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Jit in University

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JIT in University

1. Introduction

For any manufacture or service organization, continuous improvement is utmost important in order to keep it afloat in the present day competition. Continuous improvement is not limited to what organization ultimately provides as output, i.e. the product or the service. Also have a great influence on how it is produced, materials used, people engaged and its overall impact on society and environment at large. In other words it involves product improvement, process improvement and human resource improvement by better usage of resource and eliminating waste. In this sense JIT is a very well accepted concept in achieving the objectives of continuous improvement. According to Toyota's Fujio Cho waste is "anything other than the minimum amount of materials, equipments, parts and workers which are absolutely essential to production." (Lai and Cheng, p3). So by implementing JIT in university we also try to follow this principle in a service sector.

There is a misconception that the JIT is applicable only in manufacturing industry where goods are produced and has little or no relevance in service organizations. One of the reasons for this misconception may be the fact that JIT was originally developed in manufacturing industry. But looking deeper into the principals of JIT we can discover easy to understand, easy to implement and people centric methodology which will bring both immediate and long term positive results.

The benefits of JIT can be seen not only in the satisfaction of the customers, in this case the students of the university, who will find the services of Registrar's office are effective, efficient, friendly and caring, but also the staff will be more motivated, empowered, self satisfied and more over will proud to be part of a such organization. So it will further strengthen the image of the university as a world class education provider with both content and the service. The benefit of this competitive advantage alone would be enough for one to consider implementation of JIT, but the benefits will not stop there. Simplified processes, well organized facilities, reduction of waste, increased efficiency, will bring enormous cost benefits in the long run which are very important for an educational provider.

2. JIT in University Registrar's office

Though JIT is universally identified as a system mainly focused on Inventory control, the main driving force is the continuous reduction of waste. To achieve this objective JIT employs some seven principles. We shall now examine how they could be used in the case of functions of University Registrar's office in a very brief manner.

We start with simplification of products, processes and procedures. For instance, registration of the students for various courses is one of the most important functions of the Registrar's office. The usual rush occurs on last few days near the deadline and it is not unusual to see number of prospective students waiting in the Registrar's office until their application forms processed. Now in JIT "Waiting" is an unproductive act and thus a "waste". So this waste needed to be minimised, if not eliminated. Here one can simplify the process from accepting the application to making the payments by identifying and eliminating the "non value adding" steps involved. Also certain steps could be combined or isolated and further simplifying the process. (Usually students obtain the pay slip from the counter and pay the Cashier at some other location and come back to counter to produce the receipt. This particular transportation of pay slip and receipt is a "waste" as it is non value adding and needed to be minimised or eliminated.) After addressing those few snags the process will be more efficient and bring lot of satisfaction to the customer (student) as it saves time and effort. Further saving can be done in both customers and clerk's time and effort by reviewing the application form and data entry procedures and removing non value adding items to make it more efficient.




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