Kanban maintains inventory levels; a signal is sent to produce and deliver a new shipment as material is consumed. These signals are tracked through the replenishment cycle and bring extraordinary visibility to suppliers and buyers.

Kanban is a concept related to Lean or Just In Time (JIT) production, but these two concepts are not the same. The Japanese word “Kanban” is a common everyday term meaning “signboard” or “billboard” and utterly lacks the specialized meaning which this loanword has acquired in English.) According to Taiichi Ohno, the credited with developing JIT, Kanban is a means through which JIT is achieved.

Kanban is a signaling system. As its name suggests, Kanban historically uses cards to signal the need for an item. However, other devices such as plastic markers or balls or an empty part-transport trolley can also be used to trigger the movement, production or supply of a unit in a factory.

It was out of a need to maintain the level of improvements that the Kanban system was devised by Toyota. Kanban became an effective tool to support the running of the production system as a whole. In a addition, it proved to be an excellent way for promoting improvements because restricting the number of Kanban in circulation highlighted problem areas.

With this in mind, it is not surprising that an important determinant of the relative merits of “push” and “pull” production scheduling is the quality of the demand forecast. Kanban is a pull system that determines the supply, or production, according to the actual demand of the customers. In contexts where demand is difficult to forecast the best one can do it to quickly respond to observed demand. This is exactly what a Kanban system does, it acts as a demand signal which immediately propagates through the entire chain. “Push” systems often encounter serious difficulties when demand forecast turn out to be inaccurate. Where the response cannot be quick enough, e.g. significant lost sales/downstream production, then stock building may be appropriate by issuing more Kanban.

This course demystifies the language around Kanban and teaches participants how to implement and use Kanban to simplify decision making in their jobs.  Participants will learn how to determine the correct amounts of inventory to carry out each step in the process and how to clearly signal others regarding what to make, how much of it to make and when to make it by.  All this is accomplished through the use of Kanban.

The course also clears up the confusion about the interface between Kanban and the traditional MRP/ERP systems used in business today.

Program Details
The course duration is one day. The course will consist of a lecture presentation format with open discussion around participant’s particular situations.

Program Objectives

  • Understanding the various types of Kanban used in business.
  • How to use Kanban with a variety of products.
  • How to calculate the correct level of inventory at each stage of operation.
  • Selecting the most effective method of Kanban in different applications.
  • Training others to use Kanban quickly and effectively.

Who Should Attend
The target audience for this course is Owners, Managers, Front Line Supervisors and Lead Hands.

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