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Improving Business Performance With Lean by James Bradley

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Chapter 10

Synchronize

Controlling Material Replenishment with Kanban

What happens when one step of a process runs faster than the process step it feeds, even for a short period? Inventory builds up between the two steps, of course. From Little’s law, we also know that the increased inventory causes increased lead time. The additional inventory also reduces quality (as was discussed in chapter 2). Reducing inventory and unnecessary lead time requires synchronizing the two process steps, which requires that (a) the two process steps must operate at the same rate and (b) the two consecutive steps must process the same item at the same time where sequential process steps work on several products or services. For example, if step 1 processes product ...

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