30 Oct 2019

Target Lead Time and Order Quantities – Part 2 of 2

2019-10-27T08:41:31-04:00October 30th, 2019|Categories: Inventory Management, Lead Time Reduction, Lean Manufacturing, Supply Chain|

A vital parameter for developing ideal kanban solutions is Target Lead-Time (TLT). TLT can be thought of as “perfect” lead-time. TLT directly influences Target Minimum Order Quantity (TMQQ) and Target Standard Package Quantity (SPQ)...

27 Oct 2019

Target Lead Time and Order Quantity – Part 1 of 2

2019-10-27T08:21:35-04:00October 27th, 2019|Categories: Inventory Management, Lead Time Reduction, Lean Manufacturing, Supply Chain|

A vital parameter for developing ideal kanban solutions is Target Lead-Time (TLT). TLT can be thought of as “perfect” lead-time. TLT directly influences Target Minimum Order Quantity (TMQQ) and Target Standard Package Quantity (SPQ)...

21 Oct 2019

Inventory Replenishment Sawtooth Curves – Part 4 of 4 – Inventory Balance Formulas

2019-10-14T09:14:20-04:00October 21st, 2019|Categories: Inventory Management, Lead Time Reduction, Lean Manufacturing, Supply Chain|

Designing a truly reliable replenishment plan requires the ability to predict average (middle), maximum (top), and minimum (bottom) on-hand balances (OHBs) with accuracy. Sawtooth curves are a fantastic tool for exploring the differences between various replenishment plans in a visual way. However, graphing and visually analyzing every unique inventory item’s sawtooth curve, is often impractical if not outright impossible. To overcome this limitation, we need formulas!

14 Oct 2019

Inventory Replenishment Sawtooth Curves – Part 3 of 4 – Sawtooth Analysis

2019-10-21T07:28:44-04:00October 14th, 2019|Categories: Inventory Management, Lead Time Reduction, Lean Manufacturing, Supply Chain|

There’s no point to create a sawtooth curve unless we know how to analyze it. In order to effectively analyze sawtooth curves, it’s imperative to familiarize ourselves with a few essential scenarios. In that effort, this post contains a few example sawtooth curves to help better understand how curves reflect...

7 Oct 2019

Inventory Replenishment Sawtooth Curves – Part 2 of 4 – Charting Sawtooth Curves

2019-10-14T07:17:51-04:00October 7th, 2019|Categories: Inventory Management, Lead Time Reduction, Lean Manufacturing, Supply Chain|

Before we can analyze a sawtooth curve, we must understand how to chart one. This requires analysis of 2 factors.

30 Sep 2019

Inventory Replenishment Sawtooth Curves – Part 1 of 4

2019-10-14T06:54:08-04:00September 30th, 2019|Categories: Inventory Management, Lead Time Reduction, Lean Manufacturing, Supply Chain|

All businesses that sell physical goods, must effectively manage inventory. Not carrying enough items can create lost customers and lower revenue, while overstocking items can severely inhibit cash flow. The ultimate objective of inventory managers is to achieve balance between consumption and replenishment...

29 Jul 2019

Inventory Replenishment Management Key Concepts

2019-07-29T08:03:32-04:00July 29th, 2019|Categories: Inventory Management, Lead Time Reduction, Lean Manufacturing, Supply Chain|

One of the most perplexing hurdles to properly implementing Kanban is the array of seemingly complex decisions and calculations that must be conducted in order to ensure your Kanban initiative is lean, effective, and nimble. It’s good to step back see the big picture...

1 Jul 2019

Kanban Deployment Part 6/6 – Break-a-Bin Card Deployment

2019-07-01T10:05:56-04:00July 1st, 2019|Categories: Inventory Management, Lead Time Reduction, Lean Manufacturing, Supply Chain|

This is part 6 of a 6-part step-by-step series on kanban deployment. This article covers specifics of properly deploying kanban cards for inventory items with Break-a-Bin (BaB) replenishment triggering.

