Just-In-Time: Case Studies Of Supplier Relationships Across Industries

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Dean R. Manna

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Abstract

Just-in-time (JIT) is a well-established philosophy that seeks to sustain a competitive advantage and result in greater overall returns through waste elimination and variability reduction.  One component of the philosophy is the relationships with suppliers.  These relationships are vital to the success of organizations regardless of the industry.  The automotive, electronic, healthcare, and steel industries engage in JIT practices in differing fashions but all seek the same goal of sustaining a competitive advantage over the competition.  The automotive and electronic industries rely heavily on information sharing.  A critical component of the healthcare industry is seeking out long-term contracts with suppliers in order to assure quality and timeliness of deliveries.  The steel industry has elements of the JIT philosophy but has been forced to vertically integrate many of its productions due to the rising costs of raw materials.  Depending on the industry a firm competes in, and the relationship it has with its suppliers determines the manner in which it practices the JIT philosophy.

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