Flexibility in Supply
One of the benefits that RH offers its customers is a Kanban supply system. If you are a company dealing with large quantities of products or need flexibility in supply, then a Kandan agreement is a solution that may work for you?
RH customer base is wide and varied, from small independent companies to large multinational corporations, each with its supply challenge. As part of our new-customer onboarding process, we discuss demand forecast and specific prototyping and production needs. Following review, we offer realistic supply solutions to meet these project needs. From our UK base, we manage both the UK and overseas deliveries, be it from our factory or via our vetted partners in China, discreet orders, scheduled orders, or Kanban agreements. Our Customer Service Department plays an integral part in this process, managing deliveries with timely communication. It’s the real world, and things change, but our experienced team is there to support you.
The Kanban System
Working with a Kanban system is a great way to get things done. The basic idea originated in the production of Spitfires during World War Two, known as the “Two-Bin System”. When one box became empty, it was a visual cue for a supplier to refill the depleted box. Having a second box stopped delays in assembly as the first box still held a stock of parts. In Japan, the Toyota Car company took this idea and expanded the concept. Toyota started to consider everyone’s needs in the process. They developed and implemented a system that ensures everyone gets what they need to fulfil an order exactly. Anything more or less creates a waste of materials and time.
Kanban” in Japanese roughly translates to “Card you can see.” Toyota began using physical cards in 1953 to signal different steps in their manufacturing process. These cards indicate to team members an easy way to see completed tasks and what still needs to be done.
Our Kanban system has automated cues to tell us what to produce, how many to produce, and when to produce. Some customers don’t have the space to hold a large run of membrane keypads or graphic overlays, others may want a steady feed of their custom printed labels? Arranging to supply OEMs with predetermined quantities to ensure a blanket cover on all orders throughout the year. Keeping stock levels consistent enables RH to hold a cushion of parts should an issue arise.
Ie. Say a customer has a sudden rise in demand for their products. This sudden need for new products would generally require a quick replenishment of parts made. This conflict in the planning will create priority issues and eventually impact someone’s lead times. Alternatively, A Kanban agreement may mitigate these issues as our stock should resolve most customers’ requirements.
The best practice to managing a Kanban workflow is to set up simple process steps and limit the number of ongoing projects in any one category. This system keeps staff focused on immediate goals as distraction or “task switching” leads to loss of productivity. These controls on volume are called WIP limits (Work in Progress Limits) and help regulate the project workflow. The limits are essential to maintaining a well-controlled workspace that is steadily meeting production targets. This process quickly exposes bottlenecks in manufacturing where we can collaborate to alleviate any issues rapidly. All of these steps that you, as a customer, don’t need to worry about making your order smooth and seamless.