Page 3: Matching supply to demand – Just in time
One of the most significant changes has been creating continuous flow system of production based on a ‘just-in-time’ approach. Previously, groups of employees had focused on set processes in the production of Jaguar cars using batches of components. The work area for a particular process would be cluttered with batches of components which resulted in a cramped working environment and less floor space.
The new approach is to cut down stocks of components in the workspace to the numbers required to keep production flowing smoothly. Teams press a signal button to call for fresh stocks when they are required. A quick response from a central store enables new parts to arrive at work stations ‘just-in-time’ for them to be used. This cuts out waste in a number of ways, for example:
- less floor space is required
- cells are able to work in an uncluttered work area
- walking (physically moving about between operations) is minimised
- fewer components are damaged from standing around in batches on the workspace floor.
One of the greatest measures of improved working systems at Jaguar has been to match the supply of new cars coming off the line at Castle Bromwich to the demand from Jaguar customers. Given the demand for Jaguar cars, production managers are able to calculate the volume of cars that need to come off the production line in any one week. Produce too few and you will not be able to meet demand; produce too many and you have the waste of rising inventory. The solution is to run the production line at the speed necessary to match demand patterns while retaining quality.