The great majority of hospitals in the United States manage hospital supplies using what is called the Par Level method. One of the strengths of this method, it is claimed, is that it works well in the face of variable usage.
Michel Baudin's insight:
If you have always wanted to know how hospitals managed their inventory of medicines, the article will both tell you the traditional method they have been using, and how the Kanban system can outperform it.
"The Kanban method as we know it today has many other influencers and origins besides Ohno and TPS. Two such influencers were of course W. Edwards Deming and Eliyahu Goldratt. Demings 14 Points and the System of Profound Knowledge guide Kanban change agents worldwide.
Thus the “watershed” of the Kanban method circa 2013 has many “tributaries” of which the TPS is only one. Those other sources should be studied by those how want to apply the Kanban method effectively as change agents."
Michel Baudin's insight:
It takes nerve to write this sort of things.
Among the tools of TPS, the Kanban system is the only one that has been covered in the media from the beginning to the point of overexposure, because it combines a clever idea with objects you can see and touch.
What some software people did is borrow the names of both Lean and Kanban and apply them to theories with at best a tenuous relationship to the original.
That it worked for them as a marketing technique is to their credit, but I would not advise anyone wanting to learn about the Kanban system to read Deming, Goldratt, or Drucker, who is also referenced.
And TPS is not a "tributary" of the Kanban method. It is the Kanban method that is a tool of TPS, and useful only in the proper context, in conjunction with other tools in a well-thought out implementation.
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