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Inventory Management: JIT, MRP, ERP, and Lean Operations

You have just received a phone call from a senior partner at one of the "Big Four" management consultancies. She wants to meet with you to discuss the most recent developments in Inventory Management, including JIT, MRP, ERP, and Lean operations. You suspect that her true motive is to sell a SOA (Supply Chain Opportunity Assessment) to your division and to follow that up with a new software package implementation. Nevertheless, you agree to meet with her anyway.

In preparation for that meeting, you ask your staff to participate in a brainstorming meeting.
Your assignment is to create a posting with what you believe to be the most important discussion points for the meeting.
Your initial posting should cover at least the following topics:
1. How could JIT principals be incorporated in your supply chain and manufacturing operations?
2. How can you assess a MRP/ERP package's usefulness in supporting your efforts to monitor, control, and improve your inventory management efforts? What should you realistically expect of a MRP/ERP after it is first implemented?
3. What strategic or tactical opportunities can your organization pursue? If you have more than one item, be sure to prioritize your list.

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1) JIT principals can be applied to within the four walls of the manufacturing facilities; otherwise known as lean manufacturing. They can also be applied to the firm's suppliers. The ideal is that the supplier (or the upstream manufacturing process) supplies the needed materials exactly when the firm needs it. This eliminates or greatly reduces raw material inventory (or Work In Process inventory between manufacturing processes). Specifically, this means that the Mexico plant must be so tightly tied to the firm that they supply their parts exactly when needed by the other finishing processes in the firm. It also means that the firm will supply the warehouse by the airport with exactly the product needed to fill orders exactly when needed.

2) How can this be done? Using the principals of one piece flow and/or kan bans, JIT can happen. The trick is incorporating the suppliers of raw material like the Mexican plant into the process. This is when MRP/ERP comes into play. With the made to stock items, MRP/ERP allows you to manage the flow of ...

Solution Summary

JIT principals can be applied to within the four walls of the manufacturing facilities; otherwise known as lean manufacturing. This solution is 690 words.

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