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Does the customer's order start the JIT process?

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? (short response please)

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JIT inventory policy is intended to minimize the cost of maintaining an inventory or the so-called carrying cost. Carrying cost is what the company incurs as it holds in its stock a certain level of inventory. It may consist of warehouse, insurance, and other maintenance costs. The company may also incur deterioration or obsolescence costs as it holds certain level of inventory. While goods are in stock, ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a detailed discussion of the just-in-time (JIT) process.