How is Kanban used in production control?

One of the biggest types of waste for many companies is producing to much of a particular product. When this is done, the company will need to either store all the products in a warehouse until they can be sold, sell them at a significant discount (or even a loss), or simply put them in the trash. None of these are good options, and will cost a lot of money. At its core, this is a problem related to production control, and is how most manufacturing companies ran for quite a long time, until better options such as Kanban were developed.

Let the Customer Pull Production

Rather than producing products with the expectation that customers will buy them, Kanban uses a system where the customers actually trigger the creation of products. This means that a facility won’t start making any products until after the customer has made an order. The facility then doesn’t have to worry about how they will sell or store the products since they will immediately be delivered to the customer as soon as they are completed.

Rapid Completion of Products

Kanban facilities also work on one product until it is completed rather than having many different orders at various levels of progress. This allows a facility to complete a specific order as quickly as possible, which will help to please the customers. In addition to customer satisfaction, however, it also improves the production control of each item since there will be much less time where the products are being worked on, but not yet completed. Minimizing this period of time will cut back on the risk that a customer will cancel or change an order while the products are already half way through the workflow process.

Continuous Improvement

Having a facility focus on continuously improving the way things are done will help to streamline the production process. The better a facility operates, the better their production control system will be. Each employee should be constantly looking out for ways to improve both in their area of responsibility, and with all other aspects of the production process. In the end, this will help to achieve proper production control, and offer many other benefits as well.

 

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Additional Resources

Kanban Guide
 
Lean Manufacturing Powerpoint
 
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