The place where a predetermined standard stock is kept to supply processes downstream in the value stream.
Supermarkets are normally located near the supply process so that that process keeps in touch with consumption and customer requirements. Each item in a supermarket has a specific location from which a material worker
engages the exact number of products required by a downstream process. When an item is removed, the material worker takes a signal to make more (such as a kanban card or empty bin) to the delivery process.
Toyota installed its first supermarket in 1953 in the machine shop of its main plant in Toyota City. Toyota director Taiichi Ohno derived the idea for
the supermarket from photographs of American supermarkets in which goods were placed on shelves in specific locations for customers to take away.