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Kanban and Manufacturing Organization

Wed Jul 16 2014
A Kanban system, which is a way to help organize workflows, is an essential manufacturing process. Not only does it prioritize things for employees, but it puts a clear focus and emphasis on what needs to be done and will help unveil problems that those in charge may not have had a clear understanding of before. In any industry, it's all about delivery, and especially with manufacturing, a Kanban system is key.

At Magnatag, our manufacturing floor is one of the main components of what we do. Each and every day, our products are made and shipped out to our customers in a process that is controlled, concise, and effective, and a big reason for this has to do with our Kanban systems. With all of that said, if you aren't yet taking advantage of this, understand two things - this type of system will revolutionize your manufacturing organization system, and it can be done very conveniently on a whiteboard.

Here are a few ways in which Kanban systems can be effective:
  1. Monitor how everything is flowing: It's important to have a clear understanding of how a task needs to be accomplished, right? With something like a Next-Job Kanban-CardView System, you can break down the process into individual color-coded categories, allowing you to carefully monitor what needs to be done, what's currently in ongoing development, and what is completed, among other things. By monitoring the workflow like this, you will be able to move tasks into different categories, and this will help with organization. By utilizing this type of system as part of your company's Kanban system for manufacturing, everything will be clearly laid out for everyone so that everyone is on the same page. Communication is important!
  2. Keep track of your inventory: Keeping tabs on your inventory on a consistent basis is a key element of any manufacturing unit within a company. With something like an On-Hand Kanban CardView Board system with color coded Kanban cards, you can keep track of what inventory is currently available and in stock, what's currently being produced, and what's already been shipped out the door.  It warns operators of impending material shortages and overstocks.  Perhaps the best part of this whiteboard, in terms of your company's manufacturing process and Kanban system, is that you can customize this type of system your liking, to fit your particular style.
  3. Collaborate with one another: While a Kanban system will drastically improve the manufacturing process at your company, nothing is ever completely perfect, which is why collaboration among you and your peers is always very important. Even with a traditional magnetic dry-erase board, you can brainstorm with your colleagues much easier. What are the glaring problems with your process, if any at all? If there aren't any, how can you still improve? With a whiteboard like this, you can look at the Kanban system that is being implemented into your manufacturing process, and your manufacturing process as a whole, and work together to figure out how to make improvements.

Do you have any experience with Kanban systems? What do you find to be the biggest benefit?

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