“We have a customer who makes cameras, for which they use a cleanroom with a complex kanban system. No customer is the same in that respect, we want to relieve them all of their worries. Compared to other suppliers of kanban in fasteners, we pay a lot of attention to optimizing the system, we are really going to help the customer and not sell anything”.
Richard Wijnen is Logistics Manager at Multifix and specializes 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: one large plastic storage bin was sent back and forth by truck, the other bin was left behind by the customer. We still do that with some customers.”
Want to know more about kanban or ‘two-bin’? https://www.multifixgroup.com/logistiek/
What is the difference between kanban and two bin?
“Kanban is a Toyota system for signalling when something is needed, so very broad. The two bin system fits 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 by the supplier. This topping up happens while bin two is being used.”
“At Multifix we prefer to speak of a ‘topping up system’ rather than ‘two bin’, because it can also be a ‘single bin’ or a scanning solution. We always customize it, every customer is different. We explain all the possibilities to the customer, if they don’t want a ‘two bin’ they don’t have to. The danger of ‘single bin’ is interpretation, our employees who come to refill have to interpret themselves when refilling is necessary, you often fill too much or too little”.
Is the scanning solution also part of kanban?
“Yes, it is. Our scanning solution is based on a so-called data collector that prints the barcode of a storage bin containing the article, number and unit. The customer then determines the moment of ordering. We can supplement the order, or the customer chooses to do that himself.
“We also show customers extensive reports; how often have we topped something up, or more importantly: how often not? We also give advice on this, in order to keep the system as clean as possible. Of course, the customer determines the layout of the stock racks, from the convenience of their mechanic”.
How do you treat items that are not in your assortment?
“For items that we do not carry ourselves as standard, an agreement is made with the customer about the stock, this is based on a purchase contract. We supply additional products, we want to be ‘one stop shop’. Ultimately, our system has to take work away from the customer, unburdening him”.
“Any company with its own product could be suitable for kanban. Especially when it comes to repetitive work, because if you have a project organization with many different articles, the story changes. We have separate solutions for this.”
How do you help customers with kanban and two bin?
“If clients want to start with kanban, I go to the client and follow a screening: what is their process like and do they want to work centralized or decentralized? We can replenish in a central stock, but also up to the workplace of the employees”.
“From this inventory and a tour an advice follows, if that is accepted an inventory of the articles will be done. Customers often do not know exactly what they are using, let alone the quantity. The value of fasteners is often too low for registration in their system, it is not worthwhile to administer every fastener”.
“We will then physically make an inventory list, a blueprint of the future ‘two bin’ rack. This list will be converted to our items, if they are not known we will involve our buyers. This is followed by a price calculation and, if agreed, an implementation date is agreed upon”.
And then everything is ready for the ‘takeover’?
“Right. With the inventory list, the blueprint of the ‘two bin’ rack and the system to be used, we literally take everything out of the customer’s hands, any stock of items that may be in stock comes into our bins. You then agree on a frequency and delivery day and then the train can start rolling”.
“But ‘two bin’ is not sanctifying, you know. For example, it is less suitable if the customer’s logistics people walk with the bins, because then there is no signal. The operation of the replenishment system also depends on the discipline of the user”.
“‘Two bin’ also goes wrong when the average need exceeds. In case of peaks in use, the customer has to give a signal, in theory you could go wrong. In that case, customers rely on our insight and communication with the people on the floor”.
What is your role at MULTIFIX?
“I’m a Logistics Manager, but I also go to customers for logistics advice. I’ve been here for 15 years now and it’s great, 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 job, for example. If you’re an order picker here, you’re not just that. You’re also going to unload cars, make sets, you name it. We want to keep the jobs interesting.”
“In the end, the people here are also very self-managing, they see for themselves what has to happen. We also give a lot of feedback, but we make sure that people dare to give their opinion. As an employee you have to dare to make mistakes, that’s when you learn the most”.
Would you like to know more about kanban or ‘two-bin’? Send a mail to Richard.Wijnen@multifix.nl.