In order to reduce costs and increase profits it is important to create an efficient work environment. To increase the efficiency of a warehouse you can implement different methods, such as kaizen, six sigma, lean manufacturing or Kanban. In earlier posts we focused on lean manufacturing, kaizen and six sigma and in this post we will tell you about the advantages of kanban.

kanban

Kanban development is a scheduling system for lean and just-in-time production. With Kanban you are able to control the logistical chain from a production point of view and achieve JIT, which is short for just-in-time manufacturing. This is a methodology aimed primarily at reducing flow times within the production as well as response times from suppliers and to customers.  

Kanban is inspired by lean manufacturing, a systematic method with which you can eliminate waste within your manufacturing process. By using Kanban you’re able to reduce the time spent on production and increase the efficiency and profit of your company. At Jekashop we offer different products which can help you implement the Kanban method by increasing efficiency in the workplace. In our web shop we have products such as floor marking, location signs, barcode labels and platform ladders.

Kanban, an introduction

Literally meaning signboard or billboard in Japanese, Kanban was developed by an industrial engineer at Toyota named Taiichi Ohno. In the late 1940s, car manufacturer Toyota studied supermarkets with the idea of applying shelf-stocking techniques to their factory floor. Supermarkets stock only what they expect to sell within a given time and customers take only what they need at that moment, since future supply is possible. This idea led Toyota to view their production process as a kind of store in which the employees can be seen as customers, retrieving exactly what they need at that given moment. During this process, signboards guide the “shopping” process by indicating specific locations within the work area.

With Kanban production is determined by the actual demand of the customer. When your supply time is lengthy and demand is difficult to predict, the best you can do is respond quickly to the observed demand. This is exactly what the Kanban method does, with which a demand signal immediately travels through the supply chain. That way, stock held in the supply chain is better managed and can be kept smaller.

Taiichi Ohno stated that Kanban must follow strict rules to be effective. Toyota, for example, always maintains six simple rules:

-       No items are made or transported without a Kanban.

-       Processes produce items in the quantity and sequence indicated by Kanban.

-       The next process picks up the number of items indicated by Kanban at the earlier process.

-       Always attach a Kanban to the goods.

-       Defective products are not sent on to the subsequent process. The result is 100% defect-free goods.

-       Reducing the number of Kanban increases the sensitivity.

An important part of the Kanban method are the Kanban cards, which signal the need to move materials within the production process. This Kanban card is a message that signals a decrease in products, parts or materials in inventory. When the Kanban card is received it triggers replenishment of the materials needed. The consumption of materials therefore drives the production, so Kanban cards help create the demand-driven system.  

Kanban at Jekashop

An important part of the Kanban method is increasing the efficiency of a production process by using the exact amount of materials needed. Jekashop provides a range of products which can help create an orderly work environment in which the Kanban method can be easily implemented.

First of all, floor marking can be used to indicate certain areas and paths. With our floor marking you can make sure all your different materials have their rightful place and the routes in your work environment are clear for all the team members working in the warehouse. Thanks to the large variety of colours and shapes Jekashop offers, it is possible to make a distinction between different paths and areas.

Another useful product in the implementation of the Kanban method is the location sign. As you read before, signboards are an important part of Kanban (the word actually meaning signboard) and guide the “shopping” process within the production process. With location signs you can indicate specific locations such as work areas and areas for materials needed. With our variety of colours you will be able to categorise your materials so your employees will easily recognize these materials and “shop” more efficient.

If you have any questions about the implementation of Kanban or our products, don’t hesitate to contact us.