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In todays companies new catch phrases and ideas are being developed each and every day One of the more popular ideas that is circulating around these days is the idea of just-in-time manufacturing Many magazines and newspapers have documented the efforts of companies to develop and implement just-in-time processes The question can be asked though what does just-in-time mean How does a company implement just-in-time processes and what are the results of implementation Just-in-time manufacturing is basically the idea that companies should have manufacturing and purchasing strategies that reduce the time between the beginning of the manufacturing process and shipment to the customer This sounds easier said than done for the development and implementation of these strategies are some of the most difficult tasks in just-in-time manufacturing One key idea that must be understood about just-in-time manufacturing is throughput time This is the time between the start of the manufacturing process and the end where the product is ready to be shipped Five key elements are involved in throughput time The first element is processing time or the time actually spent working on the product Next is inspection time and moving time Moving time is simply the amount of time spent moving the product from one production department to another as well as back and forth from storage areas The last two elements of throughput time are waiting or queue time and storage time Queue time is the amount of time a product is waiting at a production department before being worked on while storage time is the amount of time raw materials finished goods and works-in-progress actually stay in storage Just-in-time philosophy says that the first element processing time actually adds value to the product while the last four key elements do not1 Thus there are value-added activities and nonvalue-added activities Just-in-time manufacturing tries to decrease the amount of time spent on nonvalue-added activities as much as possible
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