A Study on Just-in-Time Implementation in Portugal: Some Empirical Evidence
AbstractThe objective of this paper is to find how far the Just-in-Time system is being implemented
by Portuguese manufacturing firms, as well as assessing its perception and its potential
benefits by managers. First, several studies about the implementation of the Just-in-Time
system in various countries over the past 25 years are reviewed, and then the descriptive
survey research is reported. Data were collected from a mail questionnaire sent to a few
hundred firms in Portugal. The findings show that the surveyed firms view the Just-in-Time
system as a way to reduce inventories, to increase quality, and to eliminate waste. Despite
this good perception, less than 6% of the surveyed firms have the necessary conditions to
successfully implement a Just-in-Time system. A significant practical implication of this
study is that Portuguese firms should use Just-in-Time as a philosophy rather than as a
solution for operations-related problems. Another contribution is to point out the most
common difficulties for its implementation, so that Portuguese firms that want to do it can
be prepared to overcome those difficulties.
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