In Manufacturing Is A JIT (Just In Time) Environment Right for You?

There are many competitive advantages associated with sourcing your component supplies “just in time.” Yet, although the concept in principle may be attractive, you have to consider a number of factors before implementation. What do you need to know?

Changing the Mindset

You have to have a different type of mindset when selecting your suppliers in this type of environment. Not only must your supplier be cost and quality focused, but also they must be able to work with you more proactively. For example, they should be able to set up a “pull” system so that materials are replenished as they are used, or they should be able to work on consignment.

Factor into the equation all your other costs of sourcing raw materials, other than just the purchase price and transportation figures. These will include handling and storage, and elements associated with loss or spoilage.

To enable the most flexibility and the highest potential cost savings, JIT will usually involve moving smaller quantities of material more often. This can be counter-intuitive to many, as manufacturing cost efficiencies of scale are normally associated when doing everything in bulk.

The key, therefore, to using JIT effectively is to unbundle your transportation solution and use your logistic providers more efficiently. By working with these increasingly nimble freight companies, you may be able to combine your smaller loads with those of many other customers. This should enable you to use a strategically designed routing structure.

You should work with your transportation company to help design a logistics supply chain. This may involve using a number of different solutions and staging points versus the old traditional method.

Using Software to Help

These days it is possible to use sophisticated software tools to enable you to come up with a practical assessment of your needs. These tools will help you with modelling when it comes to the size and location of key points. For example, you may need to reassess some or all of your origin, transportation waypoint, warehousing and destination facilities. This will help you to pinpoint the optimal location for all these intermediary points, together with the ideal stocking strategies at each. You’ll be able to determine how to combine your transportation routings and different modalities. A good model analysis will help you achieve your objectives in terms of costs and service levels.

If you want to transition from a non-JIT to a true JIT production capability, it will involve integrated efforts from a number of different employees in your organisation. You will also need to selectively choose your transportation providers. For more information, contact a business such as Jayde Transport.

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Guidelines On Mitigating The Risk Of Freight Damage And Loss

There are many negative consequences of freight damage for all parties involved. Claims resolution and mitigation of damage is inconvenient, and the cumulative transportation costs will rise due to the sustained damage and losses. The disagreements arising from the incidence is also likely to cause acrimony between you and the transportation provider. It is important to take proactive steps to significantly minimise the risks posed to the cargo during transit, so here are some simple guidelines to facilitate this.


Proper packing is the most fundamental step in protecting the cargo, so you should be diligent in implementing the best strategies. Understand the nature of the goods and know the level of freight sensitivity so that you will pack accordingly. For instance, you cannot use the same packaging methods for books and fresh farm produce. Hard and rigid items can withstand pressure and turbulence while more packaging protection and shock absorption cushioning will be required for fragile items to handle similar conditions.

The chosen pallets and crates should be stable and strong, whether they are plastic or wooden. Note that pallets built without the base boards will have uneven weight distribution so the stability will be compromised. If you are using cartons, ensure that the containers are secured sufficiently with reinforced tape. Masking and cellophane tape will not remain firmly in place when exposed to water, pressure or high temperature.


Shipment should be labelled appropriately to facilitate precise and timely delivery. You may often overlook the finer details of the process, and small mistakes will result in delays and even losses. If you are reusing a shipping container, ensure that you have removed or covered the old labels to prevent confusion. The new label should be placed on the topside, and when using a box, avoid the areas along the seam. You should also note that a single address label on the box is sufficient when written legibly and placed well.  Additionally, you can put an address form in the box if you feel that you need the extra precaution.

Transport Company

The freight transporter is an important factor in the protection of your goods. You should know the security procedures taken by the company to ensure that theft, damage, delays and wrong delivery is mitigated. If the company you are using is notorious for frequent losses, you should consider looking for a new service provider. Your ideal carrier should meet your standards to ensure that the inconvenience created by damaged and lost packages is minimised.

For more information, contact a business such as Star Freightlines.

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Cycling is an often overlooked way of transporting goods around. I live in a big city and work in a courier company, delivering letters and small parcels around. I travel hundreds of kilometres in a days work. I'm doing good for the environment and I'm getting my job done! It's surprisingly how much I can carry on my bicycle, it's much more than I could ever carry in my arms. My bike is an extension of me and I can get around quickly, much more quickly than people walking or those poor people stuck in traffic. I say we should all ride more!

November 2015
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