wri_jitf - Just-in-Time Under Fire An Exploratory...

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Just-in-Time Under Fire: An Exploratory Investigation Identifying Major Reservations Regarding Improvement Through JIT Philosophy Tony Polito (E-Mail:[email protected]), East Carolina University Kevin Watson (E-Mail:[email protected]), Marist College [Authors’ Note: This paper contains FIVE types of reservations. Earlier versions of the working paper contained SIX types of reservations.] Abstract Though increasing usage of just-in-time techniques is reported, academics, including Karmarkar at UCLA (Anderson) and Cusumano at MIT (Sloan), as well as practitioners caveat the increasing popularity of JIT philosophy. They suggest that pure JIT is appropriate only for limited economic environments, that it is ineffective in some organizational cultures, that it is unattainable by many suppliers, and that, in practice, it does not reduce global costs. Specifically, this paper originates, through development of academic and popular literature, five major reservations regarding just-in-time philosophy: external obstacles, global and logistical issues, behavioral constraints, intractable accounting systems, and small supplier difficulties. To test the validity of these five developed reservations, a survey will be sent individuals who can reasonably be assumed to be subject matter experts (SMEs) in just-in-time practices. Just-In-Time Under Fire The JIT production philosophy continued to gain acceptance through the late 1980's and throughout the 1990’s. According to a St. Louis logistics consulting firm, in 1990, 18% of all US products were delivered JIT and in 1992, 23% and, at that time, a 39% JIT delivery rate was projected for the year 2000 (Johnson, 1994). Major manufacturers are ahead of this curve; according to Intel's global customer service manager, 98% of its customers expected JIT treatment, and their tolerances have progressively tightened (Wise, 1990). Concurrently, however, just-in-time is now being seriously questioned or even reversed by academics and by other practitioners. The slow demand and simultaneous surge in inventories during the second quarter of 1994 was interpreted by the Wall Street Journal as an end to the "wishful nature" of the JIT theory of production management, rather than the traditional view of reactive response to slowing sales (Norris, 1994). Ranaganath Nayak, head of global operations management services at Arthur D. Little, finds "paltry gains" amidst the $950 billion of capital and training expenditures by US manufacturers to mimic Japanese concepts such as JIT (Naj, 1993); Uday Karmarkar (1989), at UCLA’s Anderson School, suggests that JIT practitioners during the late 1980's "just didn't know when to stop." Both Shapiro (Bleakley, 1994) at Harvard Business School and Cusumano (1994) at MIT’s Sloan School of Management note the irony of Japanese managers and policy makers now recognizing that continuous improvement and just-in-time are encountering a new set of problems in the present global environment
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2009 for the course CBS 456765 taught by Professor Paul during the Three '09 term at Curtin.

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wri_jitf - Just-in-Time Under Fire An Exploratory...

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