In a time when production processes and management systems are meant to reduce the cost of production, we are coming out with new and innovative technologies to do just that. A digital Kanban board can help manufacturers, retailers, and every other sector of the business world that has projects, processes, and production cycles keep track of their production and reduce their costs while doing it.
Before exploring how these digital boards are helping production processes, we first need to go over exactly what a Kanban system is. Kanban is a system created in Japan in the 1940s that was meant to line up with lean production, namely through making a visual representation of the production process, as well as creating triggering events at which certain things would happen. This took all of the guess-work out of the production process. Instead of looking at inventory and making or buying more when it looked low, a company would state outright that when inventory hit 300 units, production would continue and restore the inventory levels. Likewise, if inventory went over a certain upper bound, then production would cease until levels were reduced to the lower limit.
Companies still use this system of lean manufacturing and the Kanban methodology today. However, with production levels much higher than they were in the middle part of the century, we are running into problems of knowing exactly where we are in the production process. It is hard to have a person go and count inventory levels, and current ERP systems are not set up to create visual displays of when we need to get more inventory or need to halt production. This is where the digital visual Kanban systems come into play.
These digital systems work through online platforms that enables just about anyone who needs the information to be able to find it. Boards are set up to show exactly where production and the process is. Unique displays, symbols, and charts can be added to create further understanding by a number of different users, and companies can change the boards to fit their production needs and diction. This ensures that the system works just as it is intended to for each individual company.
With these systems, everything can be customized to fit your needs. Even little things such as background colors and card colors can be changed. This goes along with the goal of making the information on the board not only useful, but also visually pleasing to those who look at it. When these systems are visually pleasing, it makes reading them a whole lot easier, and management will applaud the ease that the reports bring to the job.
Through the use of online platforms, digital Kanban boards, and the ability to customize just about everything, this new wave of digital manufacturing process technology makes the whole process not only easier, but more visually pleasing as well.