Business Excellence Magazine Profiles Data craft Solutions Electronic Kanban System

Released on: February 27, 2008, 2:42 pm

Press Release Author: Thomas R. Cutler

Industry: Telecommunications

Press Release Summary: Business Excellence Magazine Profiles Data craft Solutions
Electronic Kanban System

Press Release Body: Power Partners' poletype distribution transformers are
specifically designed to serve residential overhead distribution loads and are
suitable for light commercial loads, industrial lighting, and diversified power
applications. Several unsuccessful attempts at lean manufacturing and vendor
managed inventory led to excess raw material and WIP (work-in-process.) Power
Partners' problems were compounded by inaccurate data in the ERP (enterprise
resource planning) system and the inability to locate material within the plant. To
address these problems, Power Partners developed a card-based kanban system to
signal material replacement actions for many of its materials.

In the January 2008 issue of Business Excellence magazine, leading manufacturing
journalist, Thomas R. Cutler, described the current nature of Demand Driven Supply
Chain and the use of Electronic Kanban by one company. This detailed case study
provides insight to the process and functionality of the most important lean tool.

"We started out trying visual systems, such as a simple two-bin system that could be
managed by the material handler," explains Ben Ehmcke, director of Supply Chain for
Power Partners, Inc. "This system involved marking off an area in receiving where
wire baskets or boxes of material could be stored. The material handler on day shift
was given a preprinted sheet for that supplier. He would take the sheet and place an
'X' in each box to show the inventory on hand, and then fax it to the supplier. The
material would then be delivered at a predetermined time. The next step was to put
up kanban boards for several commodities. As material was received, a recyclable
card was placed on each standard package quantity. When material was moved from the
staging area to WIP, the material handler removed the card and replaced it on the
visual board. The board would also show what was on order and when it was received."
The company's manual kanban system was well documented, yet had two basic flaws.
Firstly, the company considered material handling to be an entry-level position, and
anyone who excelled at it was soon moved to a more skilled position.

It was difficult to maintain the system when there was a constant change of
personnel and training was minimal and secondly, there were just too many people
handling the material. "We were astounded to find out there were up to thirty-eight
different people from just one department that touched the material," notes Ehmcke.

Power Partners needed to find a system where the material handler could perform the
basic job function, and still get the information into the ERP system and to the
supplier. Power Partners did not have the resources to develop a demand driven
supply chain solution internally, even though the company's owners had a business
associate that wanted to develop a system for small to medium-sized companies. They
had the resources to write the software, but had no knowledge of kanban or lean.
After several months of working together, it became evident that the project would
take much longer than Power Partners wanted, and was much more complicated than the
business associate anticipated. The company started looking for software solutions
that could be integrated with their ERP system and grow accordingly. They selected
Datacraft Solutions.

About Datacraft Solutions:

Datacraft Solutions ( delivers a revolutionary digital
kanban process of automation solutions to lean manufacturers through a secure
Internet gateway, eliminating the need to install and maintain a complex IT
infrastructure. The company has experienced significant growth in the past twelve
months by eliminating complicated, expensive, time-intensive software
implementations as well as extensive training regiments and the need for internal
support. The Datacraft Solutions\' replenishment supply chain digital kanban lean
system allows customers access and fully utilize powerful lean benefits immediately
for a low, predictable monthly fee; services are scalable so manufacturers can
design an appropriate solution.

Datacraft Solutions
Sonja Foust

Web Site:

Contact Details: Datacraft Solutions
604 W. Morgan St.
Suite B-9
Durham, NC 27701

  • Printer Friendly Format
  • Back to previous page...
  • Back to home page...
  • Submit your press releases...