Just in time production

Let me remind people about Just in time (JIT). I have run JIT systems for a UK factory. Our complex supply chain included components coming in from non EU sources as well as from EU sources. There were no special problems with the non EU components. The supply chain included components coming long distance by sea. Every JIT supply chain manager makes allowance for transport problems, and builds in usual delays that can come from traffic jams, bad weather at sea, delayed flights and the rest. The UK supply chain from the continent is more prone to delays from traffic congestion and road accidents than from port delays. The government should do more to improve transport capacity on our road system to assist Just in Time manufacturing. If we leave with no deal and impose customs duties these can be collected electronically without extra delay at the port. As Next has made clear in its recent Brexit statement, currently in the EU exporters selling more than £250,000 into the rest of the EU a year and importers buying more than £1.5m a year from the EU already have to complete a full Intrastat form, which is very similar to the detail needed for a customs form, so when we leave if we leave with customs dues these can draw electronically on the same information without added time and cost. All Authorised Economic Operators importing and exporting can and do settle customs electronically away from the border, as they settle VAT today on trade within the EU.


  1. Adam
    September 30, 2018

    Remainers should absorb the knowledge just in time to prevent their pathetic panic.

    1. Tsclose
      September 30, 2018

      No. Let them panic. They are now anyway. Too early for them.

  2. Alan Jutson
    September 30, 2018

    Given the fact that we are leaving the EU and imports and exports need to be handled efficiently, you would think the Government would speed up roadworks scheme’s.

    Coming back from France only a couple of weeks ago the M20 had 30 miles of continuous barriers to so called road works with two narrow lanes with a speed restriction of 50mph from Dover.

    We went through such works at 5.00pm and did not see a single soul even present, let alone working.
    Notice on the motorway, expect works to last until May 2020.

    WHY !

    1. libertarian
      September 30, 2018


      Because Highways England are the worst Quango of the lot. Those of us that have to put up with this every day know why productivity is low in the UK. By the way the roadworks are caused because they cut down all the trees alongside the M20 the local residents complained of road noise, so they are installing “smart motorway” to deaden the noise !!!

      1. Alan Jutson
        September 30, 2018


        Not another smart Motorway with so called refuges (breakdown areas) at two Km intervals.

        Some drivers I know are terrified of breaking down in a live lane, with not even enough room to pull over onto the grass, as barriers stop you doing exactly that.

        Only ever broken down twice on a motorway in 50 years driving, one a front blow out when in the outside lane, managed to get across the other two lanes to the hard shoulder (indicating at the same time) with no problem.

        Once an electrical failure (alternator failure) which caused complete loss of power, so again had to drift across to the hard shoulder, Signalling/Hazards not possible as no electrics.

        On neither occasion could I have made it to a refuge !!!!

        A disaster waiting to happen.

    2. G Wilson
      September 30, 2018

      I see so many pointless roadworks around Lincoln, I have become convinced it’s a make-work scheme. Men are almost literally digging holes to fill them back in.

    3. Daniel Thomas
      October 1, 2018

      Maybe its time to resurrect John Majors’ cones hotline

  3. Stred
    September 30, 2018

    The question is whether May, Hammond and Clarke have stopped the civil service producing the necessary forms. Surely, these will be the same as forms used when aircraft and car manufacturers import components from the US, Canada, China, Japan etc

  4. Lifelogic
    September 30, 2018


    It is true that the EU and governments in general can and usually do great damage business efficiency, but they can do this even better if we are in the EU and under EU courts. It is not in the interests of the 27 to do this. Let us hope that the self interests of the 27 prevails. I am sure it will after a few bumps in the road.

  5. Helena
    September 30, 2018

    Every post you write nowadays is an increasingly shrill claim that leaving the EU is so very easy, and that nothing need change. The reality all around us proves the exact opposite. It’s all going wrong, isn’t it? The EU, not the UK, holds all the cards, there is not even one single trade deal agreed, never mind signed, with the important econnomies round the world whose deals with the EU we lose on Brexit day, and I still wait for that £350 million for the NHS. Every promise you leavers made is false. No wonder you are so obviously in panic

    Reply I am neither shrill nor in panic! We have legislated to just leave in March 2019 – that is now the will of Parliament as well as of the people – and I am looking forward to it.

    1. libertarian
      September 30, 2018


      You just make yourself look even sillier than you are, and you are very silly. You’ve just been told for the nth time by those of us that ACTUALLY EXPORT , that ACTUALLY run JIT systems that there is no problem using the technology thats been in place for more than 20 years. Then of course you give the game away entirely when you say we haven’t signed any new trade agreements. Even YOU know why that is , so stop posting it.

      You might also want to check the last budget commitment made re NHS spending

      etc ed

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      September 30, 2018

      Somehow these false claims of fire and brimstone awaiting us have to be countered by common sense. It’s so easy to frighten people with sky is falling in stories, when careful thought and analysis shows that the sky’s never fallen in and never will.

    3. G Wilson
      September 30, 2018

      If you had a case, you wouldn’t need to be inventing claims that aren’t in the post above. Several things are listed that should change. At no point is the term “very easy” used.

      Wasting all that money on “our” NHS is in the budget, for about the time we get stop shipping cash to the EU.

      The Leave campaigns didn’t make “promises”. That would be a task for a general election manifesto. On the other hand, the Remain campaigns made plenty of predictions that have since been falsified.

