The Toyota Production System uses Kanban to “Pull”, Therefore Improving Their Production System and Supporting Lean Production
Kanban is Toyota’s Pull System, It was designed by reconceiving production by looking at production flow in reverse. The downstream process uses kanban to request from the upstream process.
It enabled Lean Production, replacing Mass Production,
Kanban and Lean Production allows Toyota to:
- Firstly, Minimize Inventory,
- Above all, Assign all workers as Quality Assurance Inspectors to reduce defects,
- Build cars based on customer orders,
- Reduce Lead Times,
- Certainly, Increase Productivity,
- Reduce floor space requirements,
- Improve on-time delivery,
- increase stock turnover,
- Decrease scrap waste, and
- Increase Financial Performance.
Kanban or an Extremely Flexible “Pull” System
Push, Pull, and Flow represents how processes connect to each other. Push is department focused and production is based on speculated orders. “Pull” is Above All, based on customer orders, and is Value Stream based. Flow, the most ideal connection, happens when the upstream and downstream processes complete their tasks at the same time.
If you intend to implement “Pull“, it is best done in an area of Flow.
Toyota took 12 years to implement kanban and Lean Production throughout their system. It should not take you that long. Toyota was designing it as they went.
“Pull” is more temperamental than the go-for-broke, Push system. Production Leveling improves “Pull” operations. The good news is that there are some relatively easy ways to Production Level.
How Kanban Works With Toyota’s Suppliers
Kanban is a fine integration with Toyota’s strategic suppliers. Toyota carries just 2 hours of supplier inventory. This means that suppliers resupply Toyota every 2 hours. Let’s look at this in more detail.
- Toyota builds about 375 cars every 2 hours,
- Each car is comprised of about 30,000 parts,
- Toyota uses supplier parts in about 35% of its cars,
- This means that Toyota stores 3,937,500 parts.
This is one of the complexities of car manufacturing. If they have to manage about 4,000,000 parts every 2 hours, think what they would have to manage in 4 hours, 8 hours, or 40 hours. Also, think about the extra inventory cost of more than 2 hours.