Concurrently Solve Problems and Measure Performance
A JIT application is not an overnight. turnkey installation. Rather, it is an evolutionary process that is continually seeking ways to improve production. Improvement is achieved by looking at problems as challenges rather than threats-problems that can be solved with common sense and detailed, rigorous analysis.The techniques for problem-solving are primarily continuous improvement methods. Effective problem-solving means that the problem is solved permanently. Because JIT requires a team effort. problems are treated in a team context. Staff personnel are expected to be seen frequently on the shop floor. and in some companies are expected to arrive a half hour before production workers to ensure that everything is in order, thereby avoiding problems. Continual education is absolutely essential if the system is to avoid stagnation. While lIT may cost little in the way of hardware. it requires the need for a substantial investment.
in training people at all levels of the organization to better understand what the system demands and how they fit into it.Many performance measures emphasize the number of processes and practices' changed to improve materials flow and reduce labor content. and the degree to which they do so. If the processes physically improve over time. lower costs follow. According to Hall, a department head in a Japanese JIT system is likely to be evaluated on the following
I. Improvement trends, including number of improvement projects undertaken, trends
in costs, and productivity.
2. Quality trends, including reduction in defect rates, improvement in process
capability. and improvement in quality procedures.
3. Running to a level schedule and providing parts when others need them.
4. Trends in departmental inventory levels (e.g., speed of flow).
5. Staying within budget for expenses.
6. Developing workforce skills, versatility, participation in changes, and morale.