just in time (JIT) inventory

  

Definition

Pull' (demand) driven inventory system in which materials, parts, sub-assemblies, and support items are delivered just when needed and neither sooner nor later. Its objective is to eliminate product inventories from the supply chain. As much a managerial philosophy as an inventory system, JIT encompasses all activities required to make a final product from design engineering onwards to the last manufacturing operation. JIT systems are fundamental to time based competition and rely on waste reduction, process simplification, setup time and batch size reduction, parallel (instead of sequential) processing, and shop floor layout redesign. Under JIT management, shipments are made within rigidly enforced 'time windows' and all items must be within the specifications with very little or no inspection. It was developed and perfected by Taiichi Ohno of Toyota Corporation during 1960s and 70s to meet fast changing consumer demands with minimum delays. See also just on time.

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