This assignment assumes that the author has been hired to implement the just-in-time (JIT) methodology in the Motorola Corporation. The company produces and sells smartphones and accessories, and its directors would like to reduce waste. They are also interested in the other benefits provided by JIT, which have manifested during its implementation in various companies worldwide. As such, they have hired the authors, an external consultant, to help with the introduction of the new processes. The task is to determine the changes necessary to successfully implement JIT in the company, list the benefits, and describe the likely challenges. This assessment aims to answer these questions satisfactorily for Motorola’s board of directors.
Necessary Changes for JIT
JIT can be risky to implement, as the reduction in active inventory means that it is easier for any underlying issues to manifest. As such, companies have to address these issues beforehand to avoid any issues that may appear after the introduction. Hirano (2019) highlights the need for top management commitment and outlines five core principles: proper arrangement, orderliness, cleanliness, cleanup, and discipline. Every aspect of production should undergo refinement to achieve excellent efficiency, and the time it takes a product to move between two adjacent production stages should be minimal. The production as a whole should also be clean and well-arranged to minimize the risk that any defective products may appear.
Benefits of JIT
The purpose of JIT is to reduce waste, which leads to lower costs and improved production speed and efficiency. However, the achievement of the goals outlined above can also have results that are less immediately apparent. Reid and Sanders (2016) highlight significant reductions in inventory investment, lead time, rework and setup, space requirements, and material handling equipment. JIT aims to optimize space usage alongside other aspects, and this tendency leads it to improve the operation of physical facilities. As such, Motorola will likely improve the overall operation of its facilities and increase their productivity in the long term at little to no cost.
The significant benefits of the approach result from the proportional effort that all of a company’s employees have to commit to achieving them. Singh (2014) discusses the need for a methodology and a production process redesign, employee training, suitable incentives, an advanced IT infrastructure, and continued success measurement. Most of the effort that goes into the implementation of JIT occurs at the beginning, and the sudden large workload can be overwhelming. Other aspects, such as supplier reliability, are also concerning, and Motorola should inquire into their ability to provide components on short notice. Overall, the introduction of JIT requires a large amount of work, and the company should guarantee its ability to manage the task.
The JIT philosophy can produce vast benefits, but it is associated with many different risks and challenges. It requires a complete reorientation of the company’s values, starting with the upper management and moving down to employees at all levels. As a result, they will apply their efforts to reduce waste and improve the productivity of the manufacturing facilities. However, the amount of work necessary for the initial transition may be overwhelming, and there is a variety of external risks. The Motorola company should not begin the transition if it is not confident in its ability to handle the strain. However, if it does, it can improve its competitiveness significantly, and so, JIT deserves consideration and implementation if possible.
Hirano, H. (2019). JIT implementation manual: The complete guide to just-in-time manufacturing (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. Web.
Reid, R. D., & Sanders, N. R. (2016). Operations management: An integrated approach (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Web.