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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Just-in-Time Production:   A system of production that makes and delivers just what is needed, just when it is needed, and just in the amount needed. JIT and jidoka are the two pillars of the Toyota Production System. JIT relies on heijunka as a foundation and is comprised of three operating elements: the pull system, takt time, and continuous flow.  JIT aims for the total elimination of all waste to achieve the best possible quality, lowest possible cost and use of resources, and the shortest possible production and delivery lead times. Although simple in principle, JIT demands discipline for effective implementation.  The idea More »
Lean Enterprise Institute Responds to The Wall Street Journal's Mischaracterization of Just-in-Time
August 31, 2020
Articles
A message from LEI to the Lean Community  More »
LEI Responds to The Wall Street Journal's Mischaracterization of Just-in-Time
By: Lean Leaper | August 31, 2020
Columns
LEI's response to the August 21 Wall Street Journal article that mischaracterized Just-in-TIme. More »
Pivoting Just-In-Time with Hoshin Kanri at Toyota
By: Mark Reich | May 26, 2020
Articles; eLetters
Learn about the power of hoshin kanri, a systematic approach to defining a strategy and, more importantly, a management system that engages all people to support that strategy while building horizontal and vertical alignment. More »
The Sanity of Just-in-Time
By: Michael Ballé, Jacques Chaize and Daniel T. Jones | May 8, 2020
Columns
Path dependence is the worst enemy of smart resolution, argue the authors, who suggest greater "frame control" with enabling tools such as just-in-time to respect people on the frontline and respect the facts they share about what is happening to them. "Mastering the path as opposed to being led by it, means looking up frequently to reevaluate both destination and way as new information comes to light.  " More »
Isn’t there a better way to manage inventory than just-in-time?
By: Michael Ballé | September 23, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  This is 2019. Isn’t there a better way to manage inventory than just-in-time by now? More »
It seems that lean these days is all about learning and coaching. What about the good ol'-fashioned just-in-time stuff of the earlier days?
By: Ballé, Michael | May 2, 2012
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: It seems that lean these days is all about learning and coaching. What about the good ol'-fashioned just-in-time stuff of the earlier days? More »
Even in a Topsy-Turvy World, Just-in-Time Supply Works
By: Womack, James and Jones, Daniel; | October 29, 2001
Articles
By James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones. Reprinted with permission from Automotive News, October 29, 2001. Read commentary by Jim Womack and Dan Jones about how to make just-in-time supply chains work in today's security-conscious world. More »
Ask Art: Why Does Setup Time Reduction Matter So Much?
By: Art Byrne | June 17, 2020
Columns
Setup reduction is a necessary step to go from traditional management to lean--or said another way, from batch to flow and from push to pull. According to Art Byrne, reducing this time may sound like some “manufacturing thing” but is in fact one of the most strategic things you can do. More »
The Post COVID Crisis Supply Chain: a Time to Rise (Part 2)
By: Robert Martichenko | April 20, 2020
Columns
In a two-part call to action, LeanCor Supply Chain Group CEO Robert Martichenko says that now is the time for public and private sector leaders to develop a post-pandemic supply chain, a “one team-one system” fulfillment stream for producing and delivering lifesaving supplies to the right places, in the right quantities, at the right times. More »
The Post COVID Crisis Supply Chain: a Time to Rise (Part 1)
By: Robert Martichenko | April 17, 2020
Columns
In a two-part call to action, LeanCor Supply Chain Group CEO Robert Martichenko says that now is the time for public and private sector leaders to develop a post-pandemic supply chain, a “one team-one system” fulfillment stream for producing and delivering lifesaving supplies to the right places, in the right quantities, at the right times. More »
WLEI: Lean in the Time of Coronavirus
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | March 9, 2020
Audio
In times of crisis, lean offers a stable approach to healthy work. Furthermore, as Jim Womack notes in this podcast with Tom Ehrenfeld, foundational lean practices such as just-in-time supply chains are not—and have never been—liabilities in a time such as today’s coronavirus outbreak. Misguided stories about the woes of JIT are as misguided today as they were when they appeared during avian flu, SARS, and other legitimate medical events that required large supplies of emergency goods. Womack also talks about the lessons to be found in Karen Gaudet’s book Steady Work as they relate to having a stable work environment that More »
Lean in the Time of Coronavirus, A Chat With Jim Womack
March 9, 2020
Articles
In times of crisis, lean offers a stable approach to healthy work. Furthermore, as Jim Womack notes in this podcast with Tom Ehrenfeld, foundational lean practices such as just-in-time supply chains are not—and have never been—liabilities in a time such as today’s coronavirus outbreak. Misguided stories about the woes of JIT are as misguided today as they were when they appeared during avian flu, SARS, and other legitimate medical events that required large supplies of emergency goods. Womack also talks about the lessons to be found in Karen Gaudet’s book Steady Work as they relate to having a stable work environment that More »
Are morning team huddles that go on forever a waste of time?
