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Replacing “Push” with a “Pull” System

The Challenge

The main objectives of the program were to reduce lead time, eliminate waste, increase visibility and simplicity. A key objective was to replace the current “Push” system with a “Pull” System.

Push v’s Pull

Push system is based on a forecast of demand for finished products, using your current inventory you manufacture for each stage depending on the forecast. The Pull system, on the other hand, replaces what is sold, or used by the next manufacturing process.

Disadvantages of Push:

  • Improvements in customer service with Pull because Push forecast can never be right.
  • Partial batches and unwanted product left in “work in progress” queue.
  • Inventories vary widely with forecast inaccuracy

The Solution

A pull system was implemented using Kanban, so that the supply of components is regulated through the use of an instruction card sent along the production line.

  • Material is replenished only when it is used
  • Instructions & rules used to control Kanban

The Results

  • Lead-time reduction – 40%
  • Work in Progress (WIP) reduction – 35%
  • Improved visibility on material status and constraints
  • Improved efficiency (changeover reduction)
  • Improved customer service
  • Reduced Stress
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