Idea Group is a company based in Treviso, Italy, which produces bathroom furniture (www.ideagroupbathrooms.com). Since they weren’t satisfied with the results brought by manual kanban, the group decided to switch to electronic kanban by implementing KanbanBOX with excellent results. Now the software helps manage over 200 items and 6 suppliers, and the company is planning to introduce two more suppliers to the system. By changing from MRP to electronic kanban, Idea Group was able to register an average 50% decrease in inventory.
We spoke to Pier Antonio Foscan, KPO of Idea Group, who told us about their experience with our software. Due to the high seasonal character of their product, traditional kanban didn’t work properly within the company. The result was that manual kanban required costly maintenance, supplies increased instead of decreasing and production standstills remained a problem.
By switching to an electronic system they were able to have better control over supplies, even those items with an irregular consumption. Furthermore, it became easier to collect data about consumption and to monitor on-time supply delivery.
‘There was some initial resistance, partly due to the problems we had had with manual kanban. It was very useful to be able to do an initial free testing period to help conquer these doubts. Now the people who were doubtful at the start are the ones who are most enthusiastic.’
Positive results were reached within the first two or three months and consolidated over the following year. Idea Group has registered an average 25% decrease in inventory when changing from manual to electronic kanban, while it has improved as far as minus 50% when changing from MRP to electronic kanban. Furthermore, there are no more out-of-stock situations.
‘Thanks to KanbanBOX we can say that we have reached the two goals we had given ourselves: reduced supplies and no more stock-outs.’
The software was set up in a period of high season and suppliers were added to the system gradually. So far six suppliers have been added and the company are planning to add another two.
According to Ing. Foscan, KanbanBOX enables the company to monitor suppliers on-time delivery, allowing suppliers to visualize the state of the active orders in a clear and fast way. Furthermore, the software requires on-time action since the sizing of inventory is based on a set replenishment lead time. This helps the relationship between supplier and customer and consequently on-time delivery.
‘In some cases we have managed to reduce replenishment lead time by up to 50% compared with manual kanban.’
KanbanBOX was easy to set up and is used without problems by both the company itself and suppliers. Pier Antonio points out the fact that the software is easily used by suppliers who don’t know the principles of kanban and have little or no computer skills.
‘KanbanBOX is very easy to use… It is user friendly and can be used by people with all levels of expertise.’
Idea Group has greatly improved its inventory management since implementing our software, while managing to reach its main goals. In Pier Antonio’s words: ‘There are only benefits in using KanbanBOX’.
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