The name 'Kanban' originates from Japanese, and translates roughly as "signboard", "label card", or “label indicator”. This system is used to control the production, the complete flow of material, the transfer of information between each manufacturing segment where the product “flows”, to manage the supply of material, to order material, up to the actual satisfying of the needs of the customer.
This form of control is considerably simplified, it can be applied to the practise by simple utilization of manual as well as electronic version of the system.
Perhaps the biggest difference between conventional mass production planning and production control using Kanban is that the production plan is based not simply on customer´s orders, but firmly on real pick up and payment for the goods. Kanban is one of the most important tools in such called PULL system, or drag system.
This logic of planning we find not only in industrial companies, automotive plants, but also in stores such as Tesco, fast food restaurants like McDonald's and the like.
Can you imagine more simple form of planning than the one you use today?