If you’ve ever shopped online, then you’ll understand that it’s best to receive all your goods in one delivery. That’s the idea behind the Manufacturing Supermarket.
Manufacturing Supermarket: A replenishment process which ensures that all manufacturing components ordered from outside suppliers are available to be loaded and delivered in one consignment.
Derived from the system used by retail supermarkets, it levels the occasional spikes in demand experienced in individual factories by requiring suppliers to smoothly and systematically gather unusually large orders to a separate holding area, or ‘virtual truck’, ahead of the regular loading schedule.
This process avoids any disruption to the tempo of deliveries and last-minute rushing around to complete an order.
The Manufacturing Supermarket links with another Toyota Production System philosophy, Heijunka – read our definition here.