Kanban is a Japanese word that literally means billboard sign. The term has been modified in its application of manufacturing activities to mean card or ticket. Toyota originally developed Kanban manufacturing techniques. The Toyota approach used cards as a signal that additional items were required to meet production schedules. So in its simplest form Kanban manufacturing uses a card to signal someone that an action is required to apply additional items to the shop.

The use of Kanban manufacturing techniques will help a company move to a just-in-time manufacturing environment. This then becomes one of the tools that can be used by a company to be more competitive in today’s environment.

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