Losing a day of production does not sit well with Toyota management, so when its Georgetown, Kentucky, plant had to shut down for a day because a Midwest ice storm prevented passage of parts necessary for production, Japan's largest automaker decided it should get better at tracking and responding to the weather and hired Weather Data Inc. to be its own private forecasting company. This exemplifies just one of the extreme steps automakers will take to maintain the delicate logistical balance necessary for modern assembly of autos in this era of just-in-time (JIT) delivery. .
Several other companies' experiences with just-in-time, logistics and supplier relations, are also discussed, including Ford Motor Company, Daimler Chrysler, Delphi Automotive Systems and General Motors Corporation Just-in-time is the Japan-born process that is designed to eliminate waste in manufacturing processes through more frequent delivery of smaller lot sizes directly to the production line. Transportation, naturally, always played a key role in this process. And in many ways its work has been impressive. Manufacturers are: 1. Learning to make overnight delivery carriers that are a planned part of the transportation equation, instead of an exception, 2. Dealing with fewer carriers and making sure that those chosen carriers are high quality, and 3. Increasingly turning toward the Internet to keep track of their orders. But while the Internet is surely helping to streamline the inventory control process, some transportation exchanges say they are still learning to build on the system. .
When an automotive supplier misses a just-in-time delivery and shuts down a multimillion-dollar production line, there is often a hefty penalty. There may even be a tally of black marks brought up at contract renewal time. While still relatively common, that scenario has no place in world-class supply chains. Supply manufacturers and their supplier partners realize the relationship must go deeper than penalties and "us-vs.