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INDIANAPOLIS-Just-in-time inventory systems may not be destined to be replaced by “just-in-case” alternatives after all, suggest Duke Realty Corp. officials, who oversee 72.8 million sf of industrial space, primarily throughout the Midwest and Southeast. Just-in-time’s possible demise was suggested by industrial experts shortly after the Sept.11 terrorist attacks on the US.

“This just-in-time has been nothing but a boon for industrial space needs,” says Chairman and CEO Thomas L. Hefner. “The logistics guy is an equal partner now with the manufacturing person.”

Adds Midwest regional executive vice president William E. Linville III, “I don’t think anything will change that. Corporations are very bought into the decision, that they can do it less expensively under this model.”

However, Hefner cautions it is premature to draw sweeping conclusions less than two months after the US at large was shaken and corporations were thrown into various states of confusion. He also sees some merit to the “just-in-case” argument.

“When you have to shut down a whole plant because you can’t get a piece or a part, they’re not going to let that happen again,” Hefner explains.

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