On the
surface level, lean and ERP seems different but there are quite a few similarities
between them. Lean management reduces waste by reducing inventory level,
whereas, ERP focuses on replenishing inventory by keeping a constant check on
the reorder point.


proper implementation of ERP, the efficiency of Kanban and other lean
management techniques increase.

If ERP is
implemented quite perfectly, the efficiency of most of the other operating
methodologies improve substantially. Kanban and other lean management
techniques increase the most.


How ERP helps lean management:


transactions are automated and have very low level of interaction with the end
user, hence the user is allowed to work on the real task while rest is managed
by automation.


Let us
learn from a few examples: –


ERP with Kanban in Electronic and Paper manufacturing firms.

ERP systems
can provided the facility to print Kanban cards once or multiple times on the
basis of what the firm wants. Further decisions can be made about the
preference of amination or further customization on each card. This all can run
in a sync by maintaining a tandem between the ERP system and Lean Manufacturing
methodology, or Kanban in this case.


ERP can
further enhance operating efficiency by providing electrical Kanbans which are
less likely to get lost unlike the paper based Kanban. Physical Kanban are more
likely to be misplaced and hence can lead to disruption in the process of
manufacturing a particular good, further costing in terms of time lost.


electronic Kanban created using ERP can also be used at long distances as the
system is interconnected and requires no physical transfer of Kanban. This
allows the firm the operate faster and stay connected even over longer


Instant Kanban using ERP for instant metrics. For example, actual production
speed, scrap percentage, etc. This is essential if a manager needs to be
pragmatic and needs to make quick assessment of a situation.


further offers the ability to customize a Kanban for a particular event which
does not usually fall under the Kanban spectrum in a firm.

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