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Material Management Techniques Various materials used as inputs, such as raw materials, consumables and spares, are required

to be purchased and made available to the shops as and when needed to ensure uninterrupted production. Push and pull systems are the two important techniques used in materials management Pull Systems Pull systems are a group of techniques that aim to ensure that when stock is used, it is replenished. Most of the "pull" techniques operate principally using visual controls rather than computer systems and are therefore well aligned to "lean manufacturing". Replacement It replaces used items. This technique is commonly used for maintenance spares, grocery shelf restocking, stationery and my partner's re-supply of our bathroom consumables, and was probably used by cave dwellers to replenish food stocks. This is also the underlying principle of "Kanban" systems Vendor managed inventory It is now very common for suppliers to manage customer's inventory by managing the stock levels themselves as a value added service to customers. Usually this replacement is based on simple top up to predetermined levels or by a Fax-Ban. Top up point of use It is now very common for suppliers to manage customer's inventory, replacing used items by delivering directly to point of use, avoiding the stores management process as a value added service to customers. Input /Output control simply delivers inputs to a process what has been produced output. When applied to Work in

Process as a whole, this technique has come to be known as a "Conwip" (Constant WIP) Kanban system. 2 bin systems There are 2 "bins" in the system Bin 1 is in use in the shop. Bin 2 is somewhere and is used to replace bin 1 when it is depleted. Bin 1 is then refilled and held waiting for the depletion of the bin in use. 3 bin systems It operates in the same way as 2 bin systems except that a safety stock is stored separately in the third bin. Breaking into the safety stock triggers an expedite request and a review of bin sizes. Kanban systems They are an extension of 2 and 3 bin systems, where there is a semi-fixed number of containers in the system, which may be spread throughout the system and which are replenished when depleted. Reorder point systems It is asophisticated simple replenishment processes by taking into account the variability of supply and demand ,lead-time to replenish, the reorderpoint where allowing for the lead-time and forecast demand they would be available before using the safety stock.

Push Systems All time buy It is difficult to forecast all time requirements. However for items which are likely to be difficult to acquire in the future and are of low value, this is still a widely used technique, particularly in the aerospace and electronics industries. Project manufacturing Very different in concept to MRP systems, and much better suited to small volume production, or engineer to order environments, this system schedules both parts and processes. Bills of material are created for each "chunk" of the project, and capacity planning includes engineering resource as well as manufacturing resource. Drum, buffer, rope The 'Drum' is the schedule for the bottleneck. The 'Buffer' is surplus stock put in front of the bottleneck to make sure it never runs out. The Rope is the coupling mechanism for ensuring that inputs do not exceed the bottleneck capacity, avoiding build-ups of unnecessary WIP. Drum, buffer, rope can be implemented in its own right manually. In this case the Drum is an MPS for the system based on a rough cut capacity plan for the bottlenecks Other Complementary techniques It includes the following techniques. Consignment stocks was adopted by customers who wanted to loose inventory from their balance sheet, giving rise to bonded warehouses where the stock was available but still belonged to the supplier until issued for use in the shop. the benefit is largely in the supplier's hands rather than with the customer. Sales and purchasing departments continue to use consignment stocks as a bargaining chip and a way of losing stock from the inventory respectively.

3rd party kitting Often combined with 2 bin systems, one kit can be prepared, whilst the previous one is being delivered. Kitting suppliers are either suppliers with dominant kit content, specialist kit consolidators, or increasingly part of a wholly outsourced stores operation. Milk round "Ex-works costing" has facilitated the carrier to create a milk round, delivering and collecting goods on a daily or weekly cycle, ensuring full loads at all times. An in-house customer can often arrange to collect raw materials in the vicinity of their important customers, or other suppliers, to gain economy of scale. Visual control systems Along with the introduction of lean thinking has come response to the need to automate the stock issuing process in conjunction with the introduction of JIT techniques. This has also been used as a basis for paying suppliers. By doing this, a situation has been created where the Bill of Material accuracy for these inexpensive parts must be totally accurate. Enterprise Resources planning systems grew out of MRP and or Inventory Management and or Accounting systems in the early 1990's depending on the pedigree of the software supplier into a "total" business control system integrating the functions and data from various areas. Inventory Management By achieving accurate visibility and effective control over inventory, and setting prices on a customer-by-customer basis, you can reduce operating costs and achieve the fast, efficient fulfillment that keeps customers coming back.