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White Paper: Ways to Kanban with Akro-Mils Products

 
August 2015, Akron, Ohio — Akro-Mils offers a wide range of products to help you organize and control inventory. A kanban system is an effective way to prevent stock-outs and improve efficiency. Like any process improvement, users must be trained and committed to make the system successful. Here are the pros and cons of implementing different methods of a kanban system.
 
2-Bin Kanban
• Utilizes two identical bins containing the same item — one placed in front of the other. When the bin in front is empty, it is removed and the second bin is pulled forward for use. The empty bin is placed in a restock pile or given to the materials manager for reordering.
Pros: Purchasing is alerted to restock before inventory is completely depleted.
Cons: Empty bins can create clutter or potentially become misplaced. Time must be taken to place bins back in their original stocking location.
 
Single-Bin Kanban
• Akro-Mils’ Indicator® Bin is a single-bin kanban system featuring a brightly colored trigger side. The bin features a hopper opening on both the front and back. A divider is placed in the bin to mark a minimum stock level for reorder. Once items are removed from the primary stock side of the bin, the Indicator Bin is then flipped around to reveal the brightly colored trigger side. This indicates the bin needs to be refilled soon.
Pros: Purchasing is alerted to restock before inventory is completely depleted, and the bin always remains in its original stocking location. A highly visible indicator color allows for quick identification of items in need of replenishment. Inventory management at a glance.
Cons: A unique solution requiring specialized bins.
 
Side-by-Side Kanban
• Utilizes a single bin with a divider running down the length. Users pick all inventory from one side and use a kanban flag to indicate when the first side is empty. When that side is empty, they begin picking from the other side of the divider. An indicating marker is used to signal the primary stock is empty and the bin will need refilled soon.
Pros: This system can be used with popular hanging AkroBins® on a louvered panel. The bin always remains in its original stock location. Purchasing is alerted to restock before inventory is completely depleted.
Cons: Users must be well trained to pick from the appropriate side of the bin.
 
Kanban Flag
• A label with an integrated kanban flag is installed on the storage bin. When stock reaches a predetermined level, the brightly colored kanban flag is exposed as a visual indicator to replenish stock. The Kanban Extended Label Holder from Akro-Mils utilizes a large 2” x 4” label area and a bright orange kanban flag.
Pros: Can be used with a wide range of storage bins including AkroBins and Shelf Bins. Easy to retrofit existing bins to create a new system. A highly visible indicator color allows for quick identification of items in need of replenishment.
Cons: Should be used in conjunction with a bin divider or some other way to mark critical stock level.
 
For more information on Akro-Mils’ kanban solutions, click here.
 
About Akro-Mils
Akro-Mils is a leading manufacturer of plastic and metal storage, organization, transport and material handling products for use in industrial, medical/pharmaceutical, commercial and consumer markets. Akro-Mils is dedicated to providing innovative, quality products that help customers improve inventory control and overall efficiency. Located in Akron, Ohio, Akro-Mils is a Myers Industries, Inc. company. For more information, please call 800-253-2467, fax 330-761-6348, or visit www.akro-mils.com .

Akro-Mils Media Contact:
Ken Torisky
Communications Manager
330-761-6323