Kanban definition in pull systems

One of the greatest things about the modern business universe is that it comes with a varied range of ways to take care of things and to make sure that the overall style and nature of a business ultimately fits with the philosophy and style of products/services they provide.

To give this a greater chance of occurring, a business has to have a clear definition of what kind of managing system they will employ in the overall distribution of their tasks and services/products. One of these managing systems, and the one we’ll orbit around in this article, is the Pull system.

What is a Pull system?

Pull systems, put as simply as possible, supply when there is a demand. They are specially useful in ensuring a business can have the help that it needs in maintaining a fair ratio of supplies without going overboard, and always making sure they only release products and services as and when they are actually needed. This management system allows for fewer costs with stockage, for both supplies and products, as few as waste management, as we exemplified here once before.

Naturally, the decision to work within a Pull system makes a massive difference to the way the business is run and/or managed and shows great impacts on cutting down on wastage, storage and other costs generated by buying or producing too much without demand.

Within any Pull system, though, there has to be clear definitions and management – and a very popular alternative amongst those looking for a Lean management style, is Kanban.

Kanban definition:

To keep the Kanban definition as simple as it actually is to use it, it’s a Japanese tool that offers the easiest and most consistent style of Pull system, and has been in use for many ears, to be more specific since the late 1940’s when it was developed as an inventory control system in the Toyota Production System. Kanban makes it easy for a team to get the job done by following clearly defined sets of specifications and instructions.

Acting as a solid and consistent production control system, Kanban allows for easy production and simplicity in making sure every role within an organisation has a clear purpose. It provides various benefits to a business, including:

  • Flexibility in production – Without inventory clogs and over purchases, things are purchased and produced as and when they are needed;
  • Improvements in the overall output of the business – The Kanban definition states that when there is a hold-up (bottlenecks) at an earlier stage of the process, everything else will halt. This ensures that problems can dealt with quickly and the business can get back to production by correcting the problems shown within the Kanban chart
  • Cost reduction – As the Kanban method aims to eliminate overproduction, cutting costs on reducing wastage, recycling materials and even storage are natural reflexes;
  • Overall flexibility – The Kanban method helps developing more flexible ways of working within the business, ensuring each station in the process is clearly defined and equally responsible.

Manage your tasks with Pipefy’s Task Management with Kanban Template!

Pipefy’s Task Management Template was specially developed to help you manage yours and your team’s tasks without breaking a sweat.

This template shows you in an organised and simplified manner what everyone is currently doing, what they have to do, and what is already done. It also highlights what are the priorities, what’s on time, what’s late and what’s potentially creating bottlenecks.

Download a free Task Management Template

Written by Isabelle Salemme, Product content manager at Pipefy. She uses her extensive Pipefy knowledge to write informative pieces teaching users to make the best of Pipefy. Besides being responsible for all product-related content, she's an avid reader, a coffee lover and a professional photographer.