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What is kanban and how can it help you

Kanban is the art of having enough things on hand so that you can always keep the customer satisfied. There's a problem in manufacturing that's unique to manufacturing. That problem is, manufacturing consists of a lot of people working together to make a single project. A car manufacturer, for example, or a stereo manufacturer. Usually, the things manufactured a very complicated, composed of many parts, and require people with expertise to handle each part. You can say how chaos could ensure.
Let's say that Company X makes radios. Their radios require three special component, component Y, component Z, component Q. Now, all three of these components are very specialized. You can't just make them yourself, it takes specialists to do so. What happens, then, if component Z breaks down and the company in charge of making Component Z has no backup parts? Well, that means that company X can't make its radios. What if component Q breaks down after a customer has already bought herself a radio. She goes back to Company X to complain. Company X has to tell her, Look, we just don't make that part, let's call the people responsible for Component Q and see what they can do about it. You call Component Q, and they say, Sorry, all out. Well, then you've got an angry customer on your hands. She's not going to blame the people in charge of component Q, she's going to blame you. And things like that spread around. Don't trust Company X, there stuff breaks down and then they don't have the right parts to fix it.

Kanban takes care of this by having the company that makes the main product and the company that makes the special products agree to always have back-up parts on hand, stock parts. They'll always have so many of Component Q, for example, and they can't use that Component for anything else. It sits there until someone needs it because their radio broke down. This really is a brilliant arrangement, because now, if Company X loses business because the people who make Component Q are out, they can recoup their losses by pointing to the initial agreement.
This may seem like just good ol' common sense, and it is. It works. When companies agree to keep stock parts like this near at hand lest someone should suddenly need one, they increase their chances of keeping customers for life. There's less panic, less scrambling around, less embarrassing moments between client and customer.
Now, the way to find out more about kanban is of course through research. Thanks to the Internet, articles about kanban are just a click away, lots of articles. Go through them, search them, find out how companies have come together to work and make things happen. You may want to speak with representatives of other companies who've tried to implement kanban and hear their experiences. You could learn from their mistakes and their successes.
Finally, go through your own company and find out the areas in which kanban would be needed the most. Which products most often break down, which products demand the most specialized parts, which products require a lot of unique expertise to keep running? Maybe start with just one of these, that is, start slow. Start slow and then build out. See how will kanban works with one thing, then try it with other things.
Techniques such as kanban are basically designed to all human beings to work well together, to bring their minds together, to pool their talents in such a way that everybody wins: the company, the technicians, the economy, you name it. Kanban, or the idea of it, is really sweeping through manufacturing businesses everywhere right now, and you may want to jump on board. This is one trend that could turn into something more than just trendy.

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