By following the 10 steps listed below, you can reasonably expect to
implement kanban replenishment in a small pilot area
of your plant in
120 days and be able to see tangible, bottom-line
Step 1: Have an on-site assessment made. Understand
the kanban replenishment process and the application to your
Identify the pilot area and select the pilot implementation
team. Develop a preliminary list of paybacks.
Step 2: Obtain the necessary implementation
materials. These would
for education and training
of the pilot area
planning data for the pilot parts:
set up times
Step 3: Educate the implementation team.
Step 4: Develop a detailed implementation plan—who
will do what
when it will be done. This is a lengthy step. It is important to
deliberate haste here, but, do take the time to do it correctly.
Create a process flow chart.
Determine the material flow for the selected area.
Select the kanban system to control production.
Select the kanban system to control replenishment.
Establish kanban quantities and process balances.
Identify material for point-of-use storage.
Choose performance measures.
Establish performance objectives:
rules for sharing common equipment.
Review maintenance schedules.
Develop interfaces to existing systems.
Define the points of material deduction.
Define procedures for handling engineering changes.
Define labor collection procedures.
Design the kanban cards (signaling system).
Produce/procure the kanban cards.
Define the procedure to "bleed off" excess inventory.
Step 5: Begin "bleeding off' excess inventories.
Step 6: Implement kanban controls for all material
processes in the pilot area.
Step 7: Begin to selectively reduce the number of
Monitor and display performance measures.
Conduct daily production meetings in the pilot area.
Step 8: Educate the pilot implementation team, and
the total quality control problem-solving process called PDCA
Step 9: Implement the PDCA problem-solving process.
Step 10: Evaluate the results of the implementation.
Begin to make
to migrate the kanban process to the next pilot area.
After 120 days from the beginning of step 1, you should reasonably
expect to find for the pilot area that
The use of purchase orders has been eliminated.
The use of shop orders has been eliminated.
Labor collection is now being done on an exception
There will be more material stored at the point of
Lead time has been reduced by 40 to 90 percent.
Raw materials and WIP inventory has been reduced by
30 to 70
Floor space has been reduced by 40 to 70 percent.
Shortages have been reduced by 40 to 90 percent.
Kanban replenishment is a simple, efficient, and highly visible way
to authorize production and/or shipment of both purchased and
material without the use of hard-copy purchase orders and shop
orders. Placing a limit on the number of kanbans will
set an upper limit
on the total amount of inventory in the system.
Gradually reducing the
number of kanbans will expose and prioritize
constraints to achieving higher velocities.
Kanbans are good because they make waste highly
it once was hidden. Ultimately, of course, kanbans
are bad because
kanbans are inventory and that inventory sitting idle is waste—even
may be necessary waste.
The intent of rule 3 (eliminate a kanban from the
is to drive out all the waste—which would mean to eliminate all
kanbans. The objective of every operation becomes to
economically respond to its
customers' requirements within their own lead time and
with no inventory (kanbans) at
all. Now this may seem to be Utopian at
first, and it is true that we
may never be able to reach that waste-free
operation in some of our
processes. Each waste reduction, however, no matter how small
results in fewer potential defects, lower costs, and increased
responsiveness—both for now and for the future!