A pull system is a production or service process which is designed to deliver goods or services as they are required by the customer or, within the production process, when required by the next step. This type of system can also be called a build to order production/inventory sytem
The pull system is usually implemented with the aid of a kanban card system . This kanban card system is used to provide a sign or signal by the next step in the process or downstream operation that it requires inputs in forms of raw materials or WIP from the previous or upstream operation/ work station. This ensures that parts or materials move only when required and in the manner and configuration as required.
The pull system is also called a JIT system because it operates Just in time in delivering finish goods, materials or WIP when it is needed instead of just to accumulate inventory.
A pull system has the following advantages :
-Minimization of waste and obsolete stock
-Reduction of WIP and buffer stock across the supply chain
-Flexibility to deliver customer demands quicker
-Reduction in the need of working capital in a business
An example of a Pull system can be a local coffee shop which makes coffees/hot beverages to customer orders. The hot beverage manufacturing process does not commence until an order is received from a customer. So the customer generates a signal when he purchases a cup of coffee, effectively pulling materials through the coffee making system, thus called a pull system. If there are no orders coffees aren't being made to stock up on "finished coffees". This would be impractical and very costly for the coffee shop.
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