Demand Driven Manufacturing

Just when you were getting the hang of J.I.T, somes this.

Unlike just-in-time manufacturing — a waste-reduction effort that typically foists inventory risk onto suppliers — demand-driven manufacturing requires a tricky integration of complex computer systems all along the cash-conversion cycle. Point-of-sale data must be funneled into purchase-order systems, which then trigger procurement programs, which eventually push data into supplier portals. In a sense, products become bytes of data. Notes Andy Carlson, vice president of product marketing at business-software maker PeopleSoft Inc.: "Companies are replacing inventory with information from customers and vendors."

It sounds difficult to manage, but if it can increase efficiency, someone will take on the challenge.