# Takt Time Question?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Takt Time Question?

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• #40007

Ken Theriot
Participant

I’ve been working with a consultant my organization hired to conduct some Lean events.  We are doing a Rapid Improvement Event on an administrative product that crosses the desk of 12 people over the period of about 18 months before completion.  Each of these 12 people only spends about 30 minutes per day working on this particular product as it only represents less than 10 percent of the products they work on.  The organization processes about 400 products per year.  The consultant initially had us dividing available time (246 work days a year times 8 hours a day) by 400 to come up with about 5 hours for takt time.  When we pointed out that there is really only about 30 minutes a day “available” for that product, he altered the formula to 246 times .5 divided by 400, which came out to like 45 minutes.  Is that right?  What does it mean?  How does that help?  I know how to use takt time with fast cycle times, as in many manufacturing plants.  But it is hard for me to see the usefulness with these long cycle times.  Any help appreciated.  Thanks.

Ken

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#123039

Andy P
Participant

Takt time is available time / average requirements so I would say the first calculation was correct.
Every 5 hours a product needs to be produced.
Can each of the 12 people process at that speed?

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#123046

Ken Theriot
Participant

Actually they CAN process it much faster, if there are no defects.  Whenever there is high-level interest in a particular course (the product is “course certification”), they manage to turn their part of the process around in a matter of 1 to 2 days, versus the average of 35 days when there is no special push.  The real issue is the fact that these people all have other jobs that take up a majority of their time.  Course development is only a small part of what they do.  So the time available would seem to me to have to subtract the time they devote to their “main” jobs just as you would subtract out break times and lunch times in a manufacturing takt time.  Is that incorrect?  Even so, what does a 5 hour takt time tell us?  Because they absolutely are not producing a product every 5 hours every day!  Over a period of a month or so, they may devote more time in a given day that another to move the course along.  So when you don’t have a daily, or even weekly demand, what use is that takt time measurement?
Ken

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#123051

EdG
Participant

Andy P had the formula correct.  Available time / customer requirements.  This provides the provider with knowledge of what pace he needs to maintain in order to meet his customer’s requirements (VOC).
Ken and the original poster seem to be mixing this (Takt time – VOC) with cycle times (VOP).
If VOP = VOC, everyone is happy.  (Typically you want cycle time to be at or just below takt time; maybe by 10 or 15%.)  If VOP<VOC, then you have capacity for future market share accumulation.  (Cycle time is substantially smaller than takt time; just be careful you don't over-produce VOC, then you need to change the process because it is inadequate in meeting your customer’s needs.  (Cycle time is greater than takt time; get hot with other lean, six sigma, and process improvement tools to improve the process.)
Hope this helps some…  Good luck…

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#123070

Ryan
Member

Ken,
What are these 400 products per year that you have said all about? Is it the customer requirement or is it the number of types of product you are producing on your organization? If this is the customer requirement, the values would be correct. If this is the number of types of product you are producing, the takt time is definitely wrong. You should use the actual customer requirement. If you are using 30 minutes per day on this product, compare it with the daily requirements on this type of product. Then listen to Edg on what he had said. Evaluate takt time and the cycle time. And basing from these information, you could either trim down headcount or could put additional loads or lessen allocated time if takt time is really higher. Or add some people or increase your allotted time for this product if takt time is lesser than the cycle time. Takt time for me is to gage if you have utilize your people and also for capacity assessment for new business opportunities.
Hope this would help…
Ryan

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#123082

Schuette
Participant

Ken,
The purpose of measuring your takt time is to right-size your process, so first you have to correctly define your process(s).  You can’t say this is “extra” from their real job, or you do not have a planned process.  What you mean to say (I think) is that this is an intermittent process.  If you want to also accommodate “hot” requests much quicker, you need two takt times – one for regular requests, where the customer is OK with 35 days (verify with VOC! – don’t assume!), and one for 2 day requests.  Determine the respective quantities of those two processes within your 400 requests per year.
Next, determine how your demand actually comes in – I would guess that you do not get an even number of requests each day.  You probably get requests that follow budget , quarters, beginning of year plans, etc.  You need to have a realistic understanding of the actual demand before you can do takt time right.  If you size your process using averages and simple division, you will have not have a lean process.
And finally, what do you want to do about the “real” work?  Will you push it to overtime, or let deadlines on that work slide until the course work is done, than catch up?  You need to allocate how much of the available time you will allocate to course work.  Will you work on the courses every day with all people, or one person dedicated to each course request?
The takt time math is very simple, but the production planning for your multiple products is not.  You have more work to do on your planning before you calculate takt time.  Any takt time calculated before you do the above work is wrong, because you have not defined the required inputs yet.

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