KANBAN (Pull Systems)

Kanban helping in the visual management of stock

KanBan is often seen as a central element of “Lean” manufacturing and is probably the most widely used type of “Pull” signaling system. Kanban stands for Kan- card, Ban- signal and as you probably guessed, is of Japanese origin.

Simply described a “pull” production system controls the flow of work through a factory by only releasing materials into production as the customer demands them i.e. only when they are needed. A “push” system on the other hand would release material into production as customer orders are processed and material becomes available, MRP (Material Requirement Planning / Manufacturing Resource Planning) systems are typically “push” systems. What must be made clear at this point is that Kanban is not a scheduling system but rather a production control system.


Kanban provides a number of benefits

Using Kanban cards to stock control

Reduces inventory and product obsolescence.

Since component parts are not delivered until just before they are needed, there is a reduced need for storage space. Should a product or component design be upgraded, that upgrade can be included in the final product ASAP. There is no inventory of products or components that become obsolete.

Reduce waste and scrap

With Kanban, products and components are only manufactured when they are needed. This eliminates overproduction. Raw materials are not delivered until they are needed, reducing waste and cutting storage costs.

Improving Warehouse Management and stock output with Kanban

Provides flexibility in production

If there is a sudden drop in demand for a product, Kanban ensures you are not stuck with excess inventory. This gives you the flexibility to rapidly respond to a changing demand.

Increases Output

The flow of Kanban (cards, bins, pallets, etc.) will stop if there is a production problem. This makes problems visible quickly, allowing them to be corrected ASAP. Kanban reduces wait times by making supplies more accessible and breaking down administrative barriers. This results in an increase in production using the same resources.


 Reduces Total Cost By:

  • Preventing Over Production
  • Developing Flexible Work Stations
  • Reducing Waste and Scrap
  • Minimizing Wait Times and Logistics Costs
  • Reducing Stock Levels and Overhead Costs
  • Reducing Inventory Costs

Success stories on how Kaizen Institute Consulting Group applies these and other lean methods.

Upcoming Events

Newsletter Subscription

Enter your email to subscribe 

Follow Us

Kaizen Facebook PageKaizen Twitter PageKaizen Linked In PageKaizen Google+ profileKaizen Pinterest profile

Contact Us:



Kaizen Institute Consulting Group
Global Operations

Europe / Middle East / Africa

Zug 6300 Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0) 41 725 42 80
Fax: +41 (0) 41 725 42 89 

North / Latin America

7137 East Rancho Vista Drive B11
Scottsdale, AZ 85251 USA
Tel: +1 888 464 3622

Asia Pacific

Kabuto-cho Dai-ichi Bldg, 3F
5-1 Nihonbashi Kabuto-cho
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0026 
Tel: +81 (0) 3 5847 8245
Fax: +81 (0) 3 5747 7901 

Kaizen Clients

Add as many pictures to the cell bellow
phlips kaizen clientEcolab Kaizen ClientPfizer Kaizen ClientBosh Kaizen ClientVolkswagen Kaizen ClientContinental Kaizen Client