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How to determine the bottelneck

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  • #36195

    Ropp
    Participant

    Hi everyone,
    I have was hired to determine the process bottleneck, I have about three weeks to do that and i have to prepare a report next week.
    The main problem is that bins (buffers) are either empty or full.
    Any one have any general  idea on how to solve this issue?
    in addition, the company currently have ss leader but he works on different projects, the question is how can I make the use of ss and how to improve the way is being implemented.
    Kind Regards

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    #103719

    Dog Sxxi
    Participant

    Most likely the company hired a wrong consultant.

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    #103729

    PB
    Participant

    Dog,
    You said it. However, since this country of ours has become a kinder gentler nation, I will try to be that.
    Dave,
    What is a ‘process bottleneck’?
    How do you go about finding the ‘bottleneck’?
    How do you think that your project IS a SS project?
    What have you done so far for this project of yours? Where did you start and what is the bottleneck you are running into?
    How are bottlenecks typically resolved?
    Hopefully this will give you some direction.
    PB

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    #103730

    Markert
    Participant

    FYI:
    Dave posted a couple days ago and got some good advice on another thread. He’s looking for easy solution, fast, and may not have time. I don’t think that he has digested it, or decided to refuse its logic.
    No offense, Dave.

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    #103732

    Ropp
    Participant

    Thanks phil.

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    #103733

    Charles H.
    Participant

    Dave,
    I have read through your various posts and attempts to get an answer on what you should do.  You have received some very good advice, but none of it will help you out of your current situation – you are running out of time.  And, as others have stated, we cannot solve your problem for you without being there.  It is yours to solve.  Frankly, you should not have accepted the opportunity without extensive hands-on experience in the application of lean tools and concepts.  As I see it, you should get a copy of “Learning to See” by Rother and Shook (I have no affiliation with the authors or the Lean Enterprise Institute / MIT) and get a Current State Value Stream Map constructed.  I highly recommend you find someone with a lot of hands-on experience in VSM to do this for you. Do not try it on your own, at this point.  If done properly, the VSM will show you where and what the constraints are, and it can be done in a very short timeframe – again – if you have someone with extensive VSM experience do it for you.  The VSM and its findings will be the foundation of your report.
    Lastly, your situation is a good lesson to others.  The application of Lean may have looked simple and easy when you observed it at NUMMI.  It is much different when you try to do it yourself.  There is no substitute for hands-on experience.  Dave, you have learned one of the cardinal rules of consulting: never oversell your capabilities.  No one is served by doing so.
     

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    #103735

    Ropp
    Participant

    Thanks for the advice Charles.
    The reason this company hired me is the lack of experience. With experience we tend to base our decisions on assumptions that became relality.
    Kind Regards
    Thanks everyone.
     

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    #103736

    Charles H
    Participant

    Dave,
    Then, it would appear they have gotten what they have asked for.  I tend to think that with experience, you get someone who knows what to do and when to do it, how to gather and analyze the data, and turn it into information one can use to determine the bottlenecks and constraints.  I also find it curious that your lack of experience is the selling factor – you shun experience due to the “assumptions” they create, yet you come to this forum repeatedly to try and get those with experience to solve your problem for you.  Somehow, it doesn’t make a a lot of sense to me, but then, maybe it’s just me?

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    #103737

    Markert
    Participant

    What’s the right thing to do tomorrow morning?

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    #103739

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Dave, there is a difference between lack of knowledge and experience and objectivity.  A good consultant needs to have knowledge and experience.  The hiring company should have made that distinction.  A consultant’s value can be in their objectivity and the ability to rise above the internal politics of a company (this is a challenge for an internal employee) and not be bound and biased by prior thinking and approaches.  Your sales pitch should have been your ability to not be blinded by the past and to think out of the box, not that you lack knowledge and experience.  Previous threads regarding the future of SS consulting warned “Let the buyer beware”.  Guess this is a good case in point.  I am sure the more experienced posters would be glad to help if you promised to donate a portion of your fee to the Forum Moderators who would use it to enhance this site.  You willing????

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    #103740

    Charles H.
    Participant

    Phil:
    Good question.  I’d order a copy of Learning to See from whatever source available and have it overnight delivered.  I’d read it and try to get a coherent and accurate Current State Value Stream Map constructed.  While waiting for the book to arrive, I would go to the Lean Aerospace Initiative, Lean Enterprise Institute, Productivity Inc., and any other relevent website to see what information I could get from them.  And, I would find someone who has done VSM to help me  ;-)

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    #103742

    Markert
    Participant

    Not the road I’d take, but a one to consider.
    We can open a debate at the expense of poor Dave here, so I hope that he’s got a strong stomach.
    I think he’s in over his head. I hope that he’s not invested too much time in this venture, like 2 1/2 of his 3 weeks. Hope that it is not too late to consider gracefully stepping aside with no compenstation, or just expenses and moving on. These skills cannot be learned or administered in a hail Mary fashon, after the two minute warning. Use it as a learning experience.
    We don’t know much more about Dave’s predicament, and Dave, if you’re out there see that you protect your interests prior to further contributions on this thread. 
     

