An iPod’s quick journey from China marks arrival of the just-in-time global economy


An iPod's quick journey from China marks arrival of the just-in-time global economy

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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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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