A just-in-time (JIT) inventory system is a management strategy that aims to minimize inventory by only ordering and producing materials or parts as they are needed in the production process. By implementing a JIT inventory system, operations managers in the mining industry can reduce waste, improve efficiency, and increase profitability.
What elements are key to implementing a successful JIT inventory system?
- Data collection: To implement a JIT inventory system, operations managers must first gather data on the materials and parts being used in the production process. This can include data on usage, lead times, and supplier reliability. For example, data might be collected on the volume of drilling equipment, spare parts for haul trucks, or the frequency of ordering explosives.
- Data analysis: Once data has been collected, operations managers can use analytics tools and techniques to identify patterns and trends that can inform inventory management decisions. For example, data analysis might reveal that certain types of spare parts are consistently overstocked, while others are frequently running low.
- Inventory planning: Based on the data analysis, operations managers can develop an inventory plan that ensures that materials and parts are only ordered and produced as needed. For example, the inventory plan might specify that drill bits are only ordered when the current stock falls below a certain level, or that explosives are only produced in small batches to match the needs of the production schedule.
- Tracking and reporting: To ensure the success of the JIT inventory system, operations managers should track the performance of the inventory and the effectiveness of the inventory plan. For example, tracking might involve monitoring the accuracy of the inventory plan in predicting the need for materials and parts or measuring the impact of the JIT system on lead times and supplier reliability.
Which tools and technologies support the implementation of a JIT inventory system?
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems: These systems can be used to track and manage inventory, including material requirements planning and supplier management.
- Data visualization tools: These tools allow operations managers to view inventory data in a graphical format, which can help to identify trends and patterns more easily.
- Inventory management software: There are many software options available that can help operations managers to implement and manage a JIT inventory system.
Another alternative to the above is a more flexible no-code platform, like Grid; Unlike traditional ERP systems and data visualization tools, no-code platforms are far more flexible. ERP systems and tools are not configurable beyond a certain point, which means your workflow (which has likely been perfected through years of operational excellence) will have to change to accommodate the needs of the software you use.
That isn't an ideal solution, as far as we're concerned. Processes that have been forged in the crucible of experience should not be tweaked just because of a software requirement. That's why we've designed Grid to work with any workflow imaginable, to collect, visualize and help you analyze the data of your inventory items and status and set up that perfect JIT system that reduces costs and improves efficiency by orders of magnitude!
If you'd like to know more about how Grid can help you set up the ideal inventory system, get in touch with an expert today, and we can get on an exploratory call with you!