All-Pro Fasteners and a leading manufacturer of premium commercial and residential turf equipment have enjoyed the benefits of an outstanding partnership from the very beginning of the two companies’ relationship. And today after many years, both companies continue to benefit from an effective supplier/customer partnership.
Employing a Kanban VMI System
Working closely with the manufacturer’s management team, our initial goal was to determine the most efficient and effective process to improve the flow of sourced materials from All-Pro to where they were needed in the manufacturer’s operation: the point of use.
It was immediately apparent to us that a Kanban system was the best option. By implementing a VMI Kanban system, All-Pro was able to significantly reduce the footprint for fastener storage, both by replacing the fastener cage with a smaller workstation and by reducing the quantity of material stored at the point of use.
Standardized fastener package sizes were established based on bin size and usage. For instance, if only 30 pieces of a #10 flat washer were used in a month, the bin holding the washers would receive only 100 pieces. Supplying fasteners based on projected usage made refilling bins quicker and more accurate. In addition, the turnaround time for our partner’s fastener replenishment was significantly reduced. Since our partner’s material handlers no longer needed to be concerned about replenishing fasteners, non-fastener material could be moved more efficiently to where it was being used.
Together, our manufacturing partner and we switched the invoicing for all repetitive fastener items that qualified for the Kanban system to summary billing. Not only did this considerably unburden our partner’s accounting department, it also significantly reduced the time their purchasing department would have to spend issuing POs in a conventional customer/vendor relationship. Our partner was able to provide us with a production schedule, which allowed us to set replenishment levels based on lead time and projected requirements, eliminating the need for their purchasing department to spend time managing these items.
Assuring Fastener Quality
We also implemented a First Article process, which provided our partner with documentation that all dimensional, material, and plating requirements were met before product was delivered to the floor. By streamlining the system, All-Pro was able to minimize future quality concerns during our partner’s production process.
Eight Years Later
Today, the VMI Kanban system is still going strong, with over 1500 points of use on our partner’s production floor being serviced 6 times a day. This system was developed with Continuous Improvement in mind. So, as our partner’s needs change, we are ready to adapt and continue to provide a high level of service based on our focus on Continuous Improvement.
Director of Engagement