Kanban/Pull Systems

1 day or 2 day Workshops / 6 day Implementation

Ironically, while the intent of most organizations is to reduce product flow or material build-up and minimize costs, the result is excess inventory within the facility.  Suppliers sending product that is not needed yet and cost incurred against products with nothing to bill against. To handle the situation, companies think they need extra floor space for storage. Material management uses expeditors to satisfy schedule needs and the company runs overtime to make parts now needed.

A key tool in Lean that enables effective Just-In-Time (JIT) material management is the Pull System. Commonly referred to as a "kanban system", the kanban is actually a single element in the entire system. The Pull System makes JIT possible by transferring the responsibility of JIT from the Materials Management Group to the Production or Operations Group.

Course Description
This workshop will provide participants with an understanding of the pull concept as it applies to both paperwork flow and material control processes.  Participants will learn several pull techniques that can be used for different situtations in the work enviroment. For example, Kanban cards are used when the move-time and the distance between producing and consuming departments are significant.  Physical Kanban such as Kanban squares, or Shelf Reserves are used when the producing and consuming work areas are physically adjacent. For the job shop environment or one-off service provider we will demonstrate a hybrid kanban system, which focuses on the pull between machines producing multiple product types. 


Learning Objective

Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the basic elements for implementing pull
  • Describe what pull does to material control
  • Describe pull and its importance to the organization
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of employees in implementing pull
  • Identify which Kanban system to use
  • Understand a special case of Kanban—one piece flow
  • Understand the grocery store technique – the use of supermarkets
  • Calculate Kanban quantity.


Who Should Attend

Senior Executives, Value Stream Managers, Plant or Operation Managers, Engineers, Administrative Staff, Supervisors, and Shop Floor Employees


Recommended Prerequisites

  - Lean Conversion Overview 

  - Lean Cultural Transformation

  - Lean Performance Measures 


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