Buffer Stock in the Lean Lexicon ©

Buffer Stock

Goods held, usually at the downstream end of a facility or process, to protect the customer from starvation in the event of an abrupt increase in short-term demand that exceeds short-term production capacity.

The terms buffer and safety stock often are used interchangeably, which creates confusion. There is an important difference between the two, which can be summarized as: Buffer stock protects your customer from you (the producer) in the event of an abrupt demand change; safety stock protects you from incapability in your upstream processes and your suppliers.

See:  Inventory
From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition
Available in the
LEI Bookstore