Toyota's JIT Revolution

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER006
Case Length : 12 Pages
Period : 1990 - 2002
Organization : Toyota
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : Japan
Industry : Automobiles

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Just-In-Time Production System

Developed by the Japanese, the JIT production system was one of the most significant production management approaches of the post World War II era. The system comprised a set of activities aimed at increasing production volume through the optimum use of inventories of raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods. In a JIT production system, a workstation gets a part just in time, completes its work and the part is moved through the system quickly.

JIT was based on the principle of producing only what is needed and nothing more than needed. The Japanese believed that anything produced over the quantity required was a waste...

Operations Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

JIT in Toyota

In the early 1930s, the technology used by American automobile companies was superior to that used by Japanese companies. Kiichiro therefore decided to learn new automobile production techniques from American manufacturers. He soon realized that to catch up with the Americans, he had to master basic production techniques. He then reorganized the production system in Toyota in a unique way. This reorganization eventually led to the development of JIT concept...

Future of JIT

Although many automobile companies around the world adopted JIT, the system was far from perfect and difficult to implement. It was based on the key assumption that sources and channels of supply were reliable and dependable at all times. Analysts felt that it did not take into account the possibility of labor strikes at automotive plants. Moreover, JIT involved high set up costs and Special training and reorganization of policies and procedures in the company were necessary to implement JIT. The supplier relations of the company also needed to be improved to ensure timely delivery. In the absence of good supplier relations, JIT increased the risk of inventory shortage...


Exhibit I: Toyota - Business Results (Consolidated, US GAAP)
Exhibit II: Comparison between JIT and Non-JIT Systems
Exhibit III: Toyota's Kanban Philosophy Vs Western Manufacturing Philosophy
Exhibit IV: Plant Productivity
Exhibit V: Productivity Comparision of Different Auto Manufacturers

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