When a Kanban system is running internally, the transfer of classical kanbans into different areas can be established fairly easily. But, what if you have parts that are made by suppliers and need to be transferred externally? In this case a supplier kanban is used in place of a withdrawal or a move kanban. A supplier Kanban process is usually described as a connection between your external vendors and the internal kanban system. This can also work with different locations of the same company. The companies can be linked together into a supply-chain process via Kanban and replenish effectively.
Put very simply a supplier kanban can be attached to a container that is located in an inbound area of a downstream process. When the downstream process begins consuming the materials, they remove the supplier kanban and send it to their outside supplier. Here’s another example where we have four different points in a process including an external supplier.
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