Can I start up a business using Just In Time?

Just in time (JIT) is a scheduling mechanism that many businesses rely upon. This mechanism aims to decrease the costs by only maintaining the minimum amount of inventory. However, for this mechanism to be effectively employed, the business must be able to predict the future demand of their product. Furthermore, for JIT to function at its best the completed product should be completed as quickly as possible, while not reducing the quality of the product. In addition, JIT encourages improved production flow as a long delay between order placement and product delivery is undesirable.

Yet, JIT contains some major drawbacks, one of them - a strong reliance on punctual deliveries of supplies, as the past has shown that a delivery failure can lead to a lack of finished produce, which could then either lead to a temporary closure (for example, KFC in 2018 was forced to close due to a lack of necessary resources) until the inventory is replenished or complete failure of the business for example, Target Canada was closed due to this reason.

As technology advances, the JIT mechanism incorporates these advancements to improve the efficiency of the system. The leading changes include changing the communication methods (e.g. from paper to electronic) and inventory listing. However, technology can potentially encourage a better JIT mechanism by streamlining the production flow. This can possibly be accomplished by integrating the electronic system with each stage in the production process, where each process can request the necessary resources as needed. Alternatively, the necessary resources can be requested in advance, so that by the time the requested resources arrive the process is ready to utilize them. However, this alternative method for resources require for each process to be able to predict the resource request ahead of time.

Another possible improvement could be easier JIT modelling. One of the arguments that can support is that the JIT model can include as much information as desired or possible. For example, the model can contain the scheduling mechanisms alongside other important factors such as: number of vehicles for deliveries between buffer inventories or the size of the buffer inventories, which can also at a later stage help when implementing the model in real life.

The aim of this research is to construct a software implementation of the JIT mechanism, where new scheduling mechanisms can be tested alongside other changes, i.e. determine if a mechanism works better for a smaller number than a larger one. The software should also allow to change the modelled structure of the production line, which can help entrepreneurs plan their expected production flow alongside optimising the intervals between deliveries that decrease disruption in the production flow. A further extension could be that the modelling software can be easily adapted to function as the controlling software in the actual production.