Kanban is a popular inventory control system that has been widely used in various industries. It is a Japanese term that means "signal" or "card," indicating the use of visual signals to trigger the production process. In this post, we will explore the benefits of Kanban and answer six commonly asked questions about this methodology.
Kanban is a pull-based system that helps control inventory levels by signaling when to produce more items. It originated in Toyota's manufacturing plants as part of the Just-In-Time (JIT) approach to production. The system uses visual signals, such as cards or electronic displays, to indicate when a particular item needs to be replenished.
In a typical Kanban system, there are two types of cards: production cards and withdrawal cards. The production card signals that a particular item needs to be produced, while the withdrawal card triggers the release of an order for that item. The number of cards in circulation is determined by the desired inventory level for each item.
Kanban offers several advantages over traditional inventory control systems, including:
Kanban is one of the key tools used in Lean Manufacturing, a philosophy that seeks to eliminate waste and improve efficiency. By using Kanban to control inventory levels, Lean Manufacturing practitioners can ensure that their production processes are streamlined and efficient.
Implementing Kanban requires a thorough understanding of your organization's inventory needs and production processes. There are several steps involved in implementing Kanban, including:
Like any system, Kanban can be prone to errors if not implemented correctly. Some common pitfalls to avoid when using Kanban include:
In conclusion, Kanban is an effective inventory control system that can help organizations improve efficiency, reduce waste, and save costs. By using visual signals to trigger production, organizations can ensure that items are produced only when they are needed, reducing lead times and improving customer satisfaction.