However, the one concept that clicked with me – and something that I have used often – is how to improve operations through a simple concept:
I have a close friend who is an industrial engineer. I am sure he will be irked by my over-simplification below.
Ideally, you should eliminate bottlenecks. However, there are many times when a bottleneck is outside of your control or ability.
To make the most out of a bottleneck, you have to keep it as full as possible without creating too much back log.
- Identify the bottleneck and decide what it’s highest speed is.
- Set the rest of the system to only work as fast as the bottleneck rhythm (Drum)
- Create a “lead-time” on the work needed (Buffer)
- Only send enough work through the system that will pull the work through the bottleneck at a consistent rate. (Rope)
Simply put: know your bottlenecks and maximize their operation. It will eliminate wasted time and expense.