Once you have an action plan, then you are ready to discuss
coordination of the kanban design and how the production process
will transition to kanban scheduling. When you consider the
coordination process, consider who needs to approve, concur with,
or understand the design. People who are probably interested in the
plan include the plant manager, the materials manager, the
production managers and supervisors, the material handlers, and
(last but not least) all the production operators. Once you have
determined who needs to buy into the plan, then determine how and
what to communicate with them. Also, determine whether there is any
specific order you want to followeach
organization has its own coordination
As you proceed through the coordination process, be prepared for
feedback that might change your plans. As a matter of fact, on the
first two or three kanbans you implement, expect the rules to
undergo several revisions as people begin the transformation to
kanban scheduling. Address the feedbackuse
what you can and discard the rest. As a
A subject closely
Figure 5-23: Who Needs Kanban Training?
The subject of training is so important that we have devoted Chapter 6 to the subject. For now, we'll just say that it's key to the successful implementation and is often overlooked.
The last part of the implementation plan is to determine how you will physically transition to kanban scheduling. Some of the questions that you need to consider are:
Will this be a running change?
Will you need to build inventory to meet the kanban requirements?
Will you need any special coverage to oversee the change such as sending the scheduler to third shift for the night the change occurs?
To answer these questions, use the team. By seeking their
in-puts you not only develop a cross-functional answer, but you
also plant the
As you begin to implement more and more kanbans, you will
encounter constraints or unique situations (
Look for unique decisions rules
Review your current informal scheduling rules for the process
Look at the frequency of the various unique
Once you have
Can implement a kanban
Can implement a combination scheduling system
Cannot implement a kanban
We have not defined combination scheduling in our previous discussions. Combination scheduling occurs when you place part of the process on kanban scheduling and manually schedule the special case parts.
When analyzing special cases, one method for clarifying the
current scheduling rules is by making a decision flowchart that
explains how you currently schedule the production process. The
flowchart forces you to write down all those
Additionally, look at the production process for ways to consolidate or redistribute the parts to simplify the problem. Once you have simplified the problem, then you may find that the problem gets smaller or that it creates an opportunity to use the questions above to create a kanban design.
When you encounter special cases, don't be discouraged. Analyze the problem and apply the questions above. When you come up with a solution, make sure the kanban rules reflect these decisions. Also, after thoroughly analyzing the problem, don't be afraid to make the decision to not implement a kanban for this process (or these processes). The following sections look at some special cases and suggest ways to implement the kanbans.
What do you do when the production process has several lower
demand items? For example, the process has three parts that run
monthly versus ten parts that run weekly? In this case, recognize
the difference and set up the buffer inventory and kanban schedule
quantity to produce the low volume parts at their current interval.
What if the production process has different manning requirements for different parts? First, look for the opportunity to consolidate parts with similar production manning requirements on the same line (lines) in order to eliminate the manning variance. Next, look at the possibility of implementing a combination scheduling system on those lines that still have variable manning requirements. Also, look at the possibility of prioritizing which parts on which lines get the available manpower, and establish a backup product on the line that does not get the extra manning.
What do you do when a production process produces overflow parts for another production process that is over capacity? First, set a standard production quantity for the overflow parts on the secondary line. Next, create rules for the secondary line that requires the production operators to look at the primary line's kanban for its schedule position when making changeover decisions. These rules should instruct the secondary line to change over to the overflow part when the primary line is at a predetermined level.