When you visit a doctor’s office or a hospital, how often is the first person you see the doctor? Rarely, if ever, right?
The idea is efficiency. Lower-paid nurses and assistants handle the preliminary details – blood pressure check, intake questions, etc – so that 100% of the doctor’s time is spent on diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
Kitting is to the manufacturing environment what the intake process is to the doctor’s office.
Kitting organizes and even assembles parts used in the manufacturing of a product so they can be delivered to the point of use, saving time on the line. Often this work is performed in a lower-cost warehouse by third party logistics providers (3PLs) who manage suppliers’ material, prepare it, and deliver it just in time.
Kitting makes assembly workers much more efficient . Manufacturers who do not utilize some form of kitting are like doctor’s offices where the doctors do BP checks and run the intake process.
Benefits of Kitting Services
Kitting starts with the production team defining the kit of combined parts. 3PLs can be involved in this process and often can provide good advice on how to package kits in the most logical and effective way.
Here are key benefits of kitting services for lean manufacturing environments:
Free up space.
By moving component inventory, and kitting services, to a nearby warehouse, you are able to devote more floor space to production. Think about it, why use your costly manufacturing space to store parts, packaging and trash? If you are growing and need to expand production, moving the component materials off site can give you the space you need to avoid capital-intensive expansion projects.
Improve productivity and reduce labor costs.
With kitting services, you are essentially starting the manufacturing process outside your plant. Pre-sorted kits save time and labor by ensuring necessary components are available at the point of use. If parts are not kitted, it is time-consuming for assemblers to search inventory, pull parts and log usage.
Reduce inventory and improve cash flow.
Kitting services are often combined with vendor managed inventory services, where your 3PL receives and stores suppliers’ materials and ships to you as needed. Suppliers ensure sufficient stocks are available to support daily production needs and they retain ownership of inventory until it is consumed.
Run Your Plant Like a Doctor’s Office
In a doctor’s office, assistants don’t need a medical degree to take a BP reading. In a factory, tasks like detrashing, counting and organizing parts do not require the skill level, and often the pay grade, of your assembly workers.
Realize the benefits of kitting and run your factory more like a doctor’s office. Match the work with the appropriate skill level. Your assembly workers, and your CFO, will thank you.