Break-a-Bin (BaB) Cards
Deploying the cards for Break-a-Bin (BaB) systems is far easier than it is for Empty-a-Bin (EaB) systems. The main reason for this is that one BaB card always represents a full Kanban Order Quantity (KOQ). For example, if the KOQ is four boxes of 50 items, then every single BaB card will represent 200 items.

To deploy BaB cards, start by sorting your on-hand items into separate quantities equal to the KOQ. Next, pair a kanban card with each full KOQ. If any items remain in an amount less than a full KOQ, these leftover items will not be paired with a card. Finally, just as with EaB, all unassigned BaB cards are scanned and placed on the kanban card to await arrival of the orders they triggered.

Deploying BaB Kanban Cards with Excess Inventory
As with EaB, excess inventory must be given special attention including but not limited to kanban audits, temporary procedures or special exceptions.

For example, typically, BaB cards trigger new orders every time a full KOQ-sized bin of items is opened or “broken”. However, there is an important exception. When you have excess inventory (such as is often the case when first deploying Kanban), a new order should NOT be processed normally for replenishment by the supplier. Instead, items should be replenished from excess inventory until […]

24 Jun 2019

Kanban Deployment Part 5/6 – Empty-a-Bin Card Deployment

2019-06-16T11:50:03-04:00June 24th, 2019|Categories: Inventory Management, Lead Time Reduction, Lean Manufacturing, Supply Chain|

This is part 5 of a 6-part step-by-step series on kanban deployment. This article covers specifics of properly deploying kanban cards for inventory items with Empty-a-Bin (EaB) replenishment triggering.

Empty-a-Bin (EaB) Cards
Empty-a-Bin (EaB) kanban systems are interesting in the way that every single item in stock will get associated with a card during kanban card deployment. Since there are cards that will be associated with a complete Kanban Order Quantity, it might be hard to grasp that items will get assigned to a card even if there are not enough to make a full order. If there are 51 items in stock and the KOQ is 25, that one item gets its own card even though the other two cards each have 25. In fact, a minimum of two cards is needed even if the total on-hand balance is only KOQ + 1.

To distribute these cards, you first need to separate the items that you have on hand into groups that equal the Kanban Order Quantity.

Every full group gets a card, and any partial group will also get a card. Your items may run out before your cards do. You should scan any cards that are left over after giving every item a card. These will trigger more orders, and the scanned cards can be placed on the delivery date on the kanban wall to wait for those items.

You just might end up with the opposite imbalance – having more items on hand than can be distributed […]

16 Jun 2019

Kanban Deployment Part 4/6 – Kanban Card Deployment

2019-06-16T11:53:06-04:00June 16th, 2019|Categories: Inventory Management, Lead Time Reduction, Lean Manufacturing, Supply Chain|

This is part 4 of a 6-part step-by-step series on kanban deployment. In this article and the two that follow we’ll review how to delploy physical kanban cards to best ensure kanban success.

Inventory Items and Kanban Cards
When deploying kanban cards, it’s best to start by taking a step back to see what card deployment looks like. Should you choose to utilize physical kanban cards, it’s good to know that once your kanban program is fully deployed your cards will exist in one of three places:

  1. Cards corresponding with pending orders will be put in standard location specifically designed for pending kanban orders.
  2. Once the kanban order has been placed with the internal or external supplier, the card will be moved to the appropriate due date on the kanban board.
  3. Once your items have arrived, the cards will be put with the ordered quantity at the item’s standard storage location, as designated on the kanban card.

Matching Cards to Orders and Items
While it’s important to be cognizant of the above, to ensure success, when launching your kanban program you should only deploy cards in the following order:

  1. Match kanban cards to open orders.
    Open orders should always be matched with kanban cards first. This is true both for items that are purchased from external suppliers and for items that are manufactured by internal suppliers.Because the physical items are not on location yet, they can’t be physically […]

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