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As well as all other systems, KANBAN has to be audited to insure that it is properly working and no deviation exists. When a KANBAN has been designed as a visual scheduling system (with physical cards or with boxes), it is easy to audit.

What need to be audited?

3 critical points need to be audited:

  • respect of the batch size by the production line (the supplier);
  • respect of the organisation of the storage area by the supplier as well as the customer (references at the right place, each KANBAN unit have a KANBAN card...);
  • no lost of KANBAN (card or boxes if you are using a KANBAN with no card).

The first 2 points have to be audited at the end of each shift in order to insure that the supplier as well as the customer respect the system. We call it the Shift Audit because it is related to the respect of the KANBAN by the human organization.
The third point is a check of the loop size and can be audited with a lower frequency, especially if you are using large cards or boxes which are difficult to loose. We call it the Loop Audit. It has to be done when loops are changed or at least once a week.

Shift audit (Audit level 1)

The target is to conduct light audits at high frequency (every shift) by the operators themselves instead of deep audits generally longer and difficult to be done by operators which have other priorities. By been involved in these audits, operators take the ownership of the system and insure its robustness.
This audit consists to check if:

  • the number of card/boxes in each Batch Building Box is lower than the batch size and each card has the right reference;
  • the number of cards/boxes for each batch in the Launcher is equal to the right batch size;
  • all KANBAN units in the storage area have a KANBAN card and the right one

Loop audit (audit level 2)

This audit is longer than the previous one. It consists to check for each reference if the right number of KANBAN still exists in the loop. So it is really important to define in which areas you can find KANBAN cards.
For example with a KANBAN with cards:

  • if the KANBAN unit is the pallet but the customer is picking by boxes directly in the storage area, you just need to look for KANBANs in this area, in the Batch Building Boxes, on the Launcher and eventually around the production line;
  • if the KANBAN unit is the pallet and the customer is picking by pallets directly in the storage area you may have to check the customer production lines to find, eventually, KANBAN forgotten to be removed from pallets by the customer;

If you use a KANBAN with no card you will have to count boxes used by the customer on its production line.

In both cases it will be important to check areas where you can find parts in-transit between the production line and the storage area and eventually between the storage area and the customer lines.

To avoid any area to be forgotten, it is better to formalize in this audit the list of areas to be checked by reference.

All the Audit sheets have to be stored in a specific location before been archived.

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