Make To Order and OverKanban

IKS has been extended by the new functionality MTO KANBAN and OverKanban.


For most companies, production control is a mix between PUSH and PULL. This means that while certain products and processes are controlled by a Kanban system, others are controlled by classic production orders.

Why we have made this innovative functionality?

The answer is actually quite simple. Many components for the production of a series product are “repeating parts”, ie parts that are used regularly and are consumed quite evenly. These are naturally predestined parts for a Kanban system. For products or variants that do not have a “serial character”, but are rather sporadically built. A kanban system often makes no sense, because the components would otherwise be very long in the supermarket, without anyone needing them. This of course binds space and capital and is therefore not effective. Therefore, these products and components are integrated into the process on the basis of planning, if required.

In practice, however, there are often confusions among the production staff. On the one hand, the Kanban parts are to be manufactured and re-delivered. On the other hand, there are the production orders, which are provided with a specific date of production. Keeping track and knowing what to do when is not always easy.

Make To Order

MTO stands for „Make-To-Order” and at first glance this is contradictory to the topic of „Kanban“, because here we are talking about a classic PUSH process and not about a real PULL system. But especially the symbiosis of both worlds will make our E-Kanban solution much more valuable for our customers.

A practical solution is offered by the E-Kanban System IKS

Our Kanban software IKS now offers a new workable solution for this topic. In addition to the versatile control of Kanban parts, IKS now also allows so-called “make-to-order” parts to be managed. It is possible to create production orders (MTO orders) and to visualize them including all necessary information. Thus it is e.g. Using the IKS E-Kanban board, it is possible to visualize both the Kanban orders and the MTO orders in the usual way and to give the production staff a complete overview.

Clear advantages for the employees in planning and production

Thanks to the new MTO function, IKS now makes it possible to control kanban and non-kanban parts using the same process while using the familiar holistic visualization. Furthermore, the MTO orders can be automatically loaded and generated via an interface directly from the ERP system in the IKS. Thus, a standardized process is created, which facilitates the handling of the existing orders for the employees in the area of planning and control as well as the colleagues in the production. That always ensures the right parts are produced at the right time, which leads to a much higher availability of the products and materials.

Make to order production flow
Holistic visualisation of production shop floor workload


OverKanban goes one step further!

New daily demands can be loaded into the IKS system regularly. On this basis, the software calculates, if the total number of Kanbans is enough to cover the existing demand. If there are not enough Kanbans available, the user can create so called “OverKanbans” by a few clicks. These additional Kanbans will be added to the process automatically. After one turn, the „Extra Kanbans“ will be deleted again and moved out of process, also automatically.

But OverKanban can do much more!

When a customer wants to manage so called „Z-Parts – for these items some demand is coming only from time to time. Also via the Kanban process, it is possible with OverKanban function right now. Such a Kanban loop can be activated (“wake up”) by the OverKanban process. And when the Kanbans have been produced and consumed, the loop can be also de-activated again automatically („go to sleep“). Now it is possible to handle all available parts by the same process. The employees in production and logistic do not see any significant difference between Kanban parts and Non-Kanban parts.

The benefits are obviously!

Now it is possible to manage classic Kanban parts as well as complete untypical Kanban parts by the same PULL process. By using IKS OverKanban, the planning and scheduling process is getting easier and the employees will be relived.
Additionally, there is no need to handle different „order papers“ (like Kanban cards, ERP orders and other documents) in the production area in parallel.
With OverKanban, the processes of the daily production scheduling are getting very LEAN.


In summary OverKanban offers the following advantages:

  • Overkanban is an (partly) automated process to monitor spikes of demand and transfer this extra requirement into the IKS Kanban Board
  • Possibility to manage seasonality and holidays
  • Management of Non-Kanban-Parts without any existing inventory (MTO – Make-To-Order, starting level is zero quantity) or low running items as one time on demand Kanban, without standardized buffer stock
  • One standardized order process for suppliers or production scheduling for 100% of purchased or produced items
  • Centralized responsibility
  • Minimum time required to monitor demand spikes
  • Online in-advance information to suppliers with updated inventory levels (no emails or calls needed)

e-Kanban perspectives

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