Just-in-time 

The Toyota Production System fulfils customer demand efficiently and promptly by linking all production activity to real marketplace demand. Just-in-time production relies on finely tuned processes in the assembly sequence using only the quantities of items required, only when they are needed. Imagine a process designed to produce six different types of product, where the total weekly demand for the range of products varies up and down by 25%, and the daily mix of product types is continuously changing.
 
A planning challenge, but also a typical scenario in many types of business in which the process (manufacturing or otherwise) has to continuously respond to demand. Toyota Production System has responded to this reality of life by developing an approach that can meet the challenge in an efficient, cost-effective way.

How Just-in-time benefits your organisation.


Just-in-time offers a smooth, continuous and optimised workflow, with carefully planned and measured work-cycle times and on-demand movement of goods, reduces the cost of wasted time, materials and capacity. Team members can concentrate on their tasks without interruption, which leads to better quality, timely delivery, and peace-of-mind for Toyota’s customers.
 
Just-in-time is itself, based on four key principles that work together to support this unique concept at every level: Heijunka, Elimination of waste, Takt time and Kanban.

Levelling the flow

Heijunka is a key part of just-in-time processes. With ‘just-in-time’ inventory costs are minimised by having the required parts delivered only when they are needed.


Heijunka is the elimination of uneveness in workload (mura). This is done by levelling volumes to produce a smooth, continuous and efficient flow. With heijunka, processes are designed to enable products to be switched easily, producing what is needed when it is needed.

Heijunka also eliminates muri – overburden or strenuous work that can lead to safety and quality problems. Both mura and muri are thought of as types of muda, or waste, which should be eradicated.