Merely-in-time (JIT) and only-in-case (JIC) are on contrary ends of the inventory philosophy spectrum: One aims for lean operations, the other makes stockpiling a priority. Both are commonly employed in manufacturing and distribution, but any business organisation providing tangible products, such as retail or food and beverage, falls somewhere on the JIT versus JIC curve.

No matter the manufacture, making the most of inventory requires planning and a solid grasp of current and time to come customer demand. In that location are several points about JIT and JIC inventory management that companies should sympathise to successfully carry out either simply-in-instance or just-in-time inventory learning objectives or a combination of both.

Choosing Between 2 Inventory Management Strategies

Companies committed to only-in-time inventory focus on making the supply chain equally lean as possible. It’southward a reactive strategy, where inventory purchasing decisions are based on current conditions.

In dissimilarity, those that prefer a simply-in-case inventory arroyo are proactive. Purchases are made to maintain a healthy stockpile and avert running out of raw materials or work in progress items and slowing or stopping production.

A JIT model is something to aspire to because it aims for a sustainable process, with reliable suppliers and stable demand. JIC is suitable for cases where having adequate inventory is nonnegotiable. JIC companies are oftentimes more than agile and able to respond to sudden demand increases.

For both JIT and JIC, the term “inventory” refers to raw materials and supplies used in product, unfinished items in various stages of the manufacturing procedure and final products.

Examples of unfinished, or work in progress, items include motherboards with CPUs installed that are gear up to have memory modules fastened in the side by side stage of building a laptop.

What is simply-in-time (JIT)?

In inventory management, “just-in-fourth dimension” means having inventory arrive precisely when needed, no sooner. Another way of referring to JIT inventory management is equally a “pull” system. A pull system means supplies are replaced as goods are consumed rather than proactively.

Merely-in-fourth dimension inventory management consists of two core principles:

  • Materials must go far when production is expected to brainstorm.
  • Materials should non go far before production is expected to begin.

These are important distinctions because production can’t become forward without inventory, but the business tin can incur storage costs if the inventory arrives likewise soon.

The goal of a JIT inventory strategy is to remainder production volume with inventory levels and ensure the company keeps but the stock that’s necessary for near-term work on hand. It’s an effective method for attaining loftier product levels with minimal inventory holding and supply costs.

This inventory strategy works best when a company works with reliable suppliers that provide consequent quality, doesn’t experience aircraft disruptions and pens long-term contracts that minimize toll fluctuations.

Ane of the nigh meaning downsides to just-in-time systems is that unexpected supply chain interruptions in any area tin derail the entire process. For instance, a sudden shortage of raw materials or bad weather that slows shipments may accept a dramatic effect on production.

What is only-in-sequence (JIS) vs. only-in-time (JIT)?

Only-in-sequence (JIS) inventory management is a variation on JIT. The main differentiator between just-in-time and simply-in-sequence (JIS) is that JIS ensures inventory arrives in the specific order in which information technology is used in production. JIS is associated with associates lines, such as automotive or large appliance manufacturing, where items arrive at the line position at the time they’re needed.

What is just-in-case (JIC)?

Just-in-case inventory strategies are based on expected sales and crave companies to purchase supplies proactively to meet any level of demand, within divers parameters. Businesses that employ JIC may avoid the furnishings of common inventory management challenges such as supplier delays, unexpected increases in demand or spikes in the cost of a fabric or component.

But-in-case inventory prioritizes preparedness over the cost and greenbacks flow implications of property stock in reserve. It protects businesses from falling behind in production or losing revenue because they couldn’t meet need.

This inventory direction strategy pays off when demand is difficult to predict or a raw cloth or component is field of study to sudden surges in cost or going out of stock. It’s also helpful in environments where suppliers aren’t reliable.

A significant weakness of the JIC method lies in the fact that these systems tin be wasteful if need slows downwards and inventory stagnates. Y’all’re also tying up greenbacks.

Just-in-Time vs. Just-in-Case: Pull vs. Push

Companies use only-in-time inventory to reduce excess supply and create a lean production process, while just-in-example inventory is used to avoid running out of stock due to a sudden increase in demand. Both strategies provide companies with benefits, just in that location are drawbacks, as well.

Just-in-fourth dimension

Only-in-time inventory management optimizes the supply chain, but at that place are caveats.


Just-in-time inventory benefits those with efficient operations and is good for the bottom line. This strategy also prevents overproduction and minimizes ship costs. Other benefits:

Efficient apply of resources:
JIT inventory management reduces the gamble of overordering and having supplies sit idle. This allows the company to divert resources from that inventory to other business concern areas.

Less waste product:
There is less waste as businesses continue just the stock they need for production. That is specially helpful for businesses depending on perishable supplies.

Reduced costs:
Eliminating overbuying reduces supply costs directly since companies merely purchase what they employ immediately. Eradicating stagnant inventory too cuts warehousing expenses, including labor and administration.

Increased agility:
Using JIT reduces the amount of time information technology takes to change over inventory when fluctuations in demand occur or products modify.


Just-in-time inventory direction can increase issues in some cardinal areas. For example, when using JIT, companies order bare minimums of items based on projections. However, if there’s a sudden, unexpected surge in need, in that location may not exist enough products or supplies on-hand. Other downsides:

Supplier stability needed:
The success of a but-in-fourth dimension inventory strategy relies on the timeliness and consistency of suppliers. Nonetheless, companies have little command over supplier operations, and even previously reliable partners can feel disruptions that ultimately cause delays for the receiving company. So at that place are unforeseen shipping delays to consider.

