· Inventories in UK, European and USA operations have, traditionally, been regarded as an asset. Excess inventory has often been held ‘just in case’.
· The Japanese changed this approach when they introduced just in time, making inventory very visible and treating it as a necessary ‘evil’.
· To achieve this, they work ‘just in time’ with suppliers and customers. This is only possible, however, when:
· Your suppliers are proven and VERY reliable.
· Your suppliers can deliver quality assured parts directly to assembly
· You provide visibility of schedules to your suppliers and make any changes only within agreed limits
· You remove unnecessary in-process inspection stations and storage areas
· You rationalise the variety of parts and use standard items whenever possible
· You classify parts into:
o A high value items controlled using MRP or management intervention
o B medium value items controlled using Kanbans
o C low cost items purchased in manageable batches
· You ensure that BOM, MRP and capacity data on computer is > 95% accurate
· You manage the manufacture and control of parts for new products differently from those needed for spares and repairs
· You obtain, where possible, more frequent deliveries in smaller batches
· If you use Kanbans aim to consistently review and reduce the number of Kanbans in your system
· You reduce machine changeover times
· You actively manage bottlenecks – people, materials, support
· You introduce planned maintenance to prevent unplanned events
· You benchmark your performance against companies in similar industries