In Tech Magazine Profiles e-Kanban
Durham, NC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/13/2006 --Kanban is a visual cue to manufacturers to replenish, said Tom Cutler, president and chief executive of TR Cutler, Inc., a manufacturing marketing firm in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. When a relationship begins between a manufacturer and a supplier, they define a service level agreement. This includes “items such as negotiated lead times, packaged quantities, order receipt confirmations, and advanced shipment notices,” which they need to spell out specifically. “An e-kanban system monitors to make sure each of these service level agreements is being met by the supplier in real time,” he said. “If they’re not, a series of alerts and notifications goes out to all parties. This gives everyone a chance to adjust their behavior to bring performance back in line in real time.”
E-kanban also makes all this real-time information available for historical analysis, Cutler said. It’s available over the internet 24 hours a day, so all parties can see trends in performance. Everyone is aware of late shipments, short shipments, and other supply chain performances, and “these visuals give everyone in the supply chain information about how to focus their energies.”
The old system at Luvata required personnel to send monthly Excel forecasts to the customer service representative, who entered it into the ERP system and re-entered data into the shop floor control system. Daily telephone calls changing order requirements meant the process had to start all over again, sabotaging efficiency in the manufacturing process.
The e-kanban system helps Scott Stringer, operations manager at Luvata’s Franklin, Ky., plant, link the customer’s demand with production efforts. The key is “trying to produce what they really need and streamlining the whole communication effort,” he said. Since it is Web-based, any computer that has access to the Internet can look at the e-kanban levels. So Stringer’s daily routine is, “get my cereal and bring up the Web site to see where the card levels are on the kanban. We’ll link up with customers via a third-party Web site kanban system. A large manufacturing firm will call the third-party company and say it wants the supply base delivered from kanban. Then the large manufacturer brings on one of its suppliers one by one,” he said.
Datacraft Solutions’ Demand Driven Supply Chain Network was profiled in the recent issue of In Tech magazine; the article may be read in its entirety at http://www.isa.org/InTechTemplate.cfm?Section=General_Information2&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=56925.
Electronic inventory management (e-kanban) does more than cut inventory.
Datacraft Solutions (www.datacraftsolutions.com) has experienced significant growth in the past twelve months by eliminating complicated, expensive, time-intensive software implementations as well as extensive training regiments and the need for internal support. The Datacraft Solutions' replenishment supply chain digital kanban lean system allows customers access and fully utilize powerful lean benefits immediately for a low, predictable monthly fee. Services are scalable so manufacturers can design a Demand Driven Supply Chain Network.
Datacraft Solutions specializes in providing their clients with the tools they need to rapidly replace outdated manual systems with technology that speeds process flow and improves accuracy. Datacraft’s premier product, Signum has been developed around the Kanban concept of replenishment, and provides an invaluable tool for manufacturing companies to monitor process flow, lower administrative transaction costs, and improve decision-making ability.