Raw materials are procured from suppliers, processed through the manufacturing facility and distributed to customers. While these steps describe nearly every manufacturing scenario, some nuances differentiate manufacturing processes. Two standard manufacturing systems are synchronous and Just-in-Time (JIT).

There are many similarities between synchronous and JIT manufacturing. Both methods are “lean manufacturing” systems. They focus on eliminating waste by decreasing unnecessary inventory that does not add value. A vital aspect of both systems is reducing the time between order placement and product delivery.

The following explains these two systems in more detail and compares JIT versus synchronous manufacturing.


As the name implies, synchronous manufacturing focuses on the entire manufacturing process working together. Manufacturers must coordinate resources and processes to work in harmony. Efficient use of resources is key to a successful synchronous manufacturing process.

Metrics are often based on total system performance as opposed to individual unit or equipment contributions. The goal is to optimize performance across the entire system.


Similar to other lean manufacturing practices, synchronous manufacturing aims to reduce waste. It also looks to decrease costs and cut time to market.

Synchronous systems use a first-in, first-out approach where machines and workers process orders in the same order as placed. Demand and orders determine production instead of forecasted future demand.

For this reason, workers can closely manage inventory and target individual waste areas for improvement. Optimal storage and inventory are critical benefits of synchronous systems, as manufacturers can significantly reduce operations costs.


JIT production focuses on sourcing raw materials at the time of production for use according to a manufacturing schedule. The key is to have the right materials and products in the right quantity where and when needed. The aim is to produce only the required volume at the right time.

The JIT approach reduces the level of inventory necessary as well as the duration of storage. This leads to less inventory sitting on shelves, translating to more organized and efficient manufacturing and lower OEM costs.


Similar to synchronous manufacturing, order placement triggers when assemblies move into the production line. This keeps raw material and final product levels low to reduce waste on surplus inventory and avoid overproduction.

Additional benefits of JIT manufacturing include enhanced production efficiencies and reduced lead times.


JIT systems are very responsive to consumer demand and can often accommodate last-minute changes to orders. JIT processes offer tremendous benefits – but this method demands attention to detail. It is usually considered more rigid than synchronous methods.

Manufacturers only have raw materials and other necessary supplies delivered to the production line when needed. JIT production requires a precisely planned schedule and flow of resources through the manufacturing process.

However, JIT manufacturing leaves little room for errors or delays. Suppliers must deliver on time to realize benefits and there are no supply chain disruptions. When appropriately executed, JIT manufacturing provides benefits that often outweigh synchronous systems.

About RiverSide Integrated Solutions

RIS is an advanced contract manufacturer providing robust solutions in circuit board assembly and product assembly. We employ more than 350 people and provide services to OEMs worldwide. We operate two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities within the US.

With all of the choices in contract manufacturers out there, we know it can be challenging to find someone who understands your business model and has your best intentions in mind. RIS has always proven to be a win-win-focused relationship.

As your one-stop shop, we have the capabilities, capacity, quality assurance standards and resources to support all of your manufacturing needs. We understand that supply chain management is complex and very time-consuming, so we urge our customers to utilize us in the fullest capacity.

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Contact us today at (507) 523-3220 to see how we can help with your manufacturing project, or click contact us for a quote.

Just In Time vs Synchronous Manufacturing
Article Name
Just In Time vs Synchronous Manufacturing
A comparison of just in time vs. synchronous manufacturing systems that each offer reduced inventory and faster time to market.
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RiverSide Integrated Solutions
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