Step 6 – Pull System

Step 6 is focused on the orderly control of incoming parts and materials, people and information based on the outgoing finished products or services that fulfill customer orders.

What is a Pull System?

A typical company uses production forecasting to determine their work schedule. This is called a “Push System” because is drives orders through the production processes. It can create an excessive amount of inventory, which is one of the eight wastes. It adds cost to the product because forecasting is not an effective method.

A lean company tries to activate their production processes based on customer demand. As a customer consumes products, it initiates the manufacturing process to replenish the items. A lean business will try to hold enough inventory to meet customer demand.

What are benefits of a Pull System?

There are several benefits for a company that implements a Pull System:

1. It standardizes the amount of inventory in the production process.
2. It uses visual controls to activate the replenishment process.
3. It reduces batch or lot sizes.

Does a Pull System increase production throughput?

A Pull System using kanban can help a business to transition from a batch and queue process towards beecoming a single piece or continuous flow process. A Pull System will control the amount of inventory throughout the production system, which helps to focus on building what the customer wants, when they need it. As a result of better inventory control, all production resources are focused effectively, this will speed up the process and reduce lead times.

Pull System Video

In this short video, Chris Turner – Lean Mfg Coach gives a brief explanation about implementing a pull system.

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