How to Implement Kanban System in Manufacturing – 12 Steps Explained Simply

This is the kanban system implementation tutorial for manufacturing.
12 Steps to implement simply the kanban system in your company.

🎬 Related Videos:

▶ Lean Principles

▶ Do I need a Sensei

▶ Value Stream Mapping Tutorial

▶ RACI Table

▶ Types of Kanban

▶ Kanban Calculation Formula

👉 Transcript of the video:

▶ How to implement the KANBAN system in Manufacturing.

Do you want to implement the kanban system in your company to reduce stocks and avoid running out of material?

In this video, you will see how to implement the Kanban system in manufacturing.

This is a step by step guide with theoretical references and practical examples.

Let’s go.

1️⃣ Don’t skip steps

In the book “Lean Thinking” by Womack and Jones the “Pull” is a step after another 3 steps:

1) Understanding the Value
2) Map the Value
3) Create the Flow

If you start with the implementation of KANBAN without having done the first 3 steps, you will be doomed to failure.

2️⃣ Study the theory and look for a Sensei

Even though the application of Kanban may seem simple, the first time can be very difficult.

Before starting, study the theory and get help from an expert.

3️⃣ Create a Work Team

The Kanban system is a system that involves many business divisions.

It is crucial to involve production, the office of materials, logistics, safety etc.

Make sure you train the whole team.

4️⃣ Decide with the team where to apply the Kanban system

The Kanban system must be applied in a place that is meaningful to the business.

If you have followed all the steps and have therefore made the Value Stream Map on a significant product, you will have no problem evaluating the two processes to be connected with the KANBAN.

5️⃣ Do a simulation with the team

Get the team together for 3 hours to simulate how the Kanban system works.

The simulation must be done on a table, using cardboard, pens, post-it notes.

It will be very similar to Monopoly.

You will learn a lot and see if the team really understood how the new system will work.

6️⃣ Make it clear who does what

The team makes a very detailed table of responsibilities. I recommend that you use the RACI Table.

7️⃣ Decide what shape the Kanban signal will take

Based on the type of material, replenishment frequency, and distance, evaluate which form of Kanban is most effective.

2 Bin?

8️⃣ What will the success metric be?

Decide with the team how you will measure the success of this initiative.

– No Stock Out?
– Inventory level?
– Lead Time?
– Output?

Measure what the value of the metric is before implementing the Kanban system.

9️⃣ Calculate and Prepare the number of Kanban needed

Using the formula for calculating the number of KANBAN, with the right approximations for the excess, decide how many KANBANs to insert in the circuit and prepare them.

1️⃣ 0️⃣ Prepare a KAIZEN event of at least 1 week.

The involvement of everyone is crucial for the success of the implementation.

Organizing a KAIZEN event is an effective way to be focused.

1️⃣1️⃣ Constantly monitor the system.

Kanban is a system that needs constant monitoring and maintenance.


– What’s working ?
– What’s wrong ?
– Did you miss any KANBAN ?
– Is the number of Kanban still adequate ?
– How is the success metric going ?

I suggest you monitor the Kanban system at the Lean Morning Meeting.

1️⃣2️⃣ When you’ve learned, extend

Once you have learned how the system works, you can export this methodology to other areas of the company.

Do not forget to always leave a standard check on what you have already achieved, otherwise you risk losing all the benefits obtained.



my name is Mark Anderson a 20+ year Lean Expert.
I have created LeanVlog because I want to spread Lean Thinking worldwide and I think the video is the most effective way to teach, learn, and spread knowledge.

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