In today’s manufacturing flexibility plays a big role, which is also why many of the lean tools like the Lean Supermarket contributes to this area in manufacturing.

Definition of Lean Supermarket

The Lean Supermarket is a mobile FIFO system that clearly presents the used materials and visually indicates stock levels and need to refill.
It works a bit similar to a traditional supermarket as you know from when you go shopping. Everything is placed on small shelves that are clearly marked, and when a predefined inventory level has been reached it is restocked.
The flexibility is achieved by easily being able to change what is kept in it based on your needs in production, also making them mobile gives the advantage to move them as needed when production changes.

Advantage of Lean Supermarket

Creating manual portable containers as a Lean Supermarket can replace forklifts and eliminate a lot of heavy stock.
The type of waste Lean Supermarkets is most effective in reducing is transport; this is done by having a direct interface to the production line as well as the option to move them closer to the line or cell where they are used.

Items to consider when implementing Lean Supermarket

  • Mobility: The Lean Supermarkets should be mobile and possible to move by a person, that way they can easily be moved around as the manufacturing process is developed and improved over time. They can also be moved closer to the line to reduce transport time.
  • Customisation: Easy customisation of the Lean Supermarket is essential, as it need to adapt to the daily changes based on the demands fro customers. E.g. introduction of a updated part.

Everyday Example of Lean Supermarket

A vending machine is a very good example of how the Lean Supermarket works. The number of slots a product get is based on consumption, e.g. a popular product could get three slots and the less popular just one.
This minimise the risk of lost sales due to a product running out between fillings.

If you are interested in getting started with lean and implementing some of the methodologies in your company or business, then our 5S Training might be of interest to you. It is usually the first step to take when starting out with lean, as it creates the foundation for further improvements to be implemented.

Alternatively you can continue to our Quality Training page to see some of the other types of training we provide.

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Lean Supermarket