      Do please try to distinguish real from made up.

    4. Richard1
      September 30, 2018

      It has always been clear that trade deals cannot be negotiated, still less signed, whilst a country is in the EU. I really don’t know why you go on repeating this, it simply undermines the case you make.

    5. Fedupsoutherner
      September 30, 2018

      What an ill informed post from you yet again Helena. We cannot complete trade deals with the rest of the world until we actually leave. You Remainders are making that harder and note difficult. The money prised on the side of the bus was also for when we leave. I despair. You don’t seem to be taking information in at all.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        September 30, 2018

        Apologies for the mistakes in my last post. Cat on my lap nudging for attention.

    6. Dennis
      September 30, 2018

      Helena – you wrote -‘I still wait for that £350 million for the NHS. Every promise you leavers made is false. ‘

      How many times do you need to be told that there was no promise, guarantee, pledge to spend a single penny of the £350m in the NHS. It was a suggestion as in ‘ let’s have fish and chips tonight’ – what are the answers to this?

      Also we are still in the EU so your statement is false.

      1. Simon Coleman
        September 30, 2018

        It was delivered in a manner that many people took to be a promise. 350M emblazoned on the side of a bus touring the country. Of course it amounted to a promise. Johnson and co made it up as they went along but their promises will return to haunt them.

    7. margaret howard
      September 30, 2018


      In your rely to Helena you have answered none of her points except to say you are neither shrill nor in a panic.

      You didn’t even address her claim that “Its all going wrong, isn’t it?”
      but claim once again that ‘it’s the will of the people’

      17m people have voted leave against 16m remain out of a population of over 65m

      Not even our local golf club would allow such a system to be used to decide the appointment of its president

      The referendum was a huge mistake undertaken for purely selfish political reasons by Cameron. It has split the country


      1. Helen Smith
        September 30, 2018

        As you well know he has replied to Helena many, many times, she just isn’t listening.

        It is not ‘all going wrong’ is it, it must be galling for you but FDI continues to increase and unemployment continues to fall, as does the deficit.

        How can we allocate any extra funds to the NHS when we are still in the EU and paying them £350m gross a week? How can we negotiate, let alone sign, FTAs when the EU expressly forbids doing so, are you advocating that we break their rules?

    8. Helen Smith
      September 30, 2018

      Strewth, some one is shrill, but it is not our host.

      Frankly I look around me and cannot see anything ‘going wrong’ that could not be righted by putting someone with a better brain and belief in Brexit in No. 10.

  6. Geoff not Hoon
    September 30, 2018

    As someone very much involved in our hosts PLC at the time I can vouch for all he says about JIT operations. It was almost early days ‘back then’ but by golly it worked remarkably well. The sad thing now though is that not one of the major by road carriers is British.

  7. BOF
    September 30, 2018

    Thank you John for your calm reasoned explanation for the doubters of how JIT works. Also in your other post today, how it does not necessarily work for the customer, which of course means that the manufacturer is not nearly as efficient as they claim.

    This should of course come from the Government to counter the wild scare stories of the manufacturers. Perhaps the Government approves or has even instigated these stories, otherwise everything you have written here today would be headlines on the front pages of national dailies quoting Ministers.

  8. Geoff not Hoon
    September 30, 2018

    Perhaps the most important point I didn’t make is that where there is a will there is a way. So often competitive spirit and a desire to be the best took care of problems that arose. These days that simple objective seems to be missing or bound up in yards of red tape putting people off even trying.

  9. old salt
    September 30, 2018

    Helena – With respect the wording on the side of the bus read – “We send the EU £50 million a day let’s fund our NHS instead” So where is the “promise” you refer to unless you consider a suggestion to be a promise?

  10. Sam Duncan
    September 30, 2018

    “ currently in the EU exporters selling more than £250,000 into the rest of the EU a year and importers buying more than £1.5m a year from the EU already have to complete a full Intrastat form”

    Thank you! I’d heard so little of this during the recent arguments over borders that I was beginning to wonder if it still existed. I remember some businesses back in the ’90s complaining that Intrastat was actually more onerous than customs. The customs-union-or-bust mob seem to think trading goods between EU states is as simple as shoving them in a truck and sending them on their way.

  11. pauldirac
    September 30, 2018

    Just wanted to add to the JIT panic debate.
    JIT production is based on the knowledge of component’s trip time from place of production to place of usage.
    IF we experience systemic delays in part deliveries all the manufacturers have to do is put the new longer time into the JIT program, this would simply mean that the longer delivery parts would be ordered sooner, so that the longer delivery time is taken into account, it’s as simple as that.
    There may be an initial delay (until the new delivery time become known), but JIT as a production methodology has no problem in adjusting.

    Note that all this “project fear 3” never mentions the FACT that Airbus wings are produced in England and if the EU is pigheaded about this they will have to sele wingless airplanes.
    Not to mention Spain, France and Italy which will blow a fuse if the agri-business comes to a sudden stop.
    We should leave without paying anything to the EU and certainly we must not agree to that Machiavellian clause the “backstop”.

  12. Peter Davies
    September 30, 2018

    I’ve just been shown a guardian article from 2011 stating how Honda production had to be cut in Swindon after their tsunami as the Jit parts supply chain from Japan was effected.

    This validates what you say

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