Just-in-time (JIT) practices are very useful to improve operational performance. These practices, that represent the core of Lean management methodology, were firstly developed in Toyota, where the production is highly repetitive, and for many years researchers have thought that this methodology could be applied in contexts characterised by repetitive manufacturing systems only. Recently some authors have refuted this view, providing empirical evidence that JIT practices can be successfully implemented also in non-repetitive contexts. However, this evidence came from descriptive and anecdotal case studies, whereas in the literature, studies based on large sample lack, which analyse JIT impact on performance at varying degrees of repetitiveness. This paper aims at investigating the impact of JIT on efficiency and responsiveness performance, and the moderating effects on these relationships of some pivotal characteristics of non-repetitive manufacturing contexts, i.e. product customisation and demand variability. A questionnaire-based international survey was used to investigate the research questions. Data from a sample of 244 plants were analysed using a structural equation modelling (SEM) procedure. The analyses demonstrate that product customisation does not significantly moderate the impact of JIT on performance. Instead demand variability negatively moderates the relationship between JIT and responsiveness, whereas it does not significantly moderate the relationship between JIT and efficiency.
- MASS CUSTOMIZATION CAPABILITY
- MANUFACTURING PERFORMANCE
- SUPPLY CHAIN
- TOYOTA PRODUCTION SYSTEM