The Just in time or “ just in time ” production system is a production model born in the Japanese automobile industry in the 1980s by the Toyota Motor Company brand.
Its origin responded to the need to carry out the production of a wide variety of articles in the necessary quantities and just to the extent that they are in demand.
Thanks to just in time, Toyota achieved excellent results in extending to all its production phases the control over the work necessary for the objectives set. Basically, the aim was to arrive at a zero inventory, that is, to eliminate the stock by producing only a pre-established quantity. That is, only what is needed and the period of time that is set in advance will be manufactured. Forgetting the method used until then, which was to produce large quantities to try to sell them later. This entailed high storage costs and in addition, there was a risk of not being able to sell it and having to assume large losses.
The model was highly successful and spread throughout Japan and subsequently to the western world with a good response. The idea of deleting stocks and removing warehouses was understood as an equivalent to good management.
Characteristics of the Just in time production
The just-in-time production system assumes, among its main characteristics, teamwork and the multidisciplinary nature of its workers (who acquired a responsibility and an awareness of the company), the high number of quality controls to avoid delays or production failures that they delay the overall process and a full premise of not wasting resources or creating waste. This was called the “five zeros”: Zero errors, zero breakdowns, zero delays, zero paper (decrease the supervision bureaucracy) and zero stocks.
Throughout its years of implementation and corresponding evolution, this production method was extended to other phases such as product design, maintenance or human resources. In this way, at all production levels, the priority is to find possible problems and subsequent solutions to them that help avoid losses of time and resources that are not strictly necessary according to company planning.
Overproduction, the creation of stocks or the break times due to breakdowns or conflicts are some of the phenomena that have no place in this business philosophy. This mime for perfectionism led to the establishment of businesses in which it is purchased on a flat or catalog basis with the idea of simply producing what the client demands.