Quality Digest Shares Combination of Lean and ToC
Plano, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/15/2013 -- Quality Digest recently looked at Lean and Theory of Constraints. In the article, http://www.qualitydigest.com/inside/quality-insider-article/bringing-lean-constraint.html#, manufacturing journalist, TR Cutler reviewed the current status of both approaches. ToC emphasizes the underlying principle and importance of identifying and eliminating bottlenecks (or constraints) in the manufacturing process. This focus increases productivity and serves as a tool for measuring and controlling the flow of materials. The challenge is figuring out how to actually identify these constraints while never compromising quality. The fundamental approach to lean manufacturing is to strive for true one-piece flow by reducing waste and matching flow to customer demand. Balanced flow buffers excess inventory between each point in the process, making it immediately apparent which process is underperforming. This knowledge allows quality assurance and operations managers to dispatch resources to address the situation, known as “go and see.”
“While both ideas are productive, the key to unlocking true value and performance improvement is in merging the two approaches,” says Mark Woeppel, a ToC pioneer and founder of Pinnacle Strategies, a project operations management consulting firm. “Maximizing go-and-see efforts by focusing resources on the true constraint generates a result... a seamless flow of production that generates the highest possible return.”
By taking a constraint-based approach to maximizing throughput, fewer data are netted, but more critical, decision-enabling information from the plant floor is used. This is accomplished by limiting and prioritizing data collection and identifying the key chronic constraints that must be corrected to meet a specified throughput target. As a result, quality personnel can focus their efforts on corrections that will lead to the greatest improvement in plant performance.
Mark Woeppel is a Theory of Constraint expert and a master of organizational transformation with a lengthy track record of successful turnarounds. He is the leader at Pinnacle Strategies. Pinnacle Strategies (www.pinnacle-strategies.com) is an international management consulting firm delivering operations management excellence. Pinnacle Strategies increases shareholder value by developing high-performance business processes that significantly enhance productivity, reduce costs and time to market, improving profitability and accelerating sustainable growth.
Recognized worldwide as an expert in the Theory of Constraints, Supply Chain Management, Project Management, and Continuous Improvement, Woeppel has earned the founder’s implementer certification from the TOC-ICO.
Pinnacle Strategies is also the developer of ViewPoint a service that dramatically simplifies managing projects, enabling project teams to rapidly improve project performance. The RABIT methodology is a proprietary approach that is concentrated on implementing quick response solutions with rapid results. The RABIT methodology culminates years of practical experience and expertise in continuous improvement; it consistently delivers dramatic increases in process output to deliver solutions to industrial and manufacturing firms worldwide. Pinnacle Strategies offers results-driven consulting solutions in the areas of performance management, project management, operations management, and supply chain.
Annette Hamilton, Director of Marketing