What is JIT Production?

Just-in-Time (JIT) production is a tool from the Toyota Manufacturing System that helps us reduce waste in several ways. This method of production relies on pull from our clients, letting demand dictate how much product we create. This allows our clients to get the right amount of product at the right time—all while eliminating overproduction and inventory waste. JIT production allows us to produce in bit rather than batch, so we can manufacture smaller quantities in shorter lead times and meet specific client needs with minimal waste.

How Did We Start Incorporating JIT Production Into Our Workflow?

Like most of the tools we have adopted, JIT production didn’t happen overnight. In 1998, after an introduction from Boeing, Kaas Tailored began the journey with lean. We took our first group to Japan to tour a Toyota manufacturing facility and learn about lean manufacturing, The Toyota Way, and Kaizen. Over the next 6 years, we visited Japan to learn, only to return home to our old habits. This was very infuriating for our leadership team. We would ask ourselves, “How does Toyota make it look so easy? Why can’t we continue sustainable change?”

After the fourth Japan study trip, Jeff Kaas decided that we would copy what they were doing in our own factory. Toyota uses green, yellow, and red lights to show status, so we began using colored beer cups for our status. Toyota gave tours, so we decided to start to tell our story to the community via Kaas Waste Tours. Toyota builds their cars in one-piece flow, so we started to remove our batches around the factory. Around 2012, after 8 years of copying Toyota wherever we could, we decided that we could start to forage our own path while still using the guiding principles that Toyota taught us years prior.

Learn More About JIT Production

If you are interested in learning more about JIT production and our journey with continuous improvement, we would love to hear from you. 

We are a teaching factory. We choose to share what we have learned about Kaizen and other continuous improvement principles with other businesses and organizations through our Kaas Waste Tours, which we host in our living, breathing manufacturing facility in Mukilteo, Washington.

At Kaas Tailored, we talk a lot about continuous improvement as a culture. We use words like Bit, One-Piece Flow, and Kaizen, which can feel confusing if you are just starting your journey. We have put together a small series that explains how we think and talk about reducing waste within our company so that you can have the vocabulary to start identifying waste within your world. Then, we can work together to help you start your own journey of continuous improvement.