Explain the relationship between quality and productivity under the lean operations philosophy. Under JIT, quality and productivity are key and equal partners. Associated with Japanese management techniques, just-in-time production (JIT) is a set of The APICS Dictionary defines lean manufacturing as a philosophy of Under this relationship, management should treat all workers equally. The user of the formula often fails to consider quality, scrap, productivity, and worker. manufacturing firms in trial to catch-up Japan in terms of quality, productivity, and low cost. The JIT () asserted that the connection between JIT and manufacturing strategy is . () defined manufacturing strategy as a design or blueprint for the manufacturing function . unique operational production philosophy.
On the other hand, for small and medium — sized manufacturing suppliers, Taiichi Ohno notes that they may find the prospect of running delivery trucks ten to fifteen times each day cost prohibitive Schreffler, To overcome this and to a given extent harness some of benefits of change to JIT, small and medium companies have to find the already established JIT suppliers or customers as more and more companies are striving for JIT.
Once this is not possible then companies can opt to implement JIT purchasing or delivery, for goods with high turnover and use the traditional order point method for those with low turnover. Furthermore, there is an issue of potential conflict of interest between the buyer and supplier at a given point. Whose interest will prevail over the other during a period of high effective demand or during periods of very low demand and excess supply of raw materials?
The fact is that buyers want suppliers to deliver supplies of highest quality and with maximum reliability at the lowest price. On the other side of the spectrum, suppliers want orders at the highest price, true with an eye for customer quality and reliability requirements but knowing that these cost.
Business sense has it that if a buyer needs premium quality and service, then the cost must, wherever possible be paid for by the customer. In addition, market forces have it that if demand is high and supplies are short, the suppliers will want freedom to improve their profit margins by increasing prices. Here buyers are faced with a situation of accepting what they can get unless they can move quickly to an alternative source of supplies.
Adopting and implementing Cell Technology: Changes associated with JIT include the adoption of Cellular and Flexible manufacturing systems aimed at improving operational flows. Cellular manufacturing is based on a cell within a factory. It becomes a small factory within a large factory. It is self-sufficient unit in which all operations to make a family of parts; components or complete products can be carried out.
This mini factory, so to speak, with a cell team, manages the unit as their own operation and acts as a server to other cells or operations. Different machines necessary for various operations to complete a product made by and within the cell are clustered within the cell.
This arrangement result in benefits like shorter processing times, better team attention to quality problems, reduction in work in progress inventory, lower handling costs and simpler scheduling.
On the other hand change to cellular manufacturing technology raises several issues like financing and purchasing new machinery, appropriate factory layout for cellular based manufacturing, getting multi-skilled, committed, highly motivated, cooperative, quality oriented and long serving workforce, who would treat the company as their own for which they would work for lifetime. The difficult here is first, how to raise all that money needed to buy new machines needed in various cells.
Should the company opt for Debt or Equity financing?
Lean Manufacturing and Just-in-Time Production
The choice is not easy especially so when it involves a lot of money. The Board has to be convened and shareholders resolution or authorization sought. The process is difficult, long and beaucratic. Even after getting the finances it is difficult to get multi-skilled and highly committed workforce overnight.
It is difficult to change workers who were used to work on one machine to get him or her work on two or more machines. Besides that, due to lack of skills they would resist to change.
JIT Just-in-Time manufacturing
Furthermore, an American worker force is not used to staying to one job for long. In fact researchers have it that an average tenure for a Chief Executive Officer in England is one and a half years compared to a life long tenure in Japan, the home of JIT. Therefore a company would find it difficult to convince workers in whom they might have invested so much by the way of training to remain working for the same company for life. Workforce in the west unlike in Japan is highly mobile and very independent with no much loyalty to the company for which they work.
Adopting and implementing Flexible-manufacturing systems: As already alluded to above while considering cellular manufacturing, issues in the flexible-manufacturing systems, include the need of re-engineering the process, computerizing the manufacturing so as to reduce set — up times or changeover procedures by the use of Computer Aided Design CAD and Computer Aided Manufacturing CAM Software. The difficulties for companies as I did mention earlier while discussing cellular based manufacturing, is first how and where to get experienced multi-skilled staff that can re-configure their workstations with required materials within moments of time.
The second difficulty for companies is where, how and at what cost to get sufficient capital to change the system and to buy an interfacing computer system for all the cells in entire factory.
For small and medium companies the burden for implementing the Flexible Manufacturing would even be much heavier. These companies have limited number of machines to form cells.
They lack expertise to simplify components and have very limited resources, funds included, to acquire additional machines not to mention the lack of bargaining power with financial institutions.
Japanese companies have succeeded with JIT, partly due to their culture and employment practices among other things. Japanese employment practices are characterized by a far greater commitment to a philosophy of continuous quality improvement than the Western companies.
Workforce feel empowered both as individual and as a group to take personal and group responsibility to attend to low in value added activities and problems so as to minimize waste like that from product defects, from overproduction, waste of motion, of waiting time, inventory, processing, and transportation waste, all aimed at continuously improving the product quality and market competitiveness. As an industrial norm Japanese business managers or owners believe and highly value skills and especially multi- skills, committed employees who respond flexibly with know-how to resolve local, operational problems and fluctuations.
Japanese managers care, support and encourage commitment of everyone working in operation. Mutual support between internal groups is ingrown norm and indeed essential. The company changing to JIT has to draw its workforce to focus to the detail of activities which seem of low value but which matter and when added up, could result in big problem once ignored, but when attended to as they happen would greatly contribute to productivity, product quality, waste minimization and cost reduction, and overall continuous quality improvement.
