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Multifunctional workers are another way to bring flexibility to the work environment. At Honeywell’s heating and cooling controls plant, workers are trained to operate all the machines on their work line. The flexibility that comes from multifunctional workers changes the nature of how work gets done. Instead of workers being trained on one machine and working independently of one another, multifunctional workers have a “big picture” view of the production line, where every worker understands all aspects of the line and how to work together to meet quality and schedule goals regardless of the circumstances.

Line/cellular flow layouts

Earlier in this chapter, we described the efficiencies that repetitive process layouts provide. Repetitive process layouts are perfectly suited for driving out non-value-added activities and transitioning to a JIT environment. Intermittent layouts feature dozens or even hundreds of different paths through the facility. They are filled with complexity, uncertainty, and low visibility. Workers tend to have specialized skills, work independently of other departments, and have little sense of “ownership” of the products they work on.

In contrast, cell layouts promote JIT goals by featuring unidirectional product flows, high visibility, and fast throughput times. Workers with multifunctional skills are assigned to individual cells and have responsibility and control of the products they produce. Workers in a cell environment tend to have a greater sense of ownership and pride in their work because they have a “big picture” view of the product as it is converted from raw material to a finished good. This deeper understanding of the production process increases the opportunities for workers to contribute ideas for process improvements.

Total quality management

TQM was discussed in detail earlier. TQM goes hand in hand with the JIT philosophy because quality is a major source of uncertainty and non-value-added activities in an organization with poor quality practices. TQM promotes continuous improvement, doing it right the first time, designing quality into products and processes, and establishing an overall focus on prevention as the primary quality activity.

Employee empowerment

Front-line employees play a critical role in successful JIT practice. They work in partnership with management and each other in the continuous pursuit of excellence. There are several ways in which front-line employees contribute to JIT success:

  • Employees work together in problem-solving teams to gather data and build consensus on how to improve work processes.
  • Employees are responsible for understanding the quality measures of their work and what they need to do to meet the needs of internal and external customers.
  • Each employee is empowered to take action to correct problems.
  • Employees have cross-functional skill sets that allow them to be assigned to areas which need help, and to help them adopt a broader (“big picture”) view of the production process.
  • Unlike a traditional “push” environment where line workers are relatively independent of one another in their work activities, JIT employees are connected by the “demand pull” discipline, where work is not produced unless the downstream work center needs it. Demand-pull promotes the inter-connectedness of workers.
  • Front-line employees are responsible for the basic maintenance of their machines. This helps employees have a better understanding of the condition of their equipment and its ability to meet quality and production requirements.

Management works with employees by being coaches and facilitators rather than authoritative supervisors. Managers are charged with hiring employees who can work in a proactive team environment, and provide the training and incentives to build a work culture that is focused on continuous improvement.

Conclusion: the evolution of jit into “lean operations”

The JIT philosophy has evolved from a manufacturing-focused management approach to a set of management principles that can be applied to any organization. “Lean operations” is a term that is replacing JIT, especially in service environments. “Lean operations” captures the true essence and power of how a culture built around continuous improvement and the pursuit of value-added activities leads directly to competitive advantage in the marketplace. Lean operations is a management philosophy for any organization to achieve higher quality, increased productivity, improved delivery speed, greater responsiveness to changing markets, and increased customer satisfaction.

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
what does it mean business eco system?
Mohammed Reply
what is business
Abdul Reply
how can i know my business best resources, cheap and good quality
cabdi Reply
vikash rawat
jagvir Reply
entrepreneurial mobility
Manish Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Business fundamentals. OpenStax CNX. Oct 08, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11227/1.4
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