Difference Between JIT and Lean

Over the past few decades, manufacturing and production businesses have been constantly increasing. While there are many manufacturing methods, JIT and lean manufacturing are two of the most prominent.

While there has been a simultaneous use of the two, there are also significant differences between them.

JIT vs Lean

The main difference between JIT and lean is that JIT manufacturing deals with increasing business efficiency whereas lean manufacturing deals with utilizing this efficiency to increase the overall value for the customers. JIT is only one step of lean manufacturing.

JIT vs Lean

JIT stands for Just-in-time. It is defined as a manufacturing philosophy that focuses on the minimization of all resources used in various activities of an enterprise, which includes identifying and eliminating non-productive activities.

It works on a small scale in the project. This philosophy is advantageous in reducing inventory and the overall work in progress.

Lean is defined as a manufacturing technique that focuses on the services based on planned elimination of all waste and continuous improvement in productivity. Lean manufacturing is also called ‘ The Toyota Way ‘.

It works on a large scale in the project. This technique is advantageous in improved productivity, efficiency, and customer value.

Comparison Table Between JIT and Lean

Parameters of ComparisonJITLean
DefinitionIt is a philosophy.It is a technique.
Other NamesJust-in-time manufacturing. ‘The Toyota Way’ manufacturing.
MethodologyIt prioritizes the least possible time.It prioritizes the highest possible quality.
PurposeImproving efficiency. Improving customer value.
The Scale of WorkIt works on a small scale.It works on a large scale.

What is JIT?

JIT stands for Just-in-time. It is defined as a manufacturing philosophy that focuses on the minimization of all resources used in various activities of an enterprise, which includes identifying and eliminating non-productive activities.

It works on a small scale in the project. This philosophy is advantageous in reducing inventory and the overall work in progress.

JIT is not a technique, but rather a philosophy. The core purpose of this philosophy is improving productivity and quality.

It ensures the best utilization of all the available resources. In JIT manufacturing, an organization is created which works as per the market’s responsiveness in a highly efficient and effective manner.

JIT works on various principles including lowest over-production, lowest waiting, lowest transportation, lowest stocks, etc.

One of the major advantages that JIT has is that it is neither early nor late, which is why this philosophy is termed Just-in-time manufacturing. Furthermore, it marginally reduces the inventory.

Nevertheless, JIT has a few disadvantages. Since the project is only a small step of a large project, there can be a lack of control of work.

The risk of the late arrival of supplies, loss in buying bulk amounts of resources, risking of quality, etc., are a few of the disadvantages of JIT.

What is Lean?

Lean is defined as a manufacturing technique that focuses on the services based on planned elimination of all waste and continuous improvement in productivity.

Lean manufacturing is also called ‘ The Toyota Way ‘. It works on a large scale in the project.

This technique is advantageous in improved productivity, efficiency, and customer value.

Unlike JIT, lean is not philosophy itself but rather a technique. The core purpose of lean manufacturing is minimizing waste and simultaneously maximizing productivity.

This technique deals with utilizing efficiency to increase value for the customer. It highly prioritizes customer satisfaction.

Lean manufacturing works on various principles including value, flow, pull, and perfection, etc. Improved customer value is one of the biggest advantages of this technique.

Furthermore, it reduces waste, increases efficiency, and productivity. If needed, it redesigns the manufacturing setup, integrates a pull system, controls the inventory, or implements a vendor program.

Nevertheless, it has a few disadvantages. Lean manufacturing has a high implementation cost, difficulty with the changeover, the safety of workers, etc. It also requires a dedicated staff of workers to deal with the suppliers.

JIT manufacturing is only one step of the lean manufacturing technique and the two can simultaneously work.

Main Differences Between JIT and Lean

  1. JIT manufacturing is a philosophy whereas Lean manufacturing is a form of technique.
  2. JIT manufacturing focuses on improving business efficiency whereas lean manufacturing focuses on improving customer value.
  3. JIT manufacturing doesn’t have a very high implementation cost whereas lean manufacturing does.
  4. JIT manufacturing is a narrow term and only a step of lean manufacturing whereas lean manufacturing is a much broader area of work.
  5. JIT manufacturing emphasizes principles based on lowering resource use whereas lean manufacturing emphasizes principles based on the quality of work.
Difference Between JIT and Lean

Conclusion

JIT manufacturing and lean manufacturing are often used interchangeably with each other as they carry some similarities. However, there are significant differences between them.

Nowadays, JIT is just one step of the broad lean manufacturing in industries. Nevertheless, it is an important one.

When we talk about JIT manufacturing, it works on a smaller level in the project. It ensures efficiency and timely production in the industries.

In simpler words, JIT largely contributes to the business side of things. On the other hand, lean manufacturing is a far broader term than JIT.

JIT itself is a part of lean manufacturing. With the efficiency provided by JIT, it emphasizes the quality of work to provide the best products for customers.

In simpler words, lean manufacturing largely contributes to improving customer value.

For small-scale businesses, JIT manufacturing only is enough for most. As the production is less, less time and resources are needed.

Therefore, the management of manufacturing processes is not complex. However, when we consider large-scale businesses, both JIT and lean manufacturing are preferred.

This is due to the reason that larger production requires more time and resources without compromising the quality of products.

Hence, JIT and lean manufacturing work concerning each other for a fruitful business.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=WL95yzpj1TIC&oi=fnd&pg=PR11&dq=just+in+time+manufacturing&ots=o5k29yW6Z8&sig=XqoT9lwMxbhCzkIBB5idRlZtKBw
  2. https://www.accessengineeringlibrary.com/content/book/9780071625074
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