"Kanban" — or 看板, the Japanese word for billboard — is a term for the visual cues that might be used in a lean, efficient assembly line in order to expedite and smooth workflow. These signals get the workers what they need, where they need it, when they need it to create a just-in-time (JIT) production system.
The setting for the game Kanban: Automotive Revolution is an assembly line. The players are ambitious managers who are trying to impress the board of directors in order to achieve as high a position as possible in the company and secure their careers. With promotions come advantages at the factory, such as more space to store precious materials and greater prestige to accelerate your ascent. Through solid management, you must strive to shine next to your peers. You need to manage suppliers and supplies, improve automobile parts, innovate — anything to stay on the cutting edge, or getting your hands greasy on the assembly line in order to boost production. You must exercise wisdom in choosing which projects you should start, selecting only those that will give you the upper hand and shunning those that will bog you down or cause the unthinkable — failure — which would diminish you in the eyes of the board.
Over the course of the game, you persuade the board and the factory tender to help you develop and improve automobile parts. You make shrewd use of the outside suppliers and the limited factory supplies in order to appropriate needed part when the suppliers come up short. Because the factory must run at optimum efficiency, production doesn't wait for you or for mistakes.