Inability to meet unexpected demand:
The but-in-time inventory method also requires few to no fluctuations in demand. Some variations are predictable and planned for, such as seasonal trends, but unexpected spikes or valleys get in difficult to maintain the necessary stock stability.

Pricing risks:
A JIT strategy can be more expensive than JIC if materials cost less during certain parts of the year, significant stocking up would be prudent. Businesses may also lose out on savings because they don’t take advantage of bulk-buying discounts.


Companies that employ a just-in-instance inventory strategy bask several benefits, but it is not without downsides.


But-in-case inventory management can facilitate growth and profitability in a few ways.

Increased competitiveness:
Companies can keep upward with almost any level of demand, increasing their competitive edge and even boosting marketplace share if they tin can encounter need when a competitor is out of stock.

Fewer lost sales:
With JIC, companies reduce the chance of lost sales due to a lack of inventory. JIC inventory allows companies to proceed production while waiting for stock to be replenished.

More than wiggle room in demand forecasting:
There is less need for precise demand projections because inventory levels are high enough to proceed upwards with demand.

Companies can take advantage of majority discounts or make big purchases when prices are lowest, decreasing directly procurement costs.


Just-in-case doesn’t address all inventory issues and creates a few of its own.

Additional storage costs:
Companies incur more than carrying costs to maintain the excess inventory. These costs can exist high, equaling twenty% to thirty% of total inventory value.

Increased opportunity costs:
Capital is tied up in inventory. That takes flexibility away from other aspects of the business organisation and increases opportunity costs.

Wasted stock:
In that location is an increased risk of stock spoiling or becoming obsolete if items don’t sell. This risk is peculiarly pregnant if the goods are perishable, seasonal or part of a flash-in-the-pan trend.

jit vs jic inventory on netsuite

Just-in-Time vs. Just-in-Case: What’due south the Difference?

Just-in-Case But-in-Time
A “push” organization where inventory purchases are not based on actual electric current demand. A “pull” system where inventory is essentially purchased to order.
Focuses on maximizing flexibility with less business organization for majuscule application. Focuses on minimizing inventory and using upper-case letter efficiently.
Backlog inventory is kept on hand to avoid running out due to supplier delays or need spikes. Inventory is purchased only to meet immediate product or sales needs.
Companies generally make larger, more than expensive inventory orders Less working capital is required considering inventory purchases occur in smaller batches.
Valuable when demand is unpredictable or suppliers are unreliable. Works best when demand is stable and suppliers are highly undecayed.
Need forecasting is less critical as long as there is enough inventory to run across the highest demand. Requires authentic demand forecasts to avoid over- or under-ownership inventory.

Choosing the Correct Strategy for the Correct Fourth dimension: A Hybrid Model

At that place are more cons than pros from hewing strictly to either a JIC or JIT inventory management strategy. In the existent globe, they work best in tandem. Companies that develop a hybrid inventory management model that combines the buffer of merely-in-case inventory with just-in-time’s conservative use of uppercase can have the best of both worlds.

Employing a hybrid system

A standard method of employing a hybrid push-pull inventory system is to accept some stages of the supply chain operate as pull systems while others operate in a push button model. This strategy requires a more authentic demand forecast than a JIC system but doesn’t aim to keep continuing inventory at zero, every bit in JIT systems.

The main objective is to address long- and curt-term product and sales needs by keeping inventory levels low plenty to exist toll-constructive simply high plenty to withstand supplier or product delays or come across increased need.

The outset step is an inventory analysis exercise, where you allocate items as, for instance, vital, essential or desirable and then consider how deficient an item is and how easily you can learn it, as well as the likelihood of spoilage or obsolescence.

Companies can employ JIC inventory for vital, quick-turnover items, ensuring stock is always bachelor but constantly consumed. JIC can as well be helpful for scarce items that are bachelor only from unreliable suppliers or that are often out of stock or have long lead times.

Of course, you might also look to detect a more reliable or backup supplier.

Companies use JIT inventory for less pop items or those that sell in small batches. For case, the customization phase of a personalized t-shirt order would benefit from a JIT approach since there is no need to continue a stockpile of made-to-club items. Nevertheless, a JIC approach should manage the inventory of manifestly t-shirts awaiting printed designs.

Economic order quantity

Knowing how much inventory to purchase is essential to use a push-pull inventory system finer. The economic gild quantity (EOQ) formula helps this hybrid method of inventory management make up one’s mind the optimum amount of stock to purchase.

It’s written as:


“Grand” represents the costs of inventory orders, “M” represents the amount of inventory used in a given period and “H” represents full inventory expenses — including warehousing, depreciation and opportunity costs — inside the same period.

The resulting effigy is the amount of inventory that a visitor should guild.

Manage Your Strategy With Inventory Management Software

Successful companies integrate simply-in-time and just-in-case inventory methods to achieve efficient, agile supply concatenation operations. This strategy creates a buffer allowing for an adequate response to unexpected demand or supplier issues while maintaining a minimal amount of inventory and keeping costs low.

However, ensuring that demand forecasts are authentic and optimizing the supply chain to ensure reliable operations is disquisitional to either arroyo.

Modernistic enterprise resource management (ERP) software supports both JIT and JIC inventory to account for both push and pull. It provides granular and birds-eye views of current inventory levels, inventory in the pipeline and future need. Look for a system tin can as well assemble and analyze supplier, inventory turnover and need data to generate more reliable forecasts.

Agility, cost savings and the ability to meet demand are three pillars of effective inventory management. Getting the residual between JIT and JIC correct tin overcome many challenges, from shifting customer need to express visibility to poor product planning.