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What Is the Kanban Inventory Management System?

Toyota created Kanban in the 1940s to improve production efficiency and minimize waste of raw materials. The Kanban system functions on the basis that a company restocks or replenishes its coffers with materials only when it is needed. This way, you're able to meet customer demands but in a way that isn’t detrimental to your success. When you hear Kanban in the manufacturing industry, you also hear Just In Time (JIT) and Lean manufacturing. While Lean is invested in eliminating wastage in the production process, Just In Time is focused on the production of goods that customers request and in the exact quantity the customer wants. 

How does the Kanban inventory management system work?

The critical function of Kanban is to notify your team about a particular task involved in the inventory management system. It does this by using Kanban cards or any other form you may prefer. These cues are put in place before any process starts to notify the team as soon as possible automatically. There are six major principles that the Kanban inventory management system works with; for you to use Kanban successfully, you need to abide by them as well. They are as follows;

  • Never pass defective products; your consumer must receive only the best. When a product is faulty, do not approve it for delivery to the client. 
  • Take only what’s needed; follow the recipe. Do not take more than what is required for production. This helps curb overproduction.
  • Produce the exact quantity; if the client requests four cans, produce just four cans. This principle reduces cost and cancels out excess inventory.
  • Level the production; there should be a steady rhythm between all processes. It allows every unit to match up with each other.
  • Fine-tune and Optimize the process; even though Kanban works, there are still ways to make sure it works better for you. Keep checking for them and upgrading as you go.
  • Stabilize the process: from receiving consumer requests to liaising with the supplier, managing inventory, producing and checking products; all these processes must be on the same level during every production and each day, maintaining quality and flow.

What are the benefits of the Kanban inventory management system?

The Kanban inventory management system has many benefits. The main advantage is that Kanban is easy to understand and implement; with Kanban, there’s no need for long training sessions. With its fantastic inventory management system, Kanban gives you a firm hand over your storage facilities; this reduces wastage, reducing cost. By meeting the ever-changing customer demand and ensuring that they receive the best products, Kanban increases your company’s credibility with your consumers. 

The benefits of the Kanban inventory management system aren’t limited to those listed above; give Kanban a try and find the rest out for yourself.