Continuous Flow, FIFO, Pull – What’s the Difference?

Learn how and when to use these three guidelines for autonomous factory flow

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Wed, Jul 15, 2020 at 10:00 AM EDT

About This Webinar

In any manufacturing environment how do production employees always know what to work on next? Continuous flow, FIFO, and pull can help by creating a seamless flow through a facility. But to make sure the flow of work is easy for workers to understand, without management intervention, it’s essential to know which guideline to apply – and when. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of each when it comes to connecting processes in an operation.

Focus Area


Key Takeaways

  • Why knowing the difference between continuous flow, FIFO, and pull can mean greater  autonomy and on-time delivery for your production line
  • How "pull" can spell disaster in manufacturing environments with fluctuating order quantities unless the supermarket is sized correctly
  • Real-world application of FIFO in small areas, large spaces, and those with large or difficult-to-move products that you can mimic in your own operation


James MarreseInstitute for Operational Excellence Faculty Member James Marrese has been with the Institute since its incorporation in 2007, working in both training and product development. Collaborating with other Faculty Members, James has been instrumental in developing customized lean and Operational Excellence education programs for numerous global corporations including United Technologies Corporation, FMC Technologies, Actuant Corporation and more. James is also part of the Institute for OpEx’s resource development team that is responsible for launching new educational content including online training, digital guides, and webinars. Working closely with the marketing team as a lean subject matter expert, James has authored numerous articles and industry reports. Prior to working for the Institute for OpEx James worked in supply chain management at W.B. Mason.