Information flow = production flow

Production takes place on demand and on call!

Information flow runs counter to production flow.

When you run your production in a continuous flow, the first effect that becomes apparent is how much time it takes to conceptualize a product and bring it to market. Products take months or years to conceptualize and complete. In flow, products can be brought to market in weeks. Womack and Jones make the claim that by using continuous flow, most productions can save up to 75% of their time. More importantly, a lean system also allows the producer to respond quickly to customer requests, which brings us to the pull principle.

The common approach of a production process is to produce from left to right. This means the information flow is the same as the production flow and is not dictated by the end customer. This type of production makes it impossible to determine the actual demand. The consequences are often large inventories or the wrong output in the wrong place at the wrong time. The pull principle means that the customer triggers production. Production is thus demand-driven and on demand. The flow of information from right to left ensures that only what is actually required is produced. Starting from the end customer, the next link in the process chain always requests the output of the upstream station. In the context of the construction industry, a trade triggers the required upstream service. In this way, far fewer resources are tied up and the process can be brought into a continuous flow.

Pull principle through technical innovation

The push principle is applied in book sales, for example. It is difficult for publishers to estimate the demand for a book before it is published. However, in order not to sell out just when a book is published, they produce a large quantity of books as a precaution. Even if the book sells very well at the beginning, it is impossible to predict when these sales will collapse. So production is kept up as long as people keep buying the book. However, a collapse in sales usually happens very quickly, while an adjustment in production, on the other hand, is delayed. For this reason, publishers throw away vast quantities of new books every year because there is no demand for them. This contrasts with eBooks, which, due to their digital availability, are only ?produced? when the customer wants them. Here, the application of the pull principle means that eBooks are usually significantly cheaper than the book in paper form.