Just in Time Manufacturing is a widely applied strategy in today’s businesses. However, it is alarming to note that the JIT system is taking over our lives.
The JIT strategy owes its origin to Japan’s Toyota Motor Corporation. It started as a simple inventory management reform to eliminate overhead costs.
It did so by using efficient methods to terminate stockpiling and instead took on a need-based approach. After a huge success, this novel manufacturing technique was emulated by industries both nationally and internationally.
The Supply-chain specialist, Mr. Wiessman, states that the internationalization, along with JIT principles, has obscured inventory lines and left them unguarded. If any of the suppliers fail to deliver provisions on time, the chain breaks, leading to shortages and the subsequent collapse of JIT production.
As enterprises initiated offshore production, JIT adopted a more discrete monetary significance. With the costs of manufacturing being much lower in developing countries, lean production is undertaken via a widespread network of outsourced suppliers.
JIT supply is thus transferring the threats and production expenses to developing countries wherein the laborers operate in atrocious working conditions. Many popular brands are now functioning solely through foreign entities.
Critics assert that this supply chain has brought the economy and the community more harm than good. It is not just a manufacturing technique, but rather an instigator of neoliberalism that has led to an increase in free-market capitalism.
The breakage of supply lines has been a recurrent issue ever since the coronavirus outbreak. Developed countries using outsourcing were all exposed once they started facing a scarcity of basic medical resources during the early stages.
The economist, Dr. Stanford claimed that the pandemic crisis has highlighted the inadequacy of this mode of production.
Dr. Lieto says that JIT has transformed into a political ideology for the current government. He also feels a pressing need to shift to a “Just-in-Case socio-economic system”
Dr. Stanford explains how JIT has had a considerable impact on labor markets by changing the idea of employment, while also leading to the development of the gig economy that has forced ordinary staff to work more for fewer rewards.
While Dr. Stanford and Dr. Di Lieto look towards stabilizing employment and internationalizing supply networks; Prof Weissman hopes that the ongoing pandemic changes the business mindset.