JIT_HW6_MFG - Just-in-Time at Fluke and Genie...

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Implementation According to the Toyota Production System, just-in-time is an industrial management principle that strives to reduce inventory and its carrying costs. Synonymous with its name, the time that inventory is received should be optimized according to the time the product is needed. From making observations at two factories in the Seattle area: Fluke and Genie, I noticed that ”Kanban” signals were crucial for the success of implementing just-in-time. At Fluke, many of its components were placed there by the supplier. Therefore, the inventory and carrying costs are the responsibility of the supplier and the components were only purchased by Fluke when they are needed (just-in-time). This provided a win-win situation for Fluke as they get immediate access to the goods without having to tie down cash flow. Further, the quantities of multi-meters are made to either actual customer orders or estimates based on the “heijunka” system (“Fluke” Tour Guide, 2009). At Genie, the style of just-in-time implementation varied based on the leadership team. If the plant manager comes from a materials management background, then reduction of inventory would be more conservative. Those who have experiences in process improvement would be more aggressive in reducing any excess inventory. Regardless of the management, the materials still need to be purchased and kept as inventory based on the estimates. Per a conversation we had with a production lead at Genie, his method was to experiment by slowly reducing quantities until a lower limit was reached. From observation, systems were created at the Beckwood Punch Machine such that weld cell consumption triggered replenishment of the link tubes (“Genie” Tour Guide, 2009). Manufacturing Processes At Fluke, just-in-time is evident in its manufacturing processes through the use of vendor managed inventory. Internally, they have also implemented a train system where goods are moved from its receiving department to different stations on an hourly basis. The internal
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JIT_HW6_MFG - Just-in-Time at Fluke and Genie...

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