In the first of this seven part series of thoughts on manufacturing constraints and scheduling, I started with a reference to Eli Goldratt’s The Goal. Along the way, we placed links to various online sources for more information. Obviously, the trove of information is deep. You really should check them out.
For Lean Manufacturing matters, we like to go to our guys Larry Lukasik and Jim Therrien. They don’t have a website – they’re too busy doing good work helping companies go lean – but we happily connect them with clients with a need in this area.
Other times, we’ve called in our good friend Dr. Donn Novotny (referred to earlier as the role model for Alex Rogo in The Goal). Donn’s President of The Goal Institute, and is a master at solving complex problems with logical thinking processes. He’s a master teacher of TOC and has worked with companies large and small, all over the world.
Frequently, we apply our Business Process Analysis, a modestly priced fixed-fee engagement whereby we help clients identify and resolve their own bottlenecks, constraints and process gaps. Once identified, we’ve had great success in solving problems with better processes and, of course, software and technology.
That technology slant seems to be the field-leveler these days. The clients we have that are really committed to their tech investments gain real strategic competitive advantage – and most importantly, growth, compared to those with fear of the terrain, or whose commitment to real improvement often just doesn’t compare.
The global landscape is changing, faster than most recognize. The Internet and its associated Widgets of Productivity are changing the landscape for all of us. You embrace it, exploit it for your own purposes, or get run over by it.
In this series on Drum-Buffer-Rope thinking, I hope we’ve provided a little food for thought. This stuff has been around for awhile. And we’ve barely scratched the surface. Most of it is about logical thinking processes — but necessary ones, at least in today’s manufacturing environment.
At the least, I hope we’ve induced you to think about your own constraints, and what you can do about them.
In solving these kinds of problems on a daily basis, our team gets to see a lot of the best (and sometimes, the worst) practices in action. The common thread among the best of them is smart people leading smart teams operating under the assumption that, really, what other choice do we have? Adapt and survive. Else, not.