We have seen that JIT affects every aspect of the organization. Therefore, the implementation of a true JIT system requires a complete cultural change for the organization. To implement JIT successfully, a company does not need sophisticated systems. What is needed are correct attitude, employee involvement, and continuous improvement. A change of such profound magnitude needs to be driven by top management. JIT implementation cannot succeed if it is done only by middle or lower management.
Implementation needs to start with a shared vision of where the company is and where it wants to go. This vision needs to consider everyone who has a stake in the company, including customers, employees, suppliers, stockholders, and even the community in which the company is located.
Once the vision has been developed, it is up to top management to create the right atmosphere. Managers need to involve workers in a meaningful way and not merely give lip service to the concept. Part of the change in atmosphere should consist of breaking down the barriers between departments and instilling “we” thinking in place of an “us-versus-them” attitude. Reward systems should be put in place to reward ideas and team cooperation.
A “champion” for JIT implementation must be designated, whether it is a plant manager, the CEO, or a steering committee. The purpose is to have a person or group ...