Nieuws - 15 December 2021 Richard Wijnen | Kanban in Fasteners

"No customer is the same in that respect. We want to unburden them all. Compared to other suppliers of kanban in fasteners, we put a lot of effort into optimising the system. We really help the customer, not sell them something."

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Richard Wijnen is Logistics Manager at Multifix. He is specialised in 'Value Added Logistics'. Among other things through the principle of kanban. "We started with kanban 15 years ago. We helped the first customer with a two-bin system. A large plastic container was sent back and forth on the lorry. The other bin stayed behind at the customer's premises. We still do that with some customers."

What's the difference between kanban and two bin?

"Kanban is a Toyota system for signalling when something is needed. So it is very broad! The two-bin system fits in with that idea. You work with two storage bins for a certain type of screws, for example. As soon as one bin is empty, a so-called kanban card signals that it needs to be refilled. This is done by the supplier. This refilling takes place while bin two is being used."

"At Multifix we prefer to speak of a 'replenishment system' rather than 'two bin'. It can also be 'single bin' or a scanning solution. We always make it tailor-made. Every customer is different! We present all possibilities to the customer. If they do not want a 'two-bin', they do not have to. The danger of 'single bin' is interpretation. Our employees who come to refill must decide for themselves when this is necessary. You often fill too much or too little."

Is the scanning solution also covered by kanban?

"Indeed. Our scanning solution is based on a so-called data collector. This prints the barcode of a storage container. This shows the article, the quantities and the unit. The order moment is determined by the customer. We can supplement the order. The customer can also choose to do this himself."

"We also show customers comprehensive reports. How often have we refilled something. Or more importantly. How often not? And, where does 'dust' end up? We also give advice on this to keep the system as clean as possible. Of course, the customer determines the layout of the storage racks. From the convenience for their mechanic."

What do you do with items that are not in your range?

"For items that we do not carry as standard, a stock agreement is made with the customer. This is based on a purchase contract. We then also supply additional products! After all, we want to be a 'one stop shop'. Ultimately, our system must take work away from the customer. Unburdening."

"Every company with its own product could be suitable for kanban. Certainly if it involves repetitive work. If you have a project organisation with different articles, the story becomes different. We have separate solutions for this."

How do you help your customers with kanban and two bin?

"When customers want to start using kanban, I go with them. A screening follows. What is the process like? Do they want to work centrally or decentrally? We can replenish it in a central stock. Even down to the employees' workstations."

"From this inventory and a tour, a recommendation follows. If that is accepted, an inventory of the articles follows. Customers often don't know exactly what they use. Let alone the quantity. The value of fasteners is often too low for registration in their system. It's not worthwhile to keep track of every little ring."

"We will then physically make an inventory. A blueprint of the future 'two bin' rack. That list is converted to our items. If they are not known, we involve our buyers. Then a price calculation is made and, if agreed, an implementation date is agreed."

And then everything is ready for the 'takeover'?

"That's right. We collect the inventory list, the blueprint of the 'two bin' rack and the system to be used. Then we literally take everything off the customer's hands. Any existing stock of articles is placed in our bins. You then agree on a frequency and a delivery day. Then the train can start rolling.”

"But 'two bin' is not sanctified! It is less suitable, for example, if the customer's logistics people start walking with the bins. Then there will be no signal. The operation of the replenishment system also depends on the discipline of the user."

"If the average demand exceeds this, it also goes wrong with a 'two bin' system. When there are peaks in usage, the customer has to give a signal. In theory, you could then go wrong. In that case, customers rely on our insight and communication with the people on the floor."

What is your role within MULTIFIX?

“I am a Logistics Manager. I also visit customers for logistics advise. I have been working here for 15 years now and I like it! You get a lot of freedom as an employee. We invest a lot of time in the development of our employees. In the breadth of their jobs, for example. If you are an order picker here, you are not just that. You also unload cars, make sets, you name it. We want to keep the jobs interesting."”

"Ultimately, the people here are also very self-managing. They see for themselves immediately where the fire is. We also give a lot of feedback! Nevertheless, we make sure that people also dare to give their own opinion. As an employee, you have to dare to make mistakes. That's the best way to learn!”

Want to know more about kanban or two-bin systems? Please contact Richard at


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