COMPANIES OR INDUSTRIES FOR WHICH JIT WOULD BE TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE
JIT has led to many companies adopting standard work or standardized processes throughout to eliminate non value add work and improve efficiencies. Non value add or waste come in many forms: waiting, over producing, rework, excess motion, over processing, inaccurate inventory levels, and transportation (Vondermebse & White, 2013). Companies like my current employer seek to benefit from lean manufacturing using JIT to reduce direct/indirect labor and space requirements. In addition, the company thrives to increase quality, responsiveness, innovation, flexibility, and employee enthusiasm using lean practices.
While the auto industry and other OEMs are suited for JIT it is not always appropriate. Advantages to using JIT are when the scope and boundaries of a problem are clearly defined and understood or when results are needed immediately (i.e. capacity constraints). According to Kuzma (2011) people often times dive into ideas to solve problems with understanding the root cause or without completely understanding the idea (Kuzma, 2011).
An example of when JIT is not appropriate is in the healthcare industry. Although some of the methodology can be applied to eliminate wastes and improve efficiencies. JIT inventory is not appropriate in a hospital setting and having supplies on hand could mean the difference between life or death. This constricts the ideology behind being lean or utilizing JIT processes. This could also translate into other emergency care associations like the Red Cross or FEMA. In these companies having inventory on hand is somewhat the point of the organization. In a crisis supplies and talented workers are available and having the right amount of inventory is unknown based on the patient, natural disaster, etc.
However, there are innovative ways to solve some of the pressures of overstocking products. According to Wardlaw (2015) hospitals are creating new ways to manage inventory such as designing nurse server stations. This is a minicloset in each room with stocked items that are used often (Wardlaw, 2015). Without proper supplies on hand could mean more disruptions in a hospital setting compared to automotive or the manufacturing environment. However, JIT may not be appropriate in healthcare, but being creative and using the lean methodology can be useful in certain areas.
Kuzma, D. (2011). When JIT Gives Lean a Bad Name. Material Handling & Logistics, 66(7), 20-22. Retrieved from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/eds.
Vonderembse, M.A. & White, G.P. (2013). Operations Management . San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Wardlaw, W. (2015). 8 PATHS TO BETTER HOSPITAL DESIGN. Industrial Engineer: IE, 47(2), 29. Retrieved from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/eds.