In Lean Six Sigma, Pull Don’t Push

pull vs push system lean six sigma

One of the great Lean Six Sigma strategies that had its origins based in the Toyota Production System(TPS) is the pull system. The pull system is used to cut down on waste in the production or manufacturing processes. In other words, only make enough product to fulfill the customer’s demand.

What are the benefits of a pull system?

  • Reduces waste
  • Frees up workspace
  • Produces high quality products

Pull System Vs. Push System

Most companies subscribe to a push system when manufacturing products, which means that they produce more products than they actually need. The company then has to forecast what their customers will buy in the future. This leaves room for overproduction, since forecasting the future is unpredictable. The products can produce a very large inventory that just sits there taking up valuable workspace for weeks, months or even years.

A pull system only deals with what the customer’s demands are. This alone does away with a multitude of waste and decreases production costs. Since you are only manufacturing what the customer demands, the quantity that you are actually manufacturing is smaller, thus you can catch errors made in the production process. Consequently, higher customer satisfaction is experienced.

Another benefit of subscribing to a pull system of manufacturing is keeping up with how fast changes occur in today’s economy.  Using the pull system within your business culture will automatically increase the flexibility within your business, which will lead to more customer satisfaction.  Using the pull system of manufacturing will lead to more profits. Whether it is a savings in actual production costs, an increase in customers, or customer satisfaction, the benefits are not to be dismissed.

Remember, in a pull system of manufacturing, all of your company’s current supplies are used for manufacturing current goods and sold, thus producing immediate profit.

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