Case Study: End-to-End Pull System Implementation


The primary plant of a global medical devices company was struggling with service levels on their ship-from-stock flagship product line, which was driving a significant decline in market share.   


We deployed a small team to assess the primary drivers of the issue, they identified that:

  • Supply variability far outweighed demand variability and safety stock levels only accounted for demand variability.
  • The MRP driven monthly planning and scheduling process they had in place did not allow them to adjust to the significant level of production variability.


Within six months the client had:

  • Increased service levels (fill rate) from 70% to 95%, six months later service levels reached 99%, and have fluctuated between 98% and 100% since then.
  • With the market leading service levels, our client recovered and picked up additional market share.
  • The amount of product scrapped due to shelf-life expiries was reduced by 50%, and later reduced by another 30% points.
  • Reduced overall inventory levels by 25%, and later reduced it by another 25% points.

Case Study: Kanban Implementation


A global pharmaceutical company was plagued with high work-in-process inventory levels, while struggling to meet service level targets. They also experienced frequent periods that required production overtime followed by periods where they furloughed production personnel.  

  • We deployed a Senior Lean Supply Chain Expert to assess the primary drivers, he identified that:
    • The MRP driven scheduling system did not account for the differences in installed capacity for each unit operation, compression was their bottleneck process step.
    • Demand peaked at the end of every quarter and experienced valleys at the end of the following month. This drove periods of large changes in production workload.
    • The demand variability was driven by end-of-quarter promotions which pulled demand from the following two or three weeks, immediately followed by lower demand as customers were consuming the extra inventory they purchased for a lower price.
  • Our Senior Lean Supply Chain Experts led the design and implementation of an in-plant Kanban system that signaled the movement of material from the warehouse to the manufacturing areas, and from one unit operation to the next.

  • Three months after the assessment was completed, our client had reduced work-in-process inventory by 25%, and later reduced it by an additional 25% points.
  • We also implemented a small finished goods inventory program to enable the transition to a level loaded production schedule, which immediately eliminated the production workload variability issue, and led to lower operating costs for the plant.

Project Examples

  1. A Program Manager led the PMO to implement End-to-End Pull Systems.
  2. A Subject Matter Expert supported a biopharmaceutical company to reset their safety stock levels.
  3. A Project Manager led the transition from MRP driven planning and scheduling process to Pull System driven processes.
  4. A Subject Matter Expert helped a medical devices start-up manage raw material and product supply for clinical trials.
  5. A Subject Matter Expert supported a medical device manufacturer to improve inventory and service levels.
  6. For a global medical devices company, two Subject Matter Experts assessed the size of the opportunity to reduce inventory.