KANBAN for Efficient Supply Chain Management – Advantages and Classification

KANBAN for Efficient Supply Chain Management – Advantages and Classification

Originated from a Japanese word call billboard, KANBAN is one way to schedule lean manufacturing processes. Right from when an order is placed to the time when delivery is complete, KANBAN takes over the entire system. What this means is that with KANBAN, all of the manufacturing processes would be simple. Not to forget the fact that KANBAN aids just in time inventory management which is helpful in terms of saving costs.

In simple terms, the KANBAN system is all about having a regulated supply chain. At any point in time, there is as much stock as needed to meet the demands. Every time products are sold, the suppliers are notified about the same so that they can stock up the inventory once again. The sole purpose of having such a system is to prevent wastage.

Read more: Impact of Mobility Solutions on Logistic & Supply Chain Industry’s Dynamics


As simple as the solution appears to be, it offers tons of advantages for you to consider when streamlining your supply chain activities. To help you understand the solution better, here we outline the benefits of using KANBAN. While the primary use of KANBAN has been in the manufacturing sector, organizations have recently started to realize its ubiquitous impact. And a major one has been in the IT industry.

SAP teams have been actively adopting the solution in the lines of business communication. Wondering how can KANBAN boards help them? KANBAN follows an agile infrastructure and the need to stay connected in a tough time such as these has moderated the need for a dedicated solution.

  • Prevent Overburdening:

    At times, when there lies enough capacity available, the team can pull different tasks through the Kanban Board.

  • Better Transparency:

    In times when nobody is interacting face to face, ensuring transparency at all stages becomes tough. This is where a Kanban Board seems relevant as it keeps everyone in the same loop. To put it this way, everyone part of the project is kept informed and updated.

  • Improved Collaboration:

    The use of dedicated stand-up meetings helps resolve blockers and improve the end to end collaboration between members of the team.

  • Informed Decision Making:

    Enhancing the inter-team collaboration, everyone now can make decisions better and faster. In fact, the stakeholders too are kept informed, accounting for smart solutions.

  • Reduced Waste:

    KANBAN is designed in a way that it can automatically identify and track tasks that aren’t fruitful. It executes remediation plans to remove those tasks and prevent wastage.

  • Continuous Delivery:

    Since everything is executed in a planned and strategic manner, the team can focus on delivery ensuring minimal lag.

There are different ways or norms of a KANBAN and each has been identified below.

Classic KANBAN

The first and simplest one is classic KANBAN. Here, the demand source, the production control method, the supply source as well as the procedure which would be users for replenishing the material are all kept and defined in the core control cycle. Also, the above are defined in the kanbans circulating between the demand-supply source and the quantity per kanban.

In the said procedure, replenishment is triggered for the quantity of KANBAN is present in the control cycle. Even if you wish to circulate more KANBAN than the ones defined in the control cycle, you would need to modify and edit the figures in the cycle and then move ahead to the circulation.

Event-driven KANBAN

As the name suggests, this kind is driven by a trigger or an event. Meaning that unlike the classic KANBAN, creation or the same takes place only when there arises a need for it. While in the classic KANBAN, the formation was rolled out by testifying the number of KANBAN or the quantity, here it is done only when a material is required. To facilitate the procurement of the same, one needs to request it.

A self-owned function is responsible for making the request and the amount of KANBAN to be created has to be specified in the function itself. The creation of an event acts as a trigger and is then used for the creation of a KANBAN. Also, once the material has been replenished the KANBAN is automatically deleted.

KANBAN with quantity signal

Every time a KANBAN is procured, the amount falls by a specific number. With respect to the classic Kanban, a status as “Empty” is put love only after the same has been totally emptied or to put it this way, the production operator has procured all of the available ones. Now the point here is that before setting the status to empty, the operators had no idea on the exact quantity of materials. It might so happen that an operator would initiate a request not knowing that the KANBAN is empty.

The quantity signal KANBAN has its own function that keeps tabs on the withdrawal. Every time a request is made and a specific quantity is procured, the function drops the count. And even before the empty status is put up, the operator would know that now there is no available KANBAN.


One Card KANBAN is a different concept and relates to the logic that this would replicate the ‘one-card’ KANBAN process in the control cycle but with two KANBAN. What this does is when a KANBAN is set to being inactive or a wait signal is passed on, there occurs a decline in the stock demand. This type of KANBAN is beneficial when the materials aren’t required frequently.

Such a method ensures that replenishment happens only when the KANBAN quantity is nearly half. So the new KANBAN would arrive long before the existing one turns empty. At any point in time, there are two KANBAN active which keeps the flow steady.


Even though this appears to be a different concept, it isn’t new and has been in the industry for a long. In case you are looking for a similar solution to be part of your system, we at Stridely Solutions will be of help. Having more than a decade of experience, we provide custom-fit solutions to industries and organizations across the globe.



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