There is now a wide body of literature pertaining to the Japanese manufacturing philosophies and techniques embodied in the terms just‐in‐time (JIT) and total quality control (TQC). The current emphasis is on the operational issues and benefits such as the reduction of set‐up times, lot sizes, work‐in‐progress inventories, floor space requirements and the like. This article acknowledges these operational benefits but goes on to highlight what it considers to be the greater strategic significance of the Japanese JIT/TQC system, namely that JIT/TQC provides the mechanism for organisational learning, development of production know‐how and the establishment of process control that leads logically to full‐scale automation of the production system. It also proposes a continuum of industrial progress, with basic production system rationalisation and housekeeping at one end and fullscale automation of the production system at the other end. The article then explains how the adoption and implementation of JIT/TQC practices can help to move a country along this continuum of industrial progress, leading eventually to a predominance of automated production, and hence increased industrial productivity and competitive strengths for that country.
Hum, S. (1991), "Industrial Progress and the Strategic Significance of JIT and TQC for Developing Countries", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 11 No. 5, pp. 39-46. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443579110145320
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