Guide To Using Pull Systems: Definition, Advantages and Tips

A pull system is a lean manufacturing strategy used to reduce waste in the production process. In this type of system, components used in the manufacturing process are only replaced once they have been consumed so companies only make enough products to meet customer demand.

Lean Manufacturing – Pull Systems

Advantages of a pull system

Heres a list of advantages of using a pull system:

Improves warehouse efficiency

Pull systems can increase warehouse productivity by reducing the need for orders and deliveries and the time that goes along with them. In contrast to a push system, which may cause inventory items to grow larger and heavier, there is no need to ship or store large orders. Because there are typically fewer orders to fill when using a pull system, this lowers labor costs as well.

Reduces waste

Because products are only delivered when customers purchase them in a pull system, there is frequently less chance that businesses will buy excess inventory. Lower costs and less waste may result from this decrease in excess inventory. For instance, if a business manufactures perishable goods like food, it might employ a pull system to guarantee that these products are still fresh when consumers buy them.

Improves shipping services

Because there is more on-demand delivery when using a pull system, businesses can provide customers with services that are more effective. This implies that if a client requests a product, the business can ship it directly from the warehouse as opposed to from another place or business. For instance, if a customer buys a TV, a business might ship it directly to the customer overnight to ensure prompt delivery.

Reduces forecasting errors

Calculating how much of a product a company may produce and deliver to customers is the process of forecasting. A pull system reduces the possibility of forecasting errors by having businesses deliver inventory as customers buy it. This allows businesses to rely more on actual customer demand.

Increases ability to scale team size

Utilizing a pull system also has the advantage of enabling businesses to adjust their team sizes in response to changing demand. Companies can typically keep their teams small and scale the team size if their customers’ purchasing habits change because there is no need for routine orders and deliveries. For instance, businesses can hire more temporary staff to retrieve products from warehouses and deliver them to customers if demand from customers suddenly increases.

Minimizes risk

Pull systems are frequently implemented by businesses, which reduces the likelihood of product errors. This is due to the fact that customers receive their purchases right away rather than after they’ve been stored. For instance, a pull system might enable a business to send its clients newer goods with later expiration dates, allowing clients to keep the goods for longer.

What is a pull system?

An inventory management system known as a “pull system” relies on customers to request the items they need directly from the warehouse. A database called an inventory management system keeps data about a company’s products, including how much inventory you have for each item. Instead of having items delivered automatically or at the manager’s discretion, pull systems use requests for specific items from individual customers. This system contrasts with the conventional push inventory system, which has distribution center managers determining which products customers need and sending them out in accordance with those needs.

How to manage a pull system

The following list of actions can be used to manage a pull system:

1. Create a customer ordering process

You can design a customer ordering procedure to deliver products to customers as soon as they place an order. Consider developing a system that enables customers to place orders directly from the warehouse to achieve this. The time it takes for a customer to receive their product is typically shortened thanks to this method, which enables retailers to offer customers products that are currently in stock.

2. Evaluate your physical layout

You can assess the physical layout of a company’s warehouse and distribution center after creating an order process for it. To enable drivers to deliver bulk deliveries to stores as soon as customers place orders, make sure there are enough delivery routes. For instance, you might employ a layout that enables staff to quickly access products and load them onto trucks for delivery to customers.

3. Set stock levels

Set your product’s stock levels to help you effectively manage your inventory. Another type of inventory management system that you might think about using is a sale or product rotation system, which updates product inventories by adding or removing products from a database. Orders for the new products can then be sent out, enabling customers to receive their purchases right away. By way of illustration, if a customer buys two items from a computer shop, the salesperson may add two computers to the order database and update their inventory database accordingly. This helps the customer receive their items quickly.

4. Change or improve processes as needed

Continue to assess the business’s procedures and make any necessary adjustments. Monitoring the effectiveness of the pull system and the business order processes can help you identify which processes might benefit from improvement. You can determine this by keeping track of the frequency with which customers receive their orders on time and the volume of customer complaints the business receives regarding its goods or services.

Tips for using a pull system

Here are some pointers to make the most of your personal pull system:

Plan the order process carefully

If you choose to manage your pull system with a different inventory management system, you might want to carefully plan the order process before implementing it. To accomplish this, take the time to analyze the company’s purchasing and sales trends so that you can create a strategy that satisfies customers’ needs. You could, for instance, buy warehouse supplies before estimating how long it might take your clients to receive their orders.

Pay attention to stock management

Stock management is another important aspect of a pull system. Try to regularly review the flow of each product from your warehouse to your inventory management system to manage your stock effectively. After that, you can adjust as needed to better control your stock levels. For instance, you can remove a product from the database if it is out of stock.

Use a mobile inventory system

You might require a mobile inventory system to manage your inventory in a pull system. This kind of software enables you to use a computer or a mobile device to access an organization’s inventory data. For instance, you could use this kind of software to find out which products are available in your warehouse and then add the items to a delivery driver order queue.


What is a pull system example?

If you want to implement a Kanban pull system successfully, your team needs to stick with the six core practices of the method:
  1. Visualize the workflow.
  2. Eliminate interruptions.
  3. Manage flow.
  4. Make process policies explicit.
  5. Maintain open feedback loops.
  6. Improve collaboratively.

What is a push and pull system?

Pull System Examples Before the production of hot beverages can begin, a customer order must be received. In order to pull materials through the coffee-making system, a customer must signal when purchasing a coffee; this is an example of a pull system.

What is a pull system in Six Sigma?

A push system starts production in anticipation of future demand, whereas a pull system starts production in response to the current demand. In a push system, production is started regardless of demand, whereas in a pull system, production is started in response to actual finished product demands.

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