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    Discussion about Just-In-Time and Lean Manufacturing

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    Since the early 1980's we in the United States have been hearing about, and most have adopted, Just-In-Time or Lean Manufacturing as practiced by the Japanese. Is it really "just-in-time" if you the consumer can buy any color Toyota right from the dealer's car lot? Or buy any Apple iPod in any model or color right off the shelf at Best Buy? Doesn't the customer's order start the JIT process?

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    Solution Preview

    Just in time is not a retail concept. It is manufacturing concept. While from the customer's point of view, if you have the item they want when they want it, it is "just in time" for them, that is not the technical use of the concept of just-in-time or lean manufacturing.

    Just-in-time or lean accounting attempts to have all the needed ingredients (materials, labor, support) when they are needed (but no more than what is needed) exactly WHEN it is needed.

    Dell does not order ...

    Solution Summary

    Your tutorial is 280 words and explains that the JIT concept is not about having the proper array of products just when the consumer needs it. It explains in everyday language what JIT is and how it has been used at Dell. It gives another example in a retail setting.