JIT (Just in Time) production concepts originated with the Japanese. JIT is a philosophy focusing on the elimination of waste in and management or production system. This waste can be in any form, waste materials, wasted effort, lost time though inefficient processes, etc. One area where waste is eliminated is in the movement of work in process in a manufacturing system where material is pulled through by demand from the next step in the process, thus production is limited to the needs of the next step or internal customer in the system. The technique called KANBAN is run by using a series of signals which tell production when to reorder inventory. This historically can be as simple as a product missing from the shelf or an empty container or can be signalled by use of a card or indicator.
JIT was first developed by Toyota, but is now in used in most manufacturing industry.