Milk Runs & Pull Systems

Milk Runs & Pull Systems

A milk run is a scheduled pick up of materials from multiple suppliers designed to support a given production level. Increases in pick-up frequencies are offset by higher truck capacity utilisation and reduced total costs. Pick-ups are managed using a pull system such as KanBan. Milk runs can also;

  • reduce inventory
  • create predictable replenishment lead times
  • improve inventory visability
  • improve supplier communication

Milk runs were developed for the car industry where suppliers are clustered close to the assembly facility. They can still apply to the process industry (predominantly on the inbound side) in the following circumstances;

  • Local Milk Run from consolidation warehouse
  • Milk runs from supply clusters in capital city's with line haul to plant
  • Milk runs in capital city's with crossdock and line haul to plant

We can design and model milk runs and set up appropriate pull systems for control.

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