In The Wall Street Journal, CTL Director Yossi Sheffi writes that pandemic-induced shortages aren't a reason to dismiss the importance of just-in-time practices, as they help to reinforce resilience by strengthening the relationship along the supply chain between companies, their suppliers, and customers:
The main focus of JIT, which was pioneered in the manufacturing sector by Japanese car maker Toyota Motor Corp., isn’t simply to minimize inventory costs but to improve product quality. A system built around a carefully synchronized supply of components cannot tolerate a high level of defective parts or other quality-related issues.
The JIT system, then, highlights quality deficiencies, which are then corrected. And in doing so, it improves the manufacturing processes. Such improvements reduce inefficiency such as the need to retool components. Sales will also rise as manufacturing quality standards improve, reducing unit costs for production because more finished goods are sold and not returned to correct defects.