Lamiflex S.p.A., an Italian company based near the town of Bergamo (Ponte di Nossa, BG), has been producing composite materials for the past 30 years. A leading company, both in Italy and world-wide, thanks to its research and development team Lamiflex is always at the forefront in its industry and looking to improve its expertise. The company’s products include high performance materials for aeronautics, the medical industry, mechanics, design, as well as shielding systems for electromagnetic radiation.
After introducing manual Kanban using a post-it system, Lamiflex chose to switch to electronic Kanban with KanbanBOX in order to improve an effective and tested process. Thanks to the new software, implemented within a few days, the average percentage decrease of inventory reached minus 30%, materials management time was reduced by 30 minutes a week, and reminders reached a minimum.
We interviewed Salvatore Marzullo, Head of Lean Manufacturing office at Lamiflex. Read the interview to find out how KanbanBOX helped improve company processes and efficiency.
Why did you choose to switch to electronic kanban?
To further perfect a process of inventory turnover based on manual kanban.
Why did you choose KanbanBOX?
KanbanBOX is visually pleasant, practical and simple. We showed it to the team who were going to be in charge of using it and the feedback was very positive. We heard about KanbaBOX from a Lean consultant.
What has been the average percentage decrease in inventory?
The average percentage decrease in inventory has been of 30%, not only in the warehouse, but also for the overall process.
How much operational time do you save in materials management?
The estimated average decrease is about minus 30 minutes a week.
Have you been able to register a reduction of production standstills caused by lack of materials? How much have they decreased?
In our case, we already had no production standstills. Instead we had a problem with excess and hidden stock.
During the conversion from manual to electronic kanban, did you notice a reduction of mistakes linked to the loss or mismanagement of the kanban cards, or alternatively, an improved supervision?
Supervision has certainly improved thanks to a system which can be accessed by everyone, everywhere.
When implementing KanbanBOX with suppliers from one department to another, did you notice a reduction of supply times and/or an increase in punctuality of delivery?
Yes! It has been one of the strong points of having one kanban for all the departments.
Absolute savings and/or percentage from no kanban to electronic kanban?
Our ratio benefits/costs from no kanban to electronic kanban is about 3,5. For every euro invested we have received benefits 3,5 times higher.
When implementing KanbanBOX with suppliers, did you notice a reduction of reminders/phone calls to the suppliers?
Phone calls have certainly disappeared and confirmation emails have been significantly reduced. Operational emails about kanban are gradually disappearing. There has been a substantial reduction of ‘arguments’ by email or phone about semi-finished products: there was a machine in the house with a high capacity, but it did not serve us properly. Finally there were some hidden work in progress goods that were put aside and not declared. In the end both the supplier and the internal customer were dissatisfied.
Have you had any difficulty implementing the software? What kind? From a technical point of view we haven’t had any problems. Being able to use the software on company tablets has been particularly useful. It is a great added value to be able to check the kanban system outside the office. The software is very user-friendly and it only needs to be explained once. As far as personnel is concerned, there was some initial reticence when the change from a push to a pull system was first introduced, in particular the change in delivery dates (the date on the kanban card doesn’t correspond with the order from the client, and this is something new). At first, it was also hard to put aside the excel files that people were used to working with.
How long did it take to implement KanbanBOX? The set up took 5 days including testing. Overall the time actually spent implementing the software was 2 working days. After a couple of weeks we extended the system to new codes and the process only took a few hours. Today our personnel only engages in control activities and maintenance, since the set up is complete. We are currently testing the inventory management of the aeronautics department with KanbanBOX. In the near future we expect to manage at least 100 parts and to turn off the production schedule for these goods.
Other comments? Overall KanbanBOX is easy to use. The interface used to create a kanban card is very simple, it is visually effective and works well. It is a ‘just one click’ system!
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