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The just-in-time concept was invented by Toyota Motor Company in 1954. It arose from the economic constraints then present in Japan.
Japan has few natural resources and with land at a premium, it was not possible for Japanese companies to tolerate waste such as storing large quantities of potentially redundant stock.
These habits have been widespread in Western companies for thirty years. Inventory must be seen in all organisations as wasted investment - what could be liquid cash is tied up in raw materials or components sitting on shelves.
\"To produce and deliver finished goods just-in-time to be sold, fabricate sub-assemblies just-in-time to be assembled into finished goods, fabricate parts just-in-time to go into sub-assemblies and purchase materials just-in-time to be made into fabricated parts.\"
Both of the above definitions are ideals and may never be attained. The intention should always be to get closer and closer to the optimum.
It is possible to cut stock substantially without a factory grinding to a halt.
The Japanese achieve a just-in-time culture through the systematic elimination of three \"undesirables\"