Kanban is a workflow management methodology developed by Toyota. Learn more about how it can be applied in asset management.

Kanban is a Japanese word that can be translated as “card” or “signage”. It was developed by Toyota in the 1940s, and its objectivity and simplicity are extremely efficient in managing the workflow. Did you know that this methodology can be applied perfectly in asset management?

In this article, we’ll share with you some ways to use kanban in asset maintenance management within the business. Also know what benefits it can generate for operations!

What is the kanban method?

Kanban is a workflow organization methodology that uses colored cards in different columns to specify the step the task is currently in.

Overall, this flow is divided into three parts: to do, doing and done. Each task is represented by a card. The card that represents a task that is still waiting to be done is in the to-do column. When this task starts, the card is transferred to the next column: doing. When the task is complete, the card moves to the last column: done. This is the most basic model.

This type of methodology uses cards to signal the stage in which the task is. Thus, although in this most basic format, kanban consists of three steps and cards represent tasks, the system is quite flexible, so that cards and the number of columns or steps can be adapted according to the company’s workflow.

For example, in a content production agency a task can represent an article, and each column indicates what stage the production of this article is at, such as planning, production, review, and publishing.

In this context we can explain that there are at least 2 types of kanban:

  • production kanban: in this case the collum indicates the work to be performed and the color can indicate the sector or person responsible for the task;
  • movement kanban: In this case, the location or stage in which the item is located on the production line is indicated.

This same methodology can be used in other activities, for example, in asset management. Understand better how it works.

How to use the kanban method in asset management?

Asset management encompasses a series of activities that try to extract value from business assets. This area tracks assets across all lifecycles from acquisition planning to maintenance and disposal.

The kanban method can be applied in different activities within asset management. It can be used, for example, in the programming of maintenance in order to supervise inspections made on equipment. The system works in a very simple way: employees can observe in the kanban board the card that is in their shift, remove the card and perform scheduled maintenance according to the specifications described in it.

In this case, each column represents a turn, a left track divides the frame into different rows that represent the days of the week. Each line that represents the days of the week is divided by schedules. This way the manager can insert the cards within the shifts in which the machines need to be inspected.

This weekly schedule is very intuitive, easy to follow and eliminates the need to hold several meetings for task distribution. In addition, the supervisor who organizes the weekly activities has a clear view of which machines need repairs, what interventions are needed and which professionals are responsible for each task.

One of the great advantages of the kanban method for asset management is that it can be applied in different ways. You can implement it using a simple manual frame with post-its representing cards or even using advanced management software that organizes workflow information in kanban form.

Want to learn more about using advanced software to manage the maintenance of your business objectives? Then  request a demonstration of Manusis4!