TXM Lean Minute – Using Kanban to Connect Processes

In this Lean Minute, TXM UK Senior Lean Consultant, Lee Candy explains the principles behind Kanban to connect processes. This Lean Minute was filmed at Broadfix UK

Read the Video Transcript

One of the requirements of Lean is to link processes together, by doing this you avoid the waste of over production as well as reducing the need to spend excessive amounts of time planning production and figuring out what’s next.

In highly repetitive processes this requirement should be like clockwork, your production planning should work with relatively little thought and planning on the things that just churn repeatedly.

So how do we link processes together? Well one of the tools to do this is through Kanban.

Kanban stands for visual trigger, it’s a tool to replenish only what you just consumed and do it in a visual & easily understood way. In Kanban when one element of a process takes a product from the previous process it signals to that step to make more of what’s just been consumed.

The simplest Kanban is in the form of a visual card. The card displays what the product is and also how much to resupply. Downstream in the process when the product is taken the kanban card is then placed on the supplying process telling them to make more of what’s just been consumed.

there is no discussing out things and figuring things out its a simple visual trigger to show what needs working on next and when.

This concept of kanban allows you to control the amount of work produced between the two processes and therefore links them together. Simple yet very powerful and in the right environment this concept can be used for all your regular moving products and therefore ensures what’s being produced is for only what’s being consumed and no more.

Here are some simple steps to get you started:

1. Identify the products that your business regularly processes.
2. Define how many should be processed every week or day.
3. Create Kanban cards to link into this
4. Use Kanban to control the daily or weekly output rather than forward planning or forecasting
5. By using a well designed Kanban System you will always have the right part in the right place when you need it.

Call us at TXM to find out how you can implement Kanban in your business.

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