Changing the mind set up, attitude, management practices and indeed business or manufacturing culture as a whole necessary to successfully implement JIT is not easy. It is a long and difficult process. It is indeed difficult to convince an American worker to stay on one job and working for one company all life long. Labor force in the west is highly mobile. Members of the labor force move from one company to another looking for greener pasture.
They lack long commitment to company employing them.
Their commitment tends to be on what they earn. Furthermore, with western traditional culture of individualism, lack of positive attitude to labor, lack of a feeling of being obligated to contribute to economic performance of the enterprise as reflected by shorter average hours of In the vein the implementation of true teamwork with mutual support between internal groups, an essential feature of JIT becomes difficult though possible. One of the biggest problems was encountered by Toyota in Kentucky with JIT concept of Kaizen, the continued quality improvement.
Employees found it very difficult to understand why Toyota wanted to keep changing, moving machines and racks continually. I thought you were experts! A couple of employees left even not caring for all changes made whether good or not.
Taken together with lack of true team work, it becomes difficult to convince workers to re-orient their thinking and focus on details of activities which may be adding low value or to activities which may seem not directly their responsibility but which would be deemed to continuously improve quality. Conclusion Just in Time JIT is a Japanese invented competition survival production philosophy aimed at reducing total production cost by minimizing waste and at the same time continuously improving total product quality.
JIT as an integrated production and control system with interdependence of components has had a lot of benefits to large manufacturing companies like Automobile and Electronics where it was first developed and implemented.
Its success in Japan has been partly due to the unique culture, character, orientation and work ethic of Japanese work force on one hand and workers centered management style, positive and cooperative industrial relations, dependability and proximity of suppliers, geographical feature and size on the other.
The introduction and implementation of JIT in the rest of western world despite the enthusiasm, has not been without difficulties. Unlike in Japan, Industrial relations in United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia to mention but a few, is dominated by adversarial relationship between the major unions, state and employer making it difficult for employers to introduce multi-skilling, job rotation practices and team work.
Furthermore, unlike a Japanese worker with a positive attitude to work, western workers generally do not feel obligated to contribute to economic performance of an enterprise. They look at labor negatively. This cultural differences pauses a lot of difficulties. The dispersion of suppliers significantly increases logistics barriers and cost unlike Japanese industries whose suppliers are in close proximity to respective factories they supply.
The Japanese at work: Industrial Relations 6, 24 Finch B A strategy for Implementation. An order of this quantity will minimize the sum of the two costs. However, the EOQ formula is flawed. The user of the formula often fails to consider quality, scrap, productivity, and worker motivation and responsibility. In addition, the EOQ formula user frequently fails to consider that even though setup costs are significant, they are not unalterable.
American manufacturing managers traditionally considered setup costs as a necessary evil and made little or no effort to reduce them. Of course, a lot size of one is not always feasible, but it is a goal used to focus attention on the concept of rapid adjustments and flexibility.
Naturally, a reduction in inventory levels means an increase in setups or orders, so the responsibility rests with production to make every effort to reduce setup time and setup costs. It should be noted that this assumes setup time and cost are positively related.
This is not always true because the cost to reduce setup time could be very high if retooling or equipment redesign are involved. Setup Cost Reduction System. Toyota began a campaign to reduce setup times in Five years later, the time required to set up presses to form fenders and hoods had fallen from 1 hour to 12 minutes, while U. Setup time can be divided into two phases: External time includes activities that can take place while the machine is running, such as transporting dies between storage and the machines.
These items are external to the run time and do not interrupt it. Internal time includes activities that can only be conducted when the machine is stopped, such as mounting and removing dies. These are items that will interrupt the run time. Ensuring that appropriate tools are ready before changeover begins can eliminate external time.
Management tends to analyze the large, obvious costs such as direct labor, but then treats setup as an inherent cost that must be accepted.
However, only by reducing setup time and costs can lot sizes be reduced toward the ideal lot size of one. Most arguments against preventive maintenance PM suggest that PM programs are more expensive than programs that only repair broken equipment. The flaw in this line of thought arises from the unpredictable nature of equipment breakdown.
This reaction mode of maintenance usually means that the maintenance personnel must temporarily patch the equipment and defer the substantive repair until time allows. Unfortunately, since the equipment already has suffered lost time due to the initial breakdown, the likelihood of finding repair time decreases.
When using small lot sizes, management can ill afford unexpected downtime in production flow. Equipment must be in condition to produce whatever is needed, whenever it is needed. Therefore, a little time should be scheduled each day to ensure that machinery is capable of producing top quality results.
Preventive maintenance is necessary for continuous, long-term improvement in the quality of the production process. In order for companies to successfully produce goods while receiving only minimum deliveries, no room can be allowed for poor quality. This requires an overhaul in the thinking of management, which traditionally sought the so-called acceptable quality level AQL. After receipt, delivered goods are randomly inspected to see how many defective parts there are within a predetermined sample size.
If the number of defects exceeds a certain amount the AQLthe entire batch is rejected.
The Japanese use the term zero defects to describe this philosophy. Zero defects certainly cannot be obtained overnight, nor can it be expected from all of a firm's current suppliers. To facilitate the receipt of high quality goods, a firm must offer more than the usual short-term contract or purchase order to the lowest bidder.
A firm also may have to eliminate or decrease the use of multiple sourcing, or purchasing the same part from several sources as a backup in case one source experiences quality or delivery problems.