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Just In Time Literature Review

2675 words - 11 pages

1.0 IntroductionWith increased globalization, firms now faced intense competition from the world. Under such circumstances, there is an increased need to reduce cost and increase productivity. As such, firms are constantly seeking out strategies and management styles that may enable them to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. One of the prominent, successful strategies is to implement the Just-in-time (JIT) system. In fact, there is increasing popularity of JIT since the early 1980s, a result of the success of Japanese firms following their implementation of JIT systems.JIT is a management philosophy that strives to eliminate sources of manufacturing waste by producing the ...view middle of the document...

Next, we will analyze the financial benefits brought about by JIT. Lastly, the third article seeks to examine the effects of Build-to-order and just-in-time on applied supply chain knowledge and market performance.2.0 Literature ReviewsConceptual articlesHopp and Spearman (2004) studied the concepts behind pull and lean systems and came out with precise definitions for both systems. A detailed discussion of this paper will follow in the substantive review section.Modelling/empirical workShah and Ward (2003) provided strong support for the influence of plant size on lean implementation, whereas the influence of unionization and plant age is less pervasive. The results also revealed that lean bundles contribute significantly to the operating performance of plants. R.R. Fullerton et al.(2003) attempts to find the link between JIT and financial performance. W.J. Christensen et al.(2005) established relationships between Build-to-Order strategy, JIT strategy and Build-to-Order Supply Chain. A detailed discussion of the latter 2 papers will follow in the substantive review section.3.0 Substantive Review3.1 Manufacturing and Service Operations Management - Volume 6, No.2To Pull or Not to Pull: What Is the Question?The focus of this paper is to come out with a precise definition for pull and lean manufacturing systems to clear up the current confusion about the two systems.The article examined the pull research in detail. The Kanban mechanics, which was the first system to be termed a "pull" system, was studied. Under the Kanban system, production begins only when three conditions are met - there must be a production card, a container of the appropriate incoming parts, and an idle work station. The Kanban system reduces WIP and cycle time, results in smoother production flow, improved quality as well as reduced cost.By the early 1990s, several versions of Kanbans evolved. Various papers, including Axsäter and Rosling (1993), Huang and Kuisiak (1996) and Buzacott (1989) seeks to unify these versions.This article distinguishes between strategic pull and tactical pull. The former refers to strategy of pull, which includes the use of standard work methods and level production. On the other hand, tactical pull refers to the exact tactics used in the pull system.After exploring various pull systems, the writers defined a pull system as a production system that explicitly limits the amount of work in process that can be in the system. They believed that the magic of pull lies in the maintenance of the WIP cap. Although there are many versions of pull systems to tailor to the differing needs, all of them have a commonality - regulating the inventory level to prevent it from growing beyond a stipulated limit. A mathematical model consistent with the above mentioned definition was also introduced.The same problem of oversimplification was carried over from pull to lean. Lean was often equated with reduction of waste. However, the truth is, lean means more...

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