Increasingly manufacturers are moving to a customer-based build-to-order model and away from a build-to-stock approach. Digital kanban is the latest and most fine tuned iteration of this technique which started with paper (card) kanban, then electronic kanban, and now real-time digital kanban.
According to Matthew Marotta, founder of Datacraft Solutions, “Pressure to reduce lead times, expanding product lines, and global competition drives the value of digital kanban, a lean manufacturing practice that automates consumption driven replenishment across suppliers, customers, and the factory floor.”
Digital kanban aligns inventory levels with actual consumption; a signal is sent to produce and deliver a new shipment when material is consumed. These signals are tracked through the replenishment cycle and bring extraordinary visibility to suppliers and buyers. Working seamlessly with existing visual board systems, Datacraft Solutions’ Digital Kanban solution allows individual cells or entire supply chains to realize an immediate and dramatic return from an extremely small process automation investment, by vastly reducing the management time and information gathering required to monitor, update and transmit card-based replenishment needs.
Digital Kanban pioneer Datacraft Solutions, Inc. (www.datacraftsolutions.com) is based in Durham, North Carolina. Marrotta notes, “Datacraft Solutions’ Internet-based on-demand delivery platform offers key benefits from the very beginning of an implementation – namely, the elimination of lengthy, complicated and expensive infrastructure upgrades before a company can even begin to see positive ROI. There is simply no faster or easier way to begin exploiting the power of Digital Kanban in a lean manufacturing operation.” The ASP model provides global visibility into the plant floor from anywhere in the world, with nothing to install and no software to maintain.