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Lean Inventory Management

From the design phase to production, we’re here to assist with supply chain and inventory management. Using Lean implementation techniques, we help our customers manage their inventory so they achieve reduced costs, increased productivity, and fewer stock-outs. 

Lean Inventory Management Benefits

Implementing Lean techniques such as pull systems, vendor managed inventory (VMI), and point-of-use provide many benefits to industrial manufacturers.

  • Improved replenishment when VMI and spot buy procedures are developed, implemented and managed by a dedicated associate.
  • Supplier consolidation, which results in price reductions due to higher volume discounts, cost-reducing FFF interchangeable products and product standardization.
  • Streamlined procure to pay, so there is reduced transactional costs related to time, paperwork and “touches.”
  • Permanent inventory reduction, which inevitably reduces carrying costs for our customers and shifts the burden to suppliers.

Lean Inventory Management Concepts

Pull Systems

Pull systems in a supply chain come from demand for an item rather than a forecasted prediction of demand. In a pull-based system,  inventory is minimized and capital is freed up. Since demand for the manufacturers’ product drives buying, vendors may take charge of replenishment. 

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI)

Using a vendor managed inventory replenishment approach can reduce stockouts and errors. In VMI, suppliers advise manufacturers on which items to order, and the supplier takes responsibility for maintaining inventory. 


Point-of-use inventory is stored at the location where it will be used. In a production environment, point-of-use saves time because the parts are not travelling to the production area from a  secondary location.  

Kanban Bin Management Systems

Kanban is a visual stock replenishment method used in lean manufacturing and just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing. A system of rotating bins contain parts used in the assembly process. The bin located at point-of-use bin is replenished when it’s empty, and the bins are rotated. Since Kanban alone may not be sufficient when demand is erratic or uncertain, it can be combined with VMI and other replenishment techniques.

Just-In-Time (JIT)

Just-in-time manufacturing helps avoid waste such as excess inventory and time.  A supplier delivers components or sub-assemblies to meet the customer’s demand just in time for production. We provide kitted hose assemblies, o-rings, and sub-assemblies to  manufacturers in the US and internationally.

The Hope Group is a member company of iPower Distribution Group of New England and is a member of the New England Lean Consortium.

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