The advent of new technologies (the Internet,
computerization, etc.) and the impact of globalization (products not only
available from every country but being developed in multiple countries) has
increased not just the demand for goods and services but also has increased
customer requirements and expectations. As such, organizations must be
constantly changing to be as economically competitive as possible. This means
doing more with less as the organization becomes as “lean” as possible
The operations manager must be aware of how and why
lean systems are necessary.
To answer the Discussion questions you will need to do
additional research using the virtual library and/or Internet.
In order for an organization to do more with less they
must examine all facets of the production or service process. To that end
address the questions below:
does just-in-time (JIT) inventory control help organizations become
does the information on waste (waste in raw materials, waste in process
and flow, etc.) come from?
line employees be involved in making recommendations to improve lean
production and processes or should this decision making be left only to management?
1 RESPONSE TO ORIGINAL QUESTION:
Just-in-time inventory refers to the material flow or
product flow to ensure it arrives as needed and not ahead of schedule or behind
schedule (Russell & Taylor III, 2014). Just-in-time inventory helps to make
a company “leaner” by reducing inventory costs and ensuring customers are
pleased by keeping stock on hand (Kokemuller, 2015). It costs money when there
is too much inventory. The company has already invested money in the product
that is now sitting in a “storage” room in the store or factory. The company
paid for the product or part, and now it is sitting in a room collecting dust
instead of being sold. It also will cost the company in labor because the
company needs to pay someone to count the back stock of the product or part
come inventory time. Customers generally will not be upset when there is an
“overstock” of a product, in fact, they might not even now about the overstock
of the product. Having an overstock might not directly affect the customer.
However, if there is “no stock” of the product, then the customer might be
upset they have to wait for a product they want.
Look at the
processes to identify waste or find a computer software program that will work
with the company (Business). It is possible for the person or software to find
waste in inventory (producing too much), employees waiting on certain things
(parts or machines), needless moving items from one place to another (and
possibly back again), over processing, inventory (storing, counting insuring
etc.), employee movement (by not having what it needed at their stations), and
defects (having to complete work over again because it was not done right the first
time) (Russell & Taylor III, 2014).
Line employees should be involved in making recommendations to management for
changes and improvements to the process. These employees work the job every day
and can see where improvements could be made in order to improve the process
and make the company leaner. At first, some employees might resist the change
because they do not want to be challenged and prefer to stay in their comfort
zones, but eventually, employees will see their opinions and ideas are valued
(Lean, n.d.). They will be more likely to work harder, work smarter, pass on
their ideas, their morale will increase, and most importantly they will feel
like a contributing part of the team (Lean, n.d.).
Kokemuller, N. (2015). Advantages & Disadvantages
of Just-in-Time Inventory. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-disadvantages-justintime-inventory-21407.html
Russell, R., & Taylor III, B. (2014). Operations
and Supply Chain Management (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Business Knowledge Source. (2010). What can you do to
reduce the amount of waste? Retrieved from http://businessknowledgesource.com/manufacturing/what_can_you_do_to_reduce_the_amount_of_waste_025340.html
Lean-manufacturing-junction.com. (n.d.). Benefits of lean
manufacturing – short/long term benefits and challenges explained. Retrieved
2 RESPONSE TO ORIGINAL QUESTION:
Just-in-time (JIT) inventory controls helps
organizations become leaner because materials and products are only produced as
demand requires (Kokemuller, 2014). This helps businesses avoid situation in
which inventory is greater than demand leaving businesses to deal with the
extra inventory that requires management and storage cost. By using (JIT)
producers can maintain a balance of what is being produced and what is being
used leaving little or no inventory to deal with which minimizes the risk of
taking a loss.
The information on waste come from the part of the
analyze process in DMAIC it is there that processes can be discussed and
targeted for statistical analysis (Russell, Taylor, 2014). In the analyze phase
information is being gathered through somewhat of an investigation whether it
be the materials used and the cost associated or the process of producing good
and the time associated all of this information along with statistical data can
be used to identify waste.
I believe that line employees should be involved in
making recommendation to lean process because they are the one the people that
are actually operating at that level and may know what really works and what
only works in theory and when looking at statistics. Participative decision
making can help with innovation which is part of what a lean process is about,
it can also help to motivate employees and make them feel like they are a part
of a process which creates a better work environment and this should not be
underestimated no matter what process is in place (Jensen, 2011).
Jensen, A. (2011). Motivating Employees with
Participative Management. Retrieved 01/16/2016 from http://www.andrewjensen.net/motivating-employees-with-participative-management/
Kokemuller, N. (2014). Just in Time Inventory
Definition. Retrieved 01/13/2016 from
Russell, R., Taylor, B. (2014). Operations Supply and Chain
Management. Retrieved 01/13/2016