The Four Principles of Kanban

1/3/20 10:30 AM

When thinking of manufacturing, concepts that come to mind are methodologies such as lean, agile, and Kanban. All of these concepts have tremendously aided modern manufacturing and have allowed manufacturing operations to greatly increase profitability, cut costs, and reduce waste within their facility. Four Principles of Kanban

While there are many manufacturers that believe these concepts are new and are slowly implementing them, these ideas have originated from the 1940s when Toyota began applying these concepts to their automotive manufacturing process. When Toyota began implementing these concepts, they located the four essential principles that were needed to be known in order to adequately utilize this methodology. Therefore, here are the four principles of Kanban within a manufacturing operation. 

The 4 Principles of Kanban 

The four principles pertaining to the Kanban methodology pertain to the following concepts: 

  • Visualize Workflow - Given the origin of the word, it is not necessarily surprising that the first principle of Kanban pertains to visualization. Unlike other business process approaches, Kanban does not proscribe a workflow, it only requires that it be documented in a way that can easily be visualized. In order to begin the Kanban improvement, it is essential to visually map the process as it exist and look for opportunities for improvement. 
  • Limit Work in Progress (WIP) - The entire concept behind Kanban is to move every bit of work efficiently from beginning to end - all the while attempting to reduce waste and cut costs within the process. This will require limiting the amount of working within the pipeline to what can reasonably be managed at a given time. Just like now within the grocery store, inventory is pulled from the back room to the shelf only when the customer demand makes space for it. Work is never pushed forward, which is how bottlenecks are avoided. 
  • Focus on Flow - The third principle pertains to focusing on the flow of production and the process. When the first two principle of Kanban are in place, work will flow freely and will ultimately feel easier. The attention should be emphasized on any interruption in the flow. These represent opportunities for additional visualization and process improvement. 
  • Continuous Improvement - Continuous improvement is the overall goal of Kanban. There should never be an end to the amount of improvement you are able to achieve within a production process - unless you are operating at maximum efficiency. Kanban is never finished and if you are utilizing the methodology - then neither are you. 

A software that can aid with the implementation of Kanban into a manufacturing operation is PlanetTogether’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software. Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software enables manufacturing operations to have thorough insight and visibility pertaining to their production process. This allows the operation to be able to cut costs effectively while also increasing profits. Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software is a must for manufacturers that are seeking to increase overall profitability and eliminate waste from their manufacturing operation. 

Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software 

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software has become a must for modern-day manufacturing operations due to customer demand for increased product mix and fast delivery combined with downward cost pressures. APS can be quickly integrated with a ERP/MRP software to fill gaps where these system lack planning and scheduling flexibility and accuracy. Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) helps planners save time while providing greater agility in updating ever-changing priorities, production schedules, and inventory plans.

  • Create optimized schedules balancing production efficiency and delivery performance
  • Maximize output on bottleneck resources to increase revenue
  • Synchronize supply with demand to reduce inventories
  • Provide company-wide visibility to capacity
  • Enable scenario data-driven decision making

Implementation of Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software will take your manufacturing operations to the next level of production efficiency, taking advantage of the operational data you already have in your ERP.

Related Lean Video

 APS Resources

Topics: Kanban

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