This brief introduction is designed to help you get started in KanbanBOX and begin to explore its potential.
What is KanbanBOX?
KanbanBOX is a web service that supports you in handling materials with the kanban system.
With KanbanBOX you can:
- Size the number of kanban cards, print labels and manage them with electronic kanban;
- Connect directly to your suppliers and customers to manage supply and sales kanban with them;
- Monitor in real-time the situation of the whole Kanban system;
- Update the number of kanban cards in circulation to maintain maximum efficiency.
How to start
Fill in the data Masters
Before you can correctly define a kanban relation (called Kanban Loop) is necessary to fill some data fields:
- The Parts Master contains part numbers;
- The Partners Master lists all the entities that may be defined as a customer or a supplier for a part. A Partner can be both a supplier of kanbans in some kanban loops and customer in others, and can be also internal to the company (such as a warehouse or a department) or external (a customer or a supplier outside the company);
- The Bins Master collects all types of containers (pallets, plastic baskets, etc.) used in the different kanban relations. We suggest collecting all bins for more reliability and fewer mistakes in the day-to-day management of kanbans.
You can collect masters by writing one-to-one data in KanbanBOX, or by import from an Excel spreadsheet correctly filled out. Otherwise, create directly a new kanban project and fill the data up as you go along.
How to create a kanban project
In KanbanBOX, every new kanban loop is a project where you need to collect all the necessary information that could involve more people and may need a while to be completed. For this reason, in KanbanBOX you can start a project and at any time interrupt it, then take it up again, ask your colleagues for cooperation and participation without losing any information.
For all new kanban loops you can:
- Decide the kanban type (production, purchase, move or sales);
- Use Throwaway (reprint kanbans cards at each loop) or Reusable kanban cards;
- Define all replenishment constraints;
- Get a suggestion of the optimum size for the kanban cards. Anyway, you can always make the final decision about quantity per bin and the number of bins in use.
Let's start with kanban!
After defining all the necessary information of the project, approve the kanbans: the project becomes a loop kanban and with a click, you create the first electronic kanban cards visible in the kanban board and ready for printing.
A status characterizes each electronic kanban card: this identifies the stage reached by the kanban container with the card. There are 8 different statuses:
New: you create the kanban card but you don’t put in place;
Empty: the bin is empty, you pull a kanban card but don’t release order to the supplier;
Batching: the kanban card is waiting for batch completion, before the release of the whole minimum batch;
Released: an empty kanban card releases a replacement order for the supplier;
In process: the supplier confirms the order and takes it in charge;
Done: the supplier has produced the goods;
In transit: the kanban card is on way to the customer;
Full: the kanban card has been replenished and is available at the customer.
It’s possible to change kanban card status:
- by reading the barcode reported on it;
- directly from the kanban board.
It is not necessary to handle all the kanban statuses: you can choose which ones to use according to the needs of your production system.
Customize the print format of kanban cards
If you have specific requirements regarding size and information of kanban cards, you should create a new template for printing.
- Specify the paper size;
- Add the information you want to show on the label;
- Set their arrangement;
- Add your company logo;
- Add product image;
- Specify what information you want to show with barcode and in which format.
All with a user-friendly and visual editor. When you create a new template, don’t forget to set as default the template before starting to print kanban cards!
How to add users to KanbanBOX
One of the strengths of kanban management is people involvement. In KanbanBOX you can create all the users you want to share information with all those who truly need. You can give a different role to each user:
- Read: user can only read the kanban board. For the only-read workstation, can't set new statuses. For production lines, commercial department, etc.;
- Prod: user can read the kanban board and set a new kanban status. For production lines, storekeepers, etc.;
- Plan: user can read the kanban board, set new kanban statuses, change masters data and kanban loops. For the purchase department, the production manager, the logistics manager, etc.;
- Admin: in addition to a Plan's permits, he can manage company settings, set users, modify users settings and update templates. For the Plant Manager, the Production Planning Manager, the Project Manager, etc.;
How to link your company to your customers and suppliers
When a kanban loop involves an external customer or supplier, you can share your knowledge about KanbanBOX and connect it easily. The connection procedure is very easy: once linked together, you share kanban statuses and data. In real-time you both can:
- See the statuses of all the kanban cards;
- Set a new kanban status reading the kanban card barcode;
- Cooperate to create new kanban projects.
This is the sharing of information and the co-design of processes through the supply chain!
How to maintain your kanban cards
Every kanban system, to be efficient, need some maintenance during the time. The consumption of components changes, and therefore you need to fit kanban card size. In the maintenance menu, you can change the number of containers per kanban loop with a click.
Changes take effect immediately: - When you increase the number of kanban cards, you create labels in a new status, ready to be printed and launched in the production system; - In case of a decrease of kanban cards, the following empty kanban will no longer be released to the supplier.
Kanban maintenance can rely upon:
- Consumption forecasts, upload by the import of an Excel spreadsheet;
- Trends in consumptions in the recent past (recorded by KanbanBOX).