Just In Time (JIT)

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Just In Time (JIT) is an inventory strategy implemented to improve the return on investment of a business by reducing in-process inventory and its associated costs. The process is driven by a series of signals, or Kanban  that tell production processes to make the next part. Kanban are usually simple visual signals, such as the presence or absence of a part on a shelf. JIT can lead to dramatic improvements in a manufacturing organization's return on investment, quality, and efficiency when implemented correctly.

New stock is ordered when stock reaches the re-order level. This saves warehouse space and costs. However, one drawback of the JIT system is that the re-order level is determined by historical demand. If demand rises above the historical average planning duration demand, the firm could deplete inventory and cause customer service issues. To meet a 95% service rate a firm must carry about 2 standard deviations of demand in safety stock. Forecasted shifts in demand should be planned for around the Kanban until trends can be established to reset the appropriate Kanban level. In recent years manufacturers have touted a trailing 13 week average is a better predictor than most forecastors could provide.

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