Pull or Kanban


One of the most important concepts in Lean manufacturing is that of ‘push’ and ‘pull’ systems. Traditional management attempts to use all resources all the time but that strategy lacks the ability to deal with slowdowns or bottlenecks that occur when an earlier process or operation is faster or slower than the next which then leads to a slowdown in the system.


The principle of “pull” is that control is transferred from the beginning of the line to the end through the use of Kanban and Kanban cards which allow you to see how small a number of items you can pull at a time. Once the required number of items is in place, the process just waits for the next Kanban card. Reducing the number of items pulled, even by one, is an effective way of highlighting problems and bottlenecks in the system.

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