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    #103744

    Ropp
    Participant

    Thanks guys.
    I appreciate your help.
    Good day
    D.

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    #103746

    Charles H.
    Participant

    >What’s the right thing to do tomorrow morning?
    Upon further reflection, the true “right thing to do” is to have an open and honest discussion with the client on Monday morning.  Put the cards on the table and let them fall where they may.  I see no other option, as Dave has put himself in a nice and tight little box.  There is no way for him to submit a report this coming week that delivers value to the client.  Any effort to bluff his way through it will most likely create more damage to the system. 
    Deming had a statement regarding these types of “consultants.”

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    #103747

    Markert
    Participant

    Ditto.

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    #103758

    PB
    Participant

    Darth,
    In one of the earlier posts from Dave (thread start), I had the feeling that Dave was into some issue here. The same question came as differently headed posts. I had asked what his background was so that when we did help him he would have some comprehension for that.
    You mentioned he should pass a % of his fees to this site enhancement, etc. but that would be when he does understand the subject when helped. VSM is the best way to resolve this. But I do not know where Dave stands with the understanding of the Lean tools. I do not mean to sound mean, but we can only help when it is clear that Dave has subject comprehension.
    PB
     

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    #103761

    Dog Sxxi
    Participant

    I was “forced” to set up IE departments for three US MNCs in Asia in early and mid 90s because they have none. I did wonder how US companies in America can survive with such a bunch of fat (waste) in their operations when I received lines transferred out from US plant. Omm…I was invited to work in US by my HQ, but the big boss in Asia did not want to release me.
    Learn how to see from a helicopter view.
    1. Walk through the floor to see where the WIP is piling up.
    2. Establish the standard time for each process.
    3. Map the process.
    4. Calculate the unit cycle time or installed capacity for each process.
    By then you shall be able to determine where is your bottleneck. I used this simple IE technique long before “the machine changing the world” and “learn how to see” books were published.

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    #103762

    JMiller
    Participant

    What you are describing sounds just like Value Stream Mapping. No surprise since VSM is what James Womack called what Toyota was doing, which mapping the process based on IE work of the original American teachers.What is different with Lean, Kaizen, and the approach to VSM is that there is an explicit goal of creating one-piece flow and Standard Work. That s how kaizen reduces inventory, eliminates bottlenecks, and lowers cost.How to identify the bottleneck? A good place to start is to work your way backwards from end to beginning asking “Is this processing flowing one piece at a time at customer demand? If not, why, why, why, why, why?”

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    #103789

    Dog Sxxi
    Participant

    I had to go to university library to find JIT materials (lean is still an unknown word for TPS by then) when I was asked to lead a project to improve productivity by using 300 only instead of 1000 operators due to acute shortage of labor supply during the booming times (8-9% GDP growth) in early 90s.
    I should patent this IE method in early 90s and name it Dog Walking Mapping. :-) Agree with you, lean actually is an improvised version of IE invented in UK and America. 

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    #103790

    Dog Sxxi
    Participant

    What is different with Lean, Kaizen, and the approach to VSM is that there is an explicit goal of creating one-piece flow and Standard Work. That s how kaizen reduces inventory, eliminates bottlenecks, and lowers cost.
    One-piece flow and standard work are intrinsic parts of TPS. VSM is just a process mapping with a few extra information.

    How to identify the bottleneck? A good place to start is to work your way backwards from end to beginning asking “Is this processing flowing one piece at a time at customer demand? If not, why, why, why, why, why?”
    Unlikely you can see one piece flow in any “push” factory or company. WIP pile-up or people is busy for nothing is a clear sign of bottleneck like the river stream.
     

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    #103792

    Balakumar
    Participant

    I understand that there is a lack of workflow management based on your comment. Otherwise there is no chance of empty or full. If am in your possition I will do following things
    Identify the process timing and queue timings.
    Identify end-to-end process timings.
    Prepare a design for parallal processing. Design team structure to perform parallel processing
    After implementation of parallal process, identify the end-to-end process timings. This should be (process timings + acceptable queue timigs)
    If possible, a tool should indicate the list of jobs are in the queue for more than acceptable period example: 3 hours
    Hope this may help you. Let me know any concern. Thanks

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    #103807

    Dog Sxxt
    Participant

    The poster have to understand the existing flow before you asking him to design “parallel” flow. I believe he is more confused now.

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    #103836

    Ropp
    Participant

    Thanks Kumar,
     I am no longer confused, I am almost done with the improuvement plan and it is working well thanks to all of you….And dog what makes you think I am confused? I think confusion is just a part of the learning process….I think what count the most is emotional intelligence.
    Kind Regards.
    D.

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