A just-in-time strategy is based on the principle that goods or inputs arrive in production or distribution in time with the demand or when they are needed for the next business process. This strategy is achieved through careful planning and organization, so there are no backlogs or delays in the business process. The key is having a clear and optimized supply chain so there are no disruptions. In the just-in-time strategy, the inputs or goods come in just when they are needed. The just-in-time is also known as the Toyota Production System (TPS) because the car manufacturer Toyota adopted the system in the 1970s.
The main reason why companies strive to achieve this is to avoid getting overstocked or to avoid having too many perishable goods that lose value, original characteristics, or efficiency over time. Some ultimate goal is to decrease costs, but also achieve organizational unity and a clear strategy.
The road to operational efficiency
In today’s world, it is strenuous to get to the point where any business could say that it achieved operational excellence. Some businesses are still stuck to their old ways and are harder to accept new market dynamics. External influences such as higher costs of inputs, higher transportation costs, and market instability are only some of the reasons why there are disruptions in the supply chain or the company’s processes. Nowadays you have to stay a few steps ahead to anticipate such changes and deliver your products on time and with high quality.
So, what is a company to do? As the digital world evolves, an answer is in intuitive software solutions. Investing in digital solutions allows companies to track their supply chain, production, and distribution in real-time alongside getting an overview of each step or link. It may seem like an easy task to do, but with so much data and unknowns, you have to go all in.
Some solutions that could help towards achieving the JIT strategy are the ones that could track input production and your suppliers, that would allow traceability of goods transportation while diminishing the need for a paper trail, or the ones that could match your demand with the supply.
Since our mission is to simplify and improve business processes, we’ve built solutions that allow a clearer and more optimized business process, whether you produce inputs or finished goods, or you are just a reseller or distributor. The goal of these solutions is to help businesses get closer to a just-in-time strategy that will elevate efficiency and reduce costs.
So, shall we take a look at the options that can help any company toward a strategic advantage over competitors?
Data Analytics & Forecasting solutions
Imagine being a producer of inputs where each day is different from the one before. Imagine also that each day you generate or collect so much information about your business process that it’s hard to get a hold of things. If you take external influences into account, it is sometimes hard to combine that with your operations. So, how to avoid tracking your daily business in a notebook or a spreadsheet? What if there could be a software solution that could give not only you but everyone involved, a clear overview of your daily work and production? A software solution that could give you that and more is a data analytics solution, and its main objective is to combine all production data into one easily accessible dashboard. There you can access internal and external data, from your production processes to external influences that drive your decisions. It shows the quantity, quality, and properties of goods while also giving trends and insights that analyze your production.
Having a bigger operation means that information could get out of hand and it could slow you down. But with analytical software, you can easily spot issues or errors and then react on time. Giving access to people outside of your organization could also help you protect your investments and processes. A new set of eyes could point out certain disruptions in trends or upcoming production. Software like that shows the information on the whole input production and its movements, which in return helps the next link in the chain to plan their processes. That way, a processor can see when, how much and what quality of goods they can receive. Following that, they can plan their next step and avoid input deficiency, creation of backlog, or overstocking.
One other aspect of this solution is the ability to forecast which falls under the domain of data science, data engineering, and machine learning. Based on the past data, trends, and present inputs, it can predict future movements. From quantity and quality, it shows what kind of production you can expect. From there on, processors could also plan what kind of inputs they are getting and they can assure quality.
Input tracking solution
When you know what kind of goods and in which quantities you can expect, you have to have smooth transportation that will deliver those goods on time with your planned production. Often, haulers still operate based on paper delivery notes that take time to fill out and require a lot of information. It can significantly slow down the transportation time and when you deal in perishable goods, time is of the essence. Having a set-in solution, available at your fingertips online and offline, will allow you to load and unload goods more quickly while simultaneously eradicating the need to fill out paperwork manually every time.
Of course, software solutions that diminish the need for paper manifests will reduce the space for errors and minimize data duplications. Furthermore, the trackability of goods allows you careful planning of your production cycle. If you know where the goods are and when they will be ready for unloading at your plant, you can plan and organize the start and end of production. Your warehouse issues with stocking can also be resolved. When you know when the goods are coming in or out, you can easily make solid storage plans and reduce crowded overstock. After that, the delivery of finished goods can also be planned accordingly.
Scheduling solution that connects supply and demand
Even though you can track each link in the supply chain, finding new resources can be time-consuming and daunting. Meeting the demand with the right supply is challenging, and in an ever-changing market and its trends, sometimes an unbalance can happen. So, the only solution is to have the demand and supply all in one place, covered by the haulers’ option. That is why a scheduling software solution is a great platform that provides it all in one place.
When you can express your demand and have the supply to choose from, based on needed quantity and set prices, you can organize future operations more quickly and efficiently. Creating instant connections with input producers allows for more flexibility and direct communication, thus reducing time spent finding suppliers or buyers, depending on the case. An option to directly find the right hauler on the same platform makes it easy to connect the supply chain and ensure that the goods move on time. Ultimately, you are creating a scheduled supply chain that works with you.
For a just-in-time strategy, it’s important that you have fluidity and an easy-flow in your supply chain. Consequently, you’ll achieve a more cohesive and efficient production, better quality control, and fewer backlogs and disruptions in your business operations. Not only will your business be more operationally efficient, but also be more cost-effective.
You could rearrange and adjust how you work by taking insights and metrics from software solutions. Business decisions could be more precise and data-based, rather than impulsive or reactionary. The ability to have tools that provide a look into your operations or links in the chain changes the meaning of strategic planning. The purpose of such software is to provide actionable insights and a step-by-step view of the supply chain processes, which in the end enables the pursuit of a just-in-time strategy.