Just-in-time (JIT) delivery systems have been a hallmark of post-Fordist production. This chapter notes that JIT is a ‘soft’ technology that consists of procedures and processes. Japanese in origin, it has become widely deployed. The chapter examines its applicability in other contexts, unpacking the issue of whether its adoption is spatially homogeneous or not. Next it turns to the question of whether JIT promotes the clustering of firms, in part because vertically disintegrated production complexes deploy it extensively. Finally, it compares the adoption of JIT with other technologies, such as CAD/CAM systems.
This chapter presents an empirical analysis of the relation between location characteristics and productivity using Spanish firm-level data. Both urban agglomeration and better transport accessibility can provide firms with access to denser and larger markets, and thus help firms to improve efficiency and increase productivity. The analysis distinguishes different location characteristics at the spatially detailed level of municipalities: local population size, local population density, and access to markets in other locations captured through a transport infrastructure-based market potential measure. The results show a significant positive productivity effect of all three location characteristics tested. However, at the geographically detailed level of municipalities, location measures based on transport accessibility better capture the benefits of location.