Kanban and Just In Time Systems


At American Metal Specialties, we utilize the latest in productions systems including Just in time (JIT) inventory management systems, which can radically reduce inventory carrying costs by increasing inventory turns. We also work with Kanban inventory management systems. These excellent systems reduce inventory-carrying costs, increase delivery performance, and increase cash flow.

Just In Time = Increased Efficency

JIT is a technique developed to increase efficiency to manufacture, deliver, or produce just the specific materials required, in the amounts required, when required. The goal of JIT is to work towards a system of production with low inventory, a small amount or labor, without waste, and to reduce overall inventory costs.

Originated By Toyota

One of the most common examples is that of modern car companies, who all operate on extremely low inventory levels, and instead choose to rely on optimized supply chains to distribute the exact parts that needed are for each vehicle. In this system, the parts that are needed for each car arrive just as they are needed, and not before or after. Since Toyota started this type of system in the late 1940s, it made it’s way to other car manufactures and other manufacturing industries around the world. This type of system was a dramatic turn from the previous strategies of a just in case mindset, where companies often held on to vast amounts of inventory in case demand rose.

The Kanban System

To use JIT at a manufacturing location, business often uses the Kanban system. A Toyota engineer created Kanban, which means, “Sign-board” in Japanese. Derived from supermarket inventory control, of all places, Toyota was keen to notice that grocery store employees restocked an item on the shelves with their own store’s inventory, and not through their vendor’s supply. When any specific item was neat selling out, only then did the store employees order more. This just in time delivery system led to the Kanban system. By using an actual card (kanban) the Toyota assembly line workers could signal which steps they were in their car creating process. Since this Kanban system is visual in nature, the manufacturing teams could communicate more efficiently what exactly needed to be done and timeliness. This led in a decree in waste and more value for the car Toyota.

Trackable From Consumer Consumption

Since Kanban brings into line inventory levels with actual consumption by consumers; it can then create an automatic signal to create and distribute inventory whenever material get used up. By tracking this signals and making the entire process visible to everyone involved, maximum efficiency is achieved. With Kanban you can track the rate of demand from the consumer, and then can control the rate of production through the entire process

American Metal Specialties routinely participates in a number of different just in time or bus route inventory systems for our customers. This allows us to ship routed items within 24 hours notice.If you are looking for kanban services in Portland or any of our assembly and management services, please contact us today!