Did you know, the leading automobile manufacturing company has been using just-in-time since 1909?
Harley-Davidson one of the leading motorcycle manufacturing company was established in 1903. They built their first three motorbikes in a shed. In 1909, the company introduced its trademark 2 cylinder bike (which was able to reach a speed of 60 mph) using management principles adopted from the Japanese culture – Just in Time (JIT). With new marketing strategies and manufacturing techniques, Harley improved quality and began the long battle to increase its market share.
JIT was the driving force for the quality-improvement program of Harley. As Harley was operating with the lowest inventories, it became essential that all their inventories were usable. If they were only going to get a few parts, they all needed to be good ones. Harley’s suppliers had to implement JIT into their production process to compliment Harley’s system.
Harley’s JIT is mostly characterized on the basis of its transformation after the World War 2 era from an inefficient manufacturer to a nimble manufacturer, which is able to meet its market demand and provide shortest lead time.
After the implementation of JIT, Harley showed results like; 75% reduced inventory level & increased productivity, improvement in inventory turns up from 5 to 20, inventory levels decreased by 75%, motorcycles coming off the line completed up from 76% to 99%, 68% reduction in scrap and rework, productivity improved by 50%.
Harley Davidson’s success with the implementation of JIT has been because they are working hard to strive for operational excellence with Lean manufacturing concepts like JIT. Have you embarked on the journey of operational excellence yet?
Writen & Compiled by Faber Priyal & Faber Mayuri