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In this case study of Hillerich & Bradsby Company, Inc. (H&B), the ways in which H&B implemented principle components of Just In Time (JIT) Manufacturing in the production of wooden baseball bats are identified. Various JIT components such as small batch production, a cellular layout, multifunctional workers, reduced set-up times, empowered employees, the kanban system, and supplier partnerships are discussed and applied to H&B productions. An analysis of selected financial ratios indicated that JIT successfully contributed to the maintenance of H&B's production efficiency and market leadership. While the first section of the paper briefly outlines the history of the H&B company, the second section addresses the JIT manufacturing process. Seven principle components associated with the JIT manufacturing process are addressed and applied to H&B's operations. In conclusion the limitations associated with H&B's implementation of the JIT manufacturing process are identified.
Lori K. Miller, Lawrence W. Fielding, and Brenda G. Pitts are with the Department of HPES, and Mahesh Gupta is with the College of Business and Public Administration, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40208.