This is thought-provoking, at least in the way that the terms “lean” and “JIT” are thrown around. You might question if it’s “lean” to build products half way around the world from your customers, but with products that are cheap to ship via air and with the reliability of FedEx, maybe we have to re-think that.
It’s interesting to me to think about the difference between automotive, with long product lifecycles, and electronics, with much faster cycles. Is Dell, mentioned in this article as an example of “lean”, “lean” because they are incrediby responsive and flexible or are they merely pushing inventory back on suppliers and not being lean throughout the supply chain? Is Apple being “lean” through these practices? What do you think?
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