By: Michael Ballé | January 20, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  Our company has made morning team huddles mandatory. I don't see how that helps. On my team, huddles seem to go on forever and feel like a waste of time. Are they? More »
Time To Make Time
By: John Y. Shook | January 17, 2020
Columns
When the people in a lean system don't value time, everyone is cheated, says John Shook, in this fascinating reflection on the role that time plays in a close observation of work. More »
I don’t get kanban -- I don’t work in production so how would it apply to one-off work?
By: Michael Ballé | July 29, 2019
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,  I feel that I still don’t get kanban. I don’t work in production, and I fail to see how stock replenishment would apply to one-off work. More »
How do you apply takt time to service work?
By: Michael Ballé | December 3, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, How do you apply takt time in fields like services where customer demand is not known? More »
Ask Art: Why Do I Need to Switch From Batch to Flow?
By: Art Byrne | April 12, 2018
Columns
Moving from batch to flow reveals the waste in your processes and simplifies your work at a systems level, says Art Byrne. It creates simplicity, and a productive tension to deal with problems as they occur, as well as other strategic benefits. More »
Is There No Other Lean Exemplar Than Toyota?
By: Michael Ballé | December 16, 2015
Columns
"I believe that while Toyota isn’t the only lean exemplar out there," writes Michael Ballé, "it still gives us a flawless example of what lean truly is – a definition that is so often misunderstood. Let us try to disentangle the matter.  " Read more. More »
New Year’s Reflection
By: John Shook | January 15, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Happy New Year! Even if you are not one of those who makes New Year’s resolutions the new year is surely a good time for reflection. Lean thinkers conduct specific reflection after completing each activity. The transition to a new calendar year is an excellent occasion for general reflection, for asking: “how are things going?” More »
Show Up On Time (And Other Instructions from a Cook)
By: Matt LeVeque | September 30, 2014
Columns
Lean practitioner Matt LeVeque reflects on the concepts of 5S, (JIT) Just-in-Time, and "respect for people" throughout history. More »
Are lean principles universal?
By: Balle, Michael | October 3, 2011
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: Can we really consider Lean principles as Universal? I am currently working on a case study about the tea industry. What we have is a very seasonal, perishable product supposed to be available in various format (tea bags, caddies, pouches). The suppliers being all in Asia the lead times are what they are and I do not even talk about EU regulations imposing all kind of constraints. More »
Should we have our own TPS "house"?
By: Ballé, Michael | September 21, 2011
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: My management wants to build our own version of the TPS (Toyota Production System) house in order to standardize our lean approach. Do you have any advice on how to do this? More »
Takt Time Thinking for a Low-Volume High-Mix Company
By: Ballé, Michael | August 23, 2011
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: Our company produces custom products that cannot be easily forecast in terms of when they will be ordered, and in what format. How can a company facing high-mix, low-volume, and unstable demand establish a production system that uses takt time? More »
Fulfillment-Stream Measurement Systems: Driving Action in Real Time
By: Vinas, Tonya | August 8, 2011
Articles
Derek Browning, a lean supply chain executive at LeanCor, takes time out from a lean logistics conference to answer questions about supply chain measurement problems. More »
How Often Should We Change Takt Time?
By: Balle, Michael | June 3, 2011
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: How often should we change takt time? More »
Standards vs. Standardization
By: Ballé, Michael | May 25, 2011
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: We’re often told that “there can be no kaizen without standards.  ” But when do you start when there are no standards? How do you standardize? And how about “just do it” kaizen? More »
Are You Pulling?
By: Ballé, Michael | February 25, 2011
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach:  We’ve made a substantial effort in training all our operators to standardized work (SW) by deploying Training Within Industry(TWI) principles across all our sites. While we’ve had some good results, the level of discipline on SW is disappointing, and many cells are producing well below target cycle time. Do you have any pointers for us? More »
Leveling to Build Capacity and Flexibility
By: Ballé, Michael | December 14, 2010
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: We manufacture a seasonal product and are working on leveling, but are having a tough time. Our peak sales occur in a four-month time frame, but we need to use year-round production for capacity. Any advice on how to level what feels to us an impossible cycle? More »
Do We Need a Truck Preparation Area?
By: Ballé, Michael | September 15, 2010
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: As logistics manager, I disagree with our lean expert who insists we should have “truck preparation areas” in the shipping hall. It adds more handling and goes against the lean principle of touching every container the least possible. Is our lean expert just following the dogma? More »
Should I pursue waste elimination or lead-time reduction?
By: Balle, Michael | May 6, 2010
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: We’re having a heated debate in our company over whether to pursue cost reduction through waste elimination by accelerating kaizen events, or whether to focus on lead-time reduction by implementing a pull system. It appears to me we’re not clear on the link between waste and lead-time. Could you help us clarify this? More »
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