How can Kanban help with cutting down waste?

Kanban is a very popular scheduling and organization system that is used in manufacturing and other industries. It provides a variety of different benefits, including the reduction of waste. Understanding more about how Kanban works will help to illustrate how it can help with waste reduction in your facility.

Just in Time

Kanban uses the just-in-time strategies, which mean that parts or products should arrive where they are needed ‘just in time’ to be used, to the extent possible. In most cases, this means keeping a dramatically reduced number of different items in inventory where they could get lost, damaged, or go out of date. By using the strategies involved with just in time, there is far less risk of having to dispose of the extra parts, which is very wasteful.

Pull Strategies

Similar to the just in time strategy, allowing the customers to ‘pull’ the products through the production process is much more efficient than creating them and hoping the customers will buy. This will reduce the need to store products in a warehouse where they can go down in value or get damaged. Of course, paying for the warehousing space is also going to be wasteful if it isn’t necessary, which is the case using Kanban.

Continuous Improvement

One of the biggest ways that Kanban can help to eliminate waste is by focusing on continuous improvement. By always looking for ways to improve procedures and process in the workplace, it is easy to discover different types of waste that occur along the way and find ways to get rid of them. Over time, this can lead to the elimination of a wide-range of different types of waste from the workplace.

All Types of Waste

One of the biggest ways that Kanban can cut down waste is by looking for all types of waste that can exist in the process where it is being used. This includes things like wasted time, wasted movement, wasted energy, and much more. Even down to looking at any scraps or damaged parts that are produced. Anything that fails to provide value to the customer (and can be charged for) can be identified as waste and efforts can be made to eliminate it.

Works in All Industries

While Kanban is best known in the manufacturing industry, it is used in virtually every industry out there. Finding ways to improve scheduling and manage workflow is important in all environments, which is why Kanban is so successful. No matter what type of work environment it is used in, Kanban can help to identify and eliminate waste.


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