Survey: Automakers Reevaluating Lean, Moving Away from Just-In-Time

March 29, 2023

just-in-case-manufacturing-automotiveA new survey commissioned by ABB Robotics reveals that supply-chain disruption and rising material costs has executives at automotive OEMs and their suppliers reevaluating their lean-manufacturing principles, shifting from just-in-time to just-in-case strategies.  Manufacturers are holding more stock to protect against unplanned disruptions, finds the survey, produced in partnership with Automotive Manufacturing Solutions magazine. 

When asked to select their top three challenges, 62 percent of survey respondents cited ongoing supply-chain concerns, while 41 percent cited the impacts of material and component-price increases; 31 percent pointed to growing labor costs and shortages.

Specifically, when questioned about labor and skill, 56 percent cited specific skills shortages as concerns, 48 percent believe that new skill sets are required, 35 percent believe there’s a lack of education, training and qualifications, and 29 percent express concern over uncompetitive pay and working conditions.

When asked how significantly various technologies will change the industry, 50 percent of respondents view digitalization and data management as extremely significant, 43 percent say the same about automation and robotics, and 39 percent of respondents view modular and flexible manufacturing  as extremely significant.

And when it comes to electrification, asked how realistic it is for the industry to shift to 100-percent electric-vehicle production by the target dates, ranging from 2030-2040:

  • 11 percent answered, “yes, definitely.”
  • 28 percent answered, “yes, but it won’t be easy.” 
  • 41 percent said, “possibly, but not by the target dates.”
  • 18 percent answered, “I don’t see this happening, ever.”  

The survey also reveals how manufacturers have resorted to increased stock holding and bulk material purchasing to limit their exposure to disruption elsewhere in the supply chain, while working with a wider network of suppliers to ensure sufficient availability of parts.


See also: ABB Press Automation Solutions

Technologies: Management


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Mike M. WED, APR 26, 2023 @ 5:08 PM

Blind adherence to any set of principles, Lean included, is not wise. But in progressing from blind adherence to thoughtful application pause to consider things like FIFO (first in, first out) is still better than FISH (first in, still here)

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