Who uses the Kanban system?

When talking about Kanban, most people first think about the manufacturing industry. This makes sense given the fact that it really got its start with the Toyota Motor Company, where it helped to increase the efficiency and decrease waste while making vehicles. Today, however, people in just about every industry can benefit from the advantages of Kanban. Looking at who uses the Kanban system is a great way to help determine if it is a good option for you.

Manufacturing

As mentioned above, the manufacturing industry is where Kanban is best known. This applies to just about every area of manufacturing no matter what is being produced. Implementing the Kanban system will help to streamline production, reduce waste, and ensure all systems are operating efficiently.

Retail

Most retail stores use some form of Kanban to manage their supply chain. Many of them don’t even realize that they are benefiting from the Kanban strategies, but they are. For example, supermarkets will place older products at the front to sell them more quickly, and work to match what they have on hand with the level of demand from customers. This is a staple of the Kanban strategy, and it is very effective at minimizing spoiled food and other waste.

Healthcare

A growing number of facilities in the healthcare industry are turning to Kanban strategies to help improve their results. Hospitals and doctor’s offices, for example, can really benefit from managing the workflow. While it may sound cold and impersonal at first, the reality is that the people coming in for care will receive better and more efficient treatment if the doctors and nurses are able to have them flowing through the different stages of care in a more organized and logical way.

Office Environments

Office environments, and especially project management within these environments, can benefit greatly from Kanban. There is a lot of work that needs to be done, and it is often done in teams. Using Kanban boards and other tools or strategies can really help to eliminate a lot of wasted time and effort from the process.

Effective Everywhere

The reality is, Kanban can be used to help improve workflow in just about every possible industry. By working on continuous improvement and waste elimination, any company can benefit from these strategies.

 

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Additional Resources

Kanban Guide
 
Lean Manufacturing Powerpoint
 
Other FREE Resources:

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