I can certainly see the appeal in electronic kanban. If you have a truck that comes to your plant twice a week and you’re sending physical kanban cards back to the supplier, that transportation time of the truck back to the supplier has to be included in the kanban lead time. If you can cut that kanban lead time, that means fewer kanban cards/containers and less inventory in the system. Faxes can be problematic for the reasons mentioned in this press release (faxes get lost, are time consuming, aren’t easily confirmed, etc.). Do any of you have experience with software based kanban solutions? I’ve heard anecdotally that Toyota uses an electronic kanban solution (I suspect it’s homegrown).
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