Barcelona Vet Hospital Applies Lean to Improve Supply Stock

As veterinarians, we are attracted to tools and standardization. In the past we had tried to establish some standard operating procedures and we had even given coaching a go, but we had found nothing that had the power to engage people in transforming the business. That’s what we saw in lean.

To see if lean had indeed a way of working at Canis i Felis, we decided to take two months to run a pilot project. During that time of the year we typically get a bit less work, which was a great opportunity to focus on our lean implementation. We wanted to show the potential of lean to as many people as possible, and to do that we picked a project that would yield noticeable results quickly: stock control for the supplies we use in the hospital. We were experiencing a lot of waste in there, in the form of movement and errors in our orders.

To improve the situation in our warehouse, we implemented a kanban system – an approach that appeared brilliant, yet simple from the get-go. It worked really well, allowing us to prepare orders much faster, reduce the number of mistakes we make when ordering supply, and to ensure a reliable supply (with no materials missing). People’s work has gotten easier, to the point that we have recently started to use kanban cards to also manage the storage of drugs and vaccines. The biggest impact of that very first experiment, however, was the fact that it caused more and more people to ask why things are the way they are. It made us all more inquisitive. Why are things here? Why do we store them like this?

Read the entire article on Planet Lean at: