How To Blend the Best of KanBan & MRP

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 @ 8:30 AM (PST)
Manufacturing Executive Institute Training Center 140 North Maple Street, Suite 106 CoronaCA  92880-6996
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 @ 8:30 AM (PST)
Manufacturing Executive Institute Training Center 140 North Maple Street, Suite 106 CoronaCA  92880-6996

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About This Activity

Why You Should Attend This 1-Day Workshop

Material Requirements Planning (MRP) and KanBan-type inventory planning systems are not mutually exclusive in their abilities to provide planning and control direction within a supply chain.  And while much has been written about the incompatibilities of these two systematic approaches to managing inventory, this presentation will address how these two seemingly opposite approaches to inventory management and production scheduling can be blended for greater performance.

MRP is a computerized system that requires some perspective of end-item demand (unit forecast) to initiate the component planning process.  The MRP planning process begins by “exploding” requirements down through the Bills of Material and offsetting for planned lead-times at each lower-level component (or ingredient).  These values are further adjusted depending on planned safety stock requirements, lot sizes, previously placed supply orders and actual inventory on-hand.  In the end, MRP generates “planned supply” suggestions that skilled inventory and production planners can execute, monitor and periodically adjust if necessary.  These supply suggestions are called “planned order releases” and are under the control of the parameter-driven MRP system until they are manually converted into actual work authorizations.  It is reasonable to declare that MRP is highly data-centric and that even minor inaccuracies in one or more of these planning parameters can result in dysfunctional plans.

KanBan systems on the other hand, take a more “engineered” approach to inventory and production planning.  End item forecasts are still required, but for slightly different reasons.  Demand knowledge is used more to define resources that must be deployed to convert materials.  Instead of “planned order releases” KanBan replaces these data elements with trigger cards (often called KanBan’s) on the factory floor.  With the replacement of “planned order releases” by trigger cards, much of the actual inventory planning and control procedures are effectively transferred to factory operators… but only after someone in the planning organization pre-determines the number of trigger cards (or signals) that are needed to meet demand rates.  As staged inventory in a given work cell diminishes, it is replaced by inventory produced in a supply cell only after a KanBan signal instructs the supplying cell to produce.  With such a system, individual factory work cells are effectively “synchronized” by all other factory cells… and much of this is accomplished by the operators, and not the production planning staffs as in an MRP environment.

Thus, Kanban is a “tool” that provides Just-in-Time production capabilities to “engineer” a specific level of work-in-process inventory which in turn, impacts the need for finished goods and raw material safety stocks.

This valuable 1-day Manufacturing Executive Institute, "LEAN Tools Series" Workshop has been specifically designed to technically demonstrate how MRP and KanBan tools can be blended to achieve the best planning possible.  The workshop will provide a deep understanding of the tools, the parameters and the processes of a blended MRP/KanBan environment.  The instructor will demonstrate that these two approaches are indeed NOT incompatible, but can provide very effective methods for optimizing and reducing inventories at every level of the Bills of Material.  Participants will learn how these approaches differ and how, and when, they can be combined.  Myths of incompatibility will be presented and discussed with numerous exercises designed to develop competency in the use of these blended techniques.

Technical, organizational and behavioral impediments to successful and rapid deployment of these techniques will also be addressed so that participants can return to their respective companies and begin implementation of these techniques the following Monday.

Workshop Instructor:  Alan G. Dunn, President of GDI Consulting & Training Company.

Come to MEI's"LEAN Tools Series" 1-day workshops & learn specific LEAN enterprise techniques and methods that you can use to drive waste out of your company.  Learn how to select the right LEAN tools and methods and learn how to apply them to your specific enterprise.  Be the first to bring "LEAN" to your company! 

All learning materials, breaks and lunch are included in the single low price.  See the side bar for pricing and group discount information.

The Manufacturing Executive Institute presents numerous workshops and webinars each month.  To see listings and schedule of upcoming programs, go to or call (951) 736-2114.

About MEI's "LEAN Tools Series" Workshops

The Manufacturing Executive Institute's "LEAN Tools Series" Workshops are instructor-led 1-day programs conducted live at MEI's Corona, California Training Center.  These programs are designed to provide hands-on training in the application of LEAN manufacturing, distribution and infrastructure improvement tools.  KanBan techniques, Kaizen methods, Value Stream Mapping, 5S methods, policy deployment, aligned performance metrics, Poka-Yoke methods, work simplification techniques, Six Sigma, "Autonomation", SMED, Cost-of-Quality analysis, Taguchi methods and more are included in these programs.  Participants will learn relevant and immediately useful skills that can be applied to waste elimination, process improvement and cost reduction initiatives.

Workshops are scheduled several times each year.  End your week with a valuable and relevant learning experience.  Plan to go back to work on the following Monday with some valuable and practical improvement ideas.  Click here to view a list of upcoming
"LEAN Tools Series" workshops.

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Manufacturing Executive Institute Training Center 140 North Maple Street, Suite 106 CoronaCA  92880-6996
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