What is Heijunka?
Heijunka is a highly effective lean method that helps reduce any imbalance in the production process, minimizing any possibility of overburden. The Japanese term ‘Heijunka’ stemmed from the production system of an automobile company, which helps to level load any flow to enhance agility. With the supply chain industry involved in multiple operations, the Heijunka method smoothens workload and aligns operations pertaining to customer priorities simultaneously.
Importance of Heijunka in E-commerce Shipping and Delivery
Heijunka reduces uneven distribution in a production process and reduces the possibility of overburdening. The benefits include:
- It also helps facilitate JIT (Just-in-Time) for all departments throughout the entire supply chain and across suppliers.
- Heijunka also helps enhance production efficiency by smoothening performance fluctuations brought about by customer demand.
- Implementing this method can reduce inventory costs and protect teams from overburden.
How Heijunka Works and Its Prerequisites
Heijunka helps companies produce and deliver value to customers steadily so that companies can act on the fluctuations as per the average demand. Therefore, this method has two ways to level production:-
- Leveling by volume: This enables companies to stop production in batches and only produce what is ordered.
- Leveling by type: This relies on the average demand for every product in the portfolio.
Use Case With Heijunka
Suppose a cloth manufacturing company produces different types of clothes for men, including shirts, pants and coats. They get 100 products a month, and each product takes 1 hour to finish. By implementing Heijunka, companies can level production and meet customer demand by producing products as per the requirements.