin in Japan, where it has been in practice since the early 1970s. It was developed and perfected by Taiichi Ohno of Toyota, who is now referred to as the father of JIT.

Before the introduction of JIT, there were a lot of manufacturing defects for the existing system at that time. This included inventory problems, product defects, risen costs, and large lot production and delivery delays. The inventory problems included the unused accumulated inventory that was not only unproductive but also required a lot of efforts in storing and managing them. Other implied problems were parts storage, equipment breakdowns and uneven production levels. For the product defects, manufacturers knew that only one single product defect could destroy the producers credibility. They must create a defect free process. Thus began the search for the system that could bring about a turnaround.

The original concepts for the present day JIT philosophy is derived from the car plant developed by Henry Ford in the early part of the century.

The ideas probably originated even earlier than this. Although many elements of JIT manufacturing were present in Ford's assembly line in the 1930s, JIT as a manufacturing process was not refined until the 1970's by Toyota Motors. Springing from Japan's post World War II goal of full employment through industrialization, Japanese manufacturers imported technology to avoid heavy R & D expenditures and focused on improving the production process. Their aim was to increase product quality and reliability. Tai-ichi Ohio established Toyota as leaders in quality and delivery time through the implementation of JIT. Thi

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