This brief introduction is designed to help you get started in KanbanBOX and begin to explore its potential. If this is your first time you enter KanbanBOX, you are probably asking yourself a lot of questions...
What is KanbanBOX?
KanbanBOX is a web service that supports you in handling materials with the kanban system.
With KanbanBOX you can:
- size 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 cards in circulation to maintain the maximum efficiency.
How to start?
Fill in the data
Picture 1: Add a new part in KanbanBOX
Before you can correctly define a kanban relation (that in KanbanBOX is called Kanban Loop) is necessary to fill some data fields:
- The Parts Master contains component 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, 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 to collect all bins for more reliability and less mistakes in 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.
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 each new kanban loop you can:
- decide kanban type (production, purchase, move or sales).
Picture 2: Create a new kanban project in KanbanBOX
- use Throwaway (reprint kanbans every each loop) or Reusable kanban cards.
- define all replenishment constraints.
- get a suggestion of the optimum size for the kanban cards. Anyway, you always take the final decision about quantity per bin and number of bins in use.
Start with kanban!
After define 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 characterize each electronic kanban card, which identifies the stage reached by the kanban container with the card. There are 8 different status:
Picture 3: Set a new kanban status
- New: you create the kanban card but don’t put in place.
- Empty: bin is empty, you pull kanban card but don’t release an order to supplier.
- Batching: kanban card is waiting batch completion, before the release of the whole minimum batch.
- Released: empty kanban card release a replacement order for the supplier.
- In process: supplier confirm and take charge the order.
- Done: supplier has produced the goods.
- In transit: Kanban card is on way to the customer.
- Full: 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 status: you can choose which to use according to the needs of your production system, to set only kanban status that you really need.
Customize print format of kanban cards
If you have specific requirements regarding to size and information of kanban cards, you should create a new template for printing. You can:
- specify the paper size.
- add 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!
Add users to KanbanBOX
One of the strengths of kanban management is people involvement. In KanbanBOX you can create all the users you want in order to share information to all those who truly need. You can give a different role to each user:
- Read: user can only read kanban board. For only-read station, without setting a new status (production lines, or commercial department).
- Prod: in addition to read kanban board, can set a new kanban status. For production lines, storekeepers, etc.
- Plan: read kanban board, can set new kanban status, can change masters and kanban loops. For purchase department, production manager, logistic manager, etc.
- Admin: in addition to plan user, can set company settings, manage users and update templates. For plant director, production planning, project manager, etc.
Link your company to your customers and suppliers
When a kanban loop involves an external customer or supplier, share your knowledge about KanbanBOX and connect it in an easy way. The connection procedure is very easy: once linked, you share kanban status and data to each other. In real-time you can:
- see both the status of all the kanban cards.
- set a new kanban status reading the kanban card barcode.
- cooperate to create new kanban projects
This is sharing of information and co-design of processes through the supply chain!
Maintain your kanban cards
Each kanban system, to be efficient, need some maintenance during time. The consumption of components changes, and therefore you need to fit kanban card size. In the maintenance menu you can change 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 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 to:
- consumption forecasts, upload by import of an Excel spreadsheet.
- Trends in consumptions in the recent past (record by KanbanBOX).