QAD Kanban Module Successfully Deployed at a Major Automotive Supplier

Posted on: April 26, 2017 | By: Craig Thompson | QAD Practice News

Authored by: Kim Morton


Metalsa’s manufacturing facility in Apodaca, Mexico and two sequence centers in San Antonio, Texas and Mexicali, Mexico completed a successful implementation of the Lean Manufacturing Module (Kanban) QAD EA 2014 Standard Edition with Logan Consulting providing business process and project management expertise.

The Client

Metalsa S.A. de C.V manufactures engineered assembled metallic products, serving the automotive industry. Although Metalsa’s global presence spans 13 countries, the facility founded in Apodaca, Mexico over 60 years ago chose to be the first site to broaden its utilization of their established QAD EA 2014 system to include the Lean Manufacturing Module, specifically kanban.  The pilot project covered final assembly and paint for two lines building frames for passenger trucks.  The completed frames are sent by railcar to two facilities that then sequence the models for the final delivery to the end customer (San Antonio, Texas and Mexicali, Mexico).  Electronic kanban loops were implemented in all three sites.

The Opportunity

Metalsa’s manufacturing facility already had a physical kanban card system and excel models to perform loop sizing.   However, the replenishment at the sequence centers was a “push” system, that conflicted with the overall goal of demand being “pulled” through the system by customer requests. The scope of the project was not merely to automate kanban card transactions, but also to use the host of tools and workbenches offered in the Lean Module to replace the existing excel spreadsheets and manual tools.  Metalsa engaged Logan Consulting to manage and implement this aspect of the project, working closely with Metalsa’s IT team.

Working in parallel with process design in the Lean Module was the implementation of Kanban Visualization Tool developed by Metalsa IT in the assembly and paint areas as well as for shipping schedules for the sequence centers.

The Solution

The project followed three concurrent streams of activities;

  •  Development of processes to utilize QAD to size the loops, manage the loops, and create level schedules to drive downstream stamping processes.
  • Automate the kanban card transactions by “piggy-backing” card movements with existing standard QAD transactions already being performed by operators.
  • Implement Visualization in the assembly and paint areas to view authorized and missed production and to create shipping schedules for the sequence centers.

Logan Consulting and Metalsa used the established manual processes and spreadsheets to vet the QAD calculations and workbenches and automate the process of calculating daily demand, safety stock, and ultimately loop sizing.  This module was placed under a high degree of scrutiny to develop enough faith that it had the rigor to replace the manual systems.  A strong partnership with the technical team at QAD was necessary to work through the inconsistencies between system behavior and QAD documentation as well as issues in the Spanish version not found in the English version.  This was a learning experience for all parties, and has resulted in a stronger QAD Kanban package.

The final design utilized all available aspects the Lean Manufacturing / Kanban Module:

  • Monthly Planning / Loop Sizing

    • Calculations for Daily Demand, Safety Stock and Basic Process Calculations

    • Loop Sizing and card reconciliation using the Sizing Workbench, including impact analysis using the Analyst Tab

    • Manufacturing and Low Volume product Loop Adjustments for “stack multiple” in Kanban Master Maintenance

  • Weekly Planning / Level Scheduling

    • Saved Level Schedule calculations to drive downstream processes that could then be imported to the Repetitive Manufacturing module

  • Daily Task Execution

    • Card status changes based on automated interfaces linked to existing QAD transactions

    • Dispatching production to final assembly based on authorized cards

    • Creating a daily shipping schedule from the Manufacturing Facility to the Sequence Centers based on the authorized cards in the loop

    • Managing exceptions and events as needed using cycle cards.

The Results

The Lean Manufacturing module in QAD 2014 SE has only now been implemented.  Key performance indicators are being developed so that Metalsa can measure the attainment of expected results and benefits:


  • Elimination of excel spreadsheet calculations

  • Better schedule adherence and real time monitoring of missed production

  • Improved inventory management and planning based on Demand Pull replenishment

  • Reduction in human error from incorrect recording of card information or lost cards

  • Higher efficiencies in operations gained by automated transactions replacing manual card handling systems

About Logan Consulting

Logan Consulting is a leading consulting firm with strengths in strategy, project management, business process design, ERP and CRM implementation, recruitment and training.  Since 1992, our business process-based delivery techniques and tools have helped our clients build a solid business process and information technology foundation to support their business. Our clients count on us for objective, unbiased analysis, recommendations and project work.  To learn more and hear what our customers are saying about us, please visit our website (

Logan Consulting is headquartered in Chicago, IL with global services reach.

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