Reducing Inventory Waste Through Material Pull

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Lean Six Sigma

John Rudy
System Manager of Process Excellence and Operational Planning

Paul Remonko
Process Improvement Specialist

Excess inventory takes up valuable space and impacts an organizations ability to operate in an efficient manner. See how OhioHealth reduced inventory in a hospital surgical area while improving material availability and reducing inventory costs and obsolescence. Case studies will demonstrate lean tools utilized and results achieved.

Many people enjoy the false sense of security that extra material brings, feeling that it will help guard against material outages. Unfortunately, too much is never enough, and the increase in material simply adds labor, waste, obsolescence, and makes it hard to find the material you do have on hand.

Material pull and kanban are effective tools that have been utilized successfully in manufacturing settings. The same tools can be applied in the hospital to reduce inventory, reduce costs, reduce obsolescence, and improve material availability. All of this provides an operational advantage that aids in combating ever-rising healthcare costs. In addition, these tools establish a material system that is easy for all to maintain and understand.

With the requirement to reduce costs while meeting customer demand, an effective material supply system is more critical than ever. Reducing inventory levels is critical, but the correct inventory system must be in place so that the hospital can still function in a timely manner. Case studies will demonstrate how material pull methodologies have resulted in hard dollar savings, reductions in obsolete material, and improved up-time by reducing material shortages.