KANBAN in Garment Manufacturing Industry

KANBAN in Garment Manufacturing Industry

Swati Wadekar
Executive IE officer at Pratibha Syntex, Indore
Email: swatiw1110@gmail.com


Kanban is a visual method that is used in Lean manufacturing as well as just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing. Originally the Kanban principle was developed by Taiichi Ohno in the Toyota motor corporation in 1947. In Japanese, KANBAN meaning is “visual cards”. In KANBAN system every work item is represented as a separate card on board. The main purpose of representing work as a card on the compart board is to allow concern person to track the progress of work in visual manner. Toyota Motor Corporation was able to control the production much more successful and efficient after implantation of kanban system. With this system they can reduce the cost of product as well as increase the productivity.[1]

What is KANBAN board?
The kanban board is a visual tool that is used to implement kanban system. It helps you to visualize your work and ensure it’s all moving in the right direction. It is used to implement kanban system. A garment kanban board includes:

kanban board

What is KANBAN Card?
A kanban card is a visual tool to representan item of work. It is very important component of kanban system that helps you visualize your work, limit work in progress, and maximize efficiency. A garment kanban card includes:

  • Lot name and number
  • Number of pcs or bundles
  • Card issue date
  • Product
  • Style number

How to Implement KANBAN in Garment Manufacturing Industry:
There are few steps to follow the kanban system in garment manufacturing industry.

  1. Map your current workflow
  2. Visualize your work
  3. Focus on flow
  4. Limit your WIP
  5. Measure and Improve

1. Map your current workflow:
The first step in implementation of kanban system is Map current workflow. You need to map out each and every step and look for areas where there are potential to improve. First identify the problem and list them and then identify person who are executing process. Implement necessary improvements and consist them.

2. Visualize your work:
Humans process visual information much better than any other form of communication. In Kanban system, workflow visualization means mapping particular steps of work and show them into columns of a Kanban board, and tracking work items as they move through them.

3. Focus on flow:
The third principle of implementation of kanban system is focusing on flow of process. It is very essential in Kanban system. With the help of kanban board we can observe that how work is moving from the first process to another.

4. Limit your WIP:
In Kanban system, work in progress (WIP) limits set the maximum amount of work. Limiting the amount of work in progress (WIP) makes it easier to identify bottlenecks and the efficiency of the team work. WIP makes bottlenecks visible in the workflow. Team members can easily understood the issue of bottleneck and resolve that. Work across the team begins to the flow again. Limit WIP is very important tool in Kanban process.[4]

5. Measure and Improve:
The last principle of Kanban system is measure and improve. This tool allows you to measure how work flow is going through the process. So that you can make continuous improvement in the process. Cycle time (how fast work gets done) and throughput time (how much work is delivered) are two best measuring tools of Kanban to measure your teams performance.[5]

Benefits of implementation of kanban system in government manufacturing industry:

  1. Better visibility of work
  2. Increase efficiency
  3. Improve team coordination and communication
  4. Reduce unnecessary or non value added work
  5. Better focus on workflow
  6. Increased productivity
  7. Increase transparency [6]

a) Better visibility of work:
Digital or physical board of kanban is the greatest tool for visibility of work. Using the kanban board, everyone can easily track the progress of work flow. With the visual presentation of Kanban board you can easily spot the bottlenecks. Ensure that the kanban board should be highly visible and updated with the current task.

b) Increase efficiency:
Every manufacturing industry wishes they could get more production. With the process of visualization you can easily highlight the area of bottlenecks and too much work in progress (WIP) are clearly visible. Once you have identified your problem, it is time to get solution on it.

c) Improve team coordination and communication:
Kanban system encourage your team to work together. Every team member give their opinion on how to improve current processes and how to resolve bottlenecks.

d) Reduce unnecessary or non value added work:
Kanban system eliminate or reduce non value added work. Many activities would not be necessary or essential for the manufacturing of the quality product. Kanban system identifies the unnecessary process and eliminate them.

c) Better focus on work flow:
With the (work in progress) WIP limits in place, reducing non value added work and keeping work flow visualize, team members can more focus on work. They can pay attention on single task at a time rather than get stuck between multiple work.

d) Increased productivity:
Improved efficiency naturally leads next benefits of kanban system that is increased productivity. The tool of Kanban system cycle time and through put time you can measure the productivity of each person. With the visibility of work you can easily focus from starting work to finish work.

e) Increase transparency:
With the visualization of work and limits Work in progress transparency gets increase. With the transparency in work you can build the trust with your co workers and can give Better clarity of work.

In conclusion, Implementing Kanban in garment manufacturing industry involves mapping workflow, visualizing work, focusing on flow, limiting WIP, and continuous improvement. This system offers various benefits: improved visibility, efficiency, team coordination, reduced non-value-added work, focused workflow, increased productivity, and enhanced transparency. By highlighting bottlenecks and enabling better problem-solving, Kanban optimizes production processes, ultimately boosting the manufacturing industry’s effectiveness and output.


  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/k/kanban.asp
  2. https://www.atlassian.com/agile/kanban/cards
  3. https://www.planview.com/resources/articles/implement-kanban-system/
  4. https://www.atlassian.com/agile/kanban/wip-limits
  5. https://getnave.com/blog/kanban-metrics/
  6. https://getnave.com/blog/kanban-benefits/

You may also like:

  1. Line Balancing and Bottleneck in Garment Production Line
  2. KPI (Key Performance Indicator) in Garment Industry
  3. 5S Methodology in Textile and Garment Industry
  4. Just in Time (JIT) in Garment Manufacturing: Concepts and Benefits
  5. How to Calculate Work in Progress (WIP) in Garment Industry

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