Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Just-in-time deliveries

      Free tips, information, advice, and ideas
      to help you better manage your small business.

     Big companies pride themselves on efficient operations. Just-in-time deliveries are part of this. They don't want delivery of input materials until they need them. For example, this relieves auto manufacturers of the need to store and handle input parts ahead of actual need.

     Small businesses need to take better advantage of just-in-time. Owners can use the concept coming and going.

     If you are selling to big companies, you already know that they don't want delivery ahead of the time they need your products. If you are buying products from suppliers, you can specify when you want the delivery. Just-in-time works for both incoming and outgoing stuff. 

     Examples: If you are a hypnotherapist specializing in pain relief, you schedule your client's appointment following their surgery--not at your convenience. If you sell supplies to electrical and plumbing contractors, you know that they want to pick up materials on the way to their daily jobs. If you are a tool rental shop, you supply landscapers early in the morning on their way to a job. If you sell goods to customers located out of your area, you ship via UPS or Fedex or the U. S. Postal Service, targeting the arrival date wanted by your customer.

     Notice that the preceding examples are for outgoing goods and services. Here you are complying with the needs of your clients and customers. But you can use just-in-time for materials and services incoming to you.

     Examples: If you have an on-going maintenance contract to troubleshoot and maintain your computer setup, you schedule the technician to come in at times convenient to you--not at his convenience. If you run a restaurant offering farm fresh foods, you tell the farmer to deliver fresh lettuce and herbs on the morning you'll be needing them--not when the farmer wants to move product. If you are a caterer and you have a big wedding coming up, you order a spacious tent to be delivered and set up on the grounds the day before the event, not at the convenience of the rental center. If you run a vehicle repair shop, you want deliveries of parts from the supplier just before you need to install them--not several days ahead. 

     Look around. Put on your thinking cap. Put the just-in-time concept to work in your small business. It can save you time and money. 

     You already use just-in-time. When you get down to the last ink cartridge for your printer, you place an order for more. And when the fuel gauge in your vehicle starts to shake hands with the big "E" you begin looking for a service station. 



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