The Par Level Myth Exposed – The Method Nobody Uses (Except Hospitals)
- January 14, 2017
- Posted by: marlenedubois
- Category: CPR Training
Story One: the keynote speaker at a recent regional meeting of APICS (American Production as well as Inventory Control Society) featured a high-level executive by a hospital material supply company, one of the largest inside the country. After an informative although somewhat lackluster presentation, during the question period, a hand shot up. “How are Kanban methods being used in your hospital supply chain strategy?” was the question. After a short deer-in-the-headlights moment, the speaker responded: “What will be Kanban?”.
Story Two: a recent meeting in Las Vegas of hospital supply chain professionals featured a speaker on the topic of Kanban. The push-back by the crowd was tough, with person after person emotionally defending the Par Level system currently in use at their hospital. The speaker was able to answer each challenge well, although the debate came to a conclusion when one of the participants stood up as well as said “Hey guys. Let’s be honest. Par Level doesn’t work in which well. Kanban will be the future. Get over the item.”
There may be two questions in your mind at This specific point inside the article: what will be Par Level as well as what will be Kanban? These two terms refer to methods used to manage supplies as well as materials, in a hospital or any place. We associate the Par Level system with hospitals because virtually no one else uses the item, for reasons we shall see. Both methods share the idea in which we should set up a target amount of material for any given item as well as location, never have more than in which amount, as well as never run out. On these points the two methods are in agreement. Where they diverge will be inside the way in which they propose to accomplish these goals.
The Par Level system proposes in which we count the number of items remaining in a specific location, as well as simply replace the items in which are needed to bring the quantity “up to par”, i.e. back up to the target quantity. What could be easier, right? Of course in which involves frequent counting, which will be a wasteful as well as non-value-adding activity, as well as the item requires frequent trips back to the stockroom, which will be another wasteful as well as non-value-adding activity. Worst of all, the counting in which will be required will be so onerous in which most supply handlers don’t do the item, they simply “eye-ball” the materials as well as make an educated guess at the supplies to be refilled. Many supplies handlers are experienced as well as manage to keep on top of things most of the time, although as the saying goes, in which’s a hell of a way to run a railroad. The end result: certainly excessive effort as well as probably sub-par results as measured by shortages, organization of storage areas, as well as staff satisfaction.
As we said, the Kanban method has the same overall goals although approaches the replenishment process differently. Kanban will be a Japanese word in which means “signal”, as well as creating a clear signal will be at the heart of the Kanban method. Instead of counting everything all the time, Kanban proposes in which we set up a signal system in order in which we can respond only to those items in which need refilling. We do This specific by dividing the quantity to be stored into several sub-quantities. For example, we might take a par level of 100 pieces as well as divide the item into two quantities of 50. No action will be required until the first 50 are gone. We will then replace 50, although continue to use the remaining 50 during the refill process, so there will be no delay for lack of supplies. The actual Kanban or signal could be an empty bin, a card in which will be removed as well as placed in a collection box, or a flag in which will be raised on the container itself.
This specific will be not rocket science, although using the Kanban method can cut the number of items to be counted daily down to zero (none!) as well as the number of trips to the stockroom by at least 50%. This specific will be the reason in which Kanban will be the method of choice for world-class organizations around the earth. as well as the item will be also the reason why the Par Level system could never even be considered.