Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing is a strategy focused on aligning the receiving of raw materials with manufacturing production schedules. The goal is to ensure that wiring harness and battery pack assembly teams have what they need, when they need it, but without materials or end product remaining in storage for extended periods.
More Efficient Production of Wiring Harnesses and Battery Packs at Rapport
At Rapport, in most cases we manufacture to a JIT delivery plan. Components are purchased once the customer places their order, and the manufacturing process takes place after all components are received. Then, we ship to the customer as soon as the manufacturing process is completed. Generally speaking, we try not to keep any completed assemblies on the shelf, and instead ship finished product to the customer on or before the requested date.
Benefits of JIT in Wiring Harness and Battery Pack Manufacturing
Just-in-time manufacturing provides many benefits to Rapport as we design and build wiring harnesses, battery packs, and other products. This, in turn, benefits our customers. These advantages include:
- Less storage space is needed. With raw materials being quickly absorbed into manufacturing processes and finished goods being shipped promptly, the space (and associated cost) needed for storage is reduced.
- Less material is wasted. Because materials and finished goods are moving through the facility continually, there is less chance for them to become damaged or obsolete while in storage, so waste is reduced.
- Smaller investments are required. By ordering materials only as they are needed, we have less money invested at any given time. This is good for our cash flow, which is good for the vendors with whom we work.
How Kanban Improves Wiring Harness and Battery Pack Manufacturing
Kanban is a scheduling system used in lean manufacturing and just-in-time manufacturing. Developed in Japan, this scheduling system is designed to increase productivity. Kanban works by effectively managing production time. Lead time and cycle times are measured, with one of the main benefits of that activity being that an upper limit for work in progress is determined, and that helps prevent reaching a state of overcapacity. At Rapport, we sometimes help clients achieve their kanban objectives by keeping a certain amount of finished wiring harnesses and battery packs on our shelves. This helps reduce the lead time for building and shipping the product to the customer, which helps them prevent delays in their own manufacturing processes.
A kanban approach is only used with customers who contract with us to do so. It is most effective when a customer needs the flexibility of a fast response time but wants to minimize the amount of physical inventory held at their facility. Many times this is for production lines where the same product is being produced consistently but the volumes fluctuate from week to week or month to month. In that case, we hold inventory for the customer and ship it to them when it is needed.
A basic kanban process starts with a standard package/shipment quantity determined by the customer. We then build two shipments worth of the product. When the customer requests a release, we ship to them and then build another quantity of the item to replenish our stock so that there are two shipments of product available at any time. This can be customized for higher volumes so that four, six, or more shipments of an item are available and ready to meet the customer’s needs.
Raw material must be procured in advance to enable us to replenish stock under a kanban agreement. Consequently, details are worked out in advance to strike a balance between having enough raw material on hand to keep up with demand while limiting inventory exposure for when the kanban agreement is terminated.
Meeting Customer Needs with Just-in-Time and Kanban Processing
Our full-service facility outside of Denver can take wiring harnesses and battery packs from prototype to final packaging, quickly and cost-effectively. Contact Rapport, Inc. today to get answers to all of your questions about our manufacturing processes!