If you manage inventory, you probably use MRPII, a system based on a push method that embraces work and purchase order execution. MRPII helps you plan and integrate data relevant to your entire organization. But, when you have shifts in demand, you have to: 1) Realign and cancel hundreds of open manufacturing and purchase orders, and then 2) issue new orders.
Another system, kanban, is designed specifically to replenish inventory in just-in-time manufacturing. As consumption occurs, the kanban manual system triggers replenishment signals to the source of supply, so that both production and the supplier are constantly reacting to actual consumption. Compared to MRPII, kanban lowers inventory and minimizes shortages. But the manual process of recalculating every part number by hand, and triggering replenishment by faxing or calling suppliers, is time consuming and non-value-adding.
Automating kanban by blending the planning strength of MRPII with manual kanban pull methods enhances your flexibility and competitive position.
MRP's forward projection capability is used to:
Before moving in this direction, preparatory work is required. Work cells should be constructed with material located at the point of use. Container options and transportation methods need to be selected, kanban lot size calculations, and work cell staffing modules to develop. This book will help you deal with these and other topics. You will be able to take advantage of the author's expertise in the design, implementation and evaluation of these systems.
"Bell Industries, as a supplier, went on the automated kanban system initiated by Raymond Lewis. We found it beneficial from our perspective as it (1) gave us projected visibility to procure our supplies, (2) freed our personnel from manual phone order process, (3) provided consistent releases enhancing our inventory turns, and (4) increased our business levels through the OEM's consolidation of suppliers."
Khamis Refai, General Manager, Bell Industries 04/05/05
"The automated kanban system that Raymond Lewis designed and implemented at Coherent Auburn Group has resulted in significant cost savings."
Robert Gelber, President, Coherent Auburn Group 04/05/05