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Theory of Constraints

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  • #49284

    sigma boy
    Member

    I am looking to start a discussion around TOC, TOC and SS working together, and would greatly appreciate some feedback on books that focus on applying and using TOC.  Not the Goldratt books:  The Goal were superb IMHO, but for books that are more pragmatic in terms of application — for me that would be manufacturing.
    Care to post your two cents?

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    #168220

    Mikel
    Member

    There are none that link TOC and SS. A few people teach that looking for disruptions in the Value Stream are where you look for projects, but no books.

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    #168222

    sigma boy
    Member

    Thanks.  I should have been more clear.  The book part was just for TOC.  But if anyone has experience consulting, working, training, or whatever in a company that utilizes both TOC and SS, I would be very interested in comments.  I guess it would be the equivalent of Lean SS, but in this case, TOCSS —
    hmmm…do I see a niche market here?

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    #168223

    Mikel
    Member

    Lean SS should address this.
    Lean by Womack’s definition –
    Value
    Value Stream
    Flow
    Pull
    Perfection
    So understand what is of value to your customer, map the flow of that value to the customer, make it flow better using lean tools, move to SS for those things that don’t get resolved with the Lean tools, reduce inventory throughout the system to be more responsive to the customer.
    So simple, why don’t the George Group’s customers do this?

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    #168230

    cheezer
    Participant

    I’ve seen a few articles on this- I’m sure a web search would turn them up. I also saw an excellent presentation on this at the ISSSP conference a few years ago. Basically, what Stan said- variation reduction allows you to reduce the buffer in front of your drum and lean allows the “rope” to go faster.

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    #168262

    GrayR
    Participant

    What most people take away from “The Goal” or TOC is the prime effect of a bottleneck on throughput.  But they lose sight of probably the more important concept in “The Goal”, relating to the ‘match game’, where process variation results in lower throughput (same effect as a bottleneck) than the average for all of the processes.  The fix in TOC is the same as it would be with SS (and even with lean) — reduce process variation to improve the process (throughput, capacity, quality, etc.).
    Levinson’s, “Beyond the Theory of Constraints” does a fairly decent job of making the link; but it doesn’t bring any new knowledge if you understand TOC, SS, etc.  But, as far as a “niche market” is concerned, sounds like another case to me of a “make-a-buck consulting”.

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    #168274

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Sigma Boy,
    Stan’s advice is dead on. There is nothing new in mixing disciplines. The one trick pony zealots will get you backed into corners quicker than anything else you can do.
    I am not going to get into the consulting question.
    The more books you read the more you are going to get fed this line of nonsense that certain thing are for certain types of problems. That is complete crap. Take some time and understand what types of tools/activities give you what type of outcome. When you get a problem develop a strategy based on what you think is happening and don’t be afraid to change the strategy based on what you learn as you go along.
    I have seen post after post on here that will tell you that lean is for bottlenecks. There have been a multitude of projects that were bottlenecks that would still be bottlenecks if we would have bought into that nonsense.
    Good luck

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    #168276

    sigma boy
    Member

    Mike, and Others,
    I am in complete agreement that situation defines the resolution.  It was for this very reason that I am always looking to learn about as many approaches and techniques as possible.  Not to find some magical combination, but to futher increase my ability to address, or least be aware, of systemic issues as well as localized improvement efforts.  For example, understanding how accounting’s methods can be best aligned with Lean, TOC, or SS initiatives, knowing when to use a Lean tool versus when to use an SS tool, etc.
    The niche market consultant comment was bait….the fish are too smart here.

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    #168277

    HF Chris
    Participant

    Whether lean or SS or other, as stated in other posts, you must understand your input-process-output relationships. Variability in one process may not effect the “bottleneck” if there is enough lag time. Will reducing the variability in non-critical areas make the “bottle-neck” better or just add more WIP? It depends is the answer. Holes drilled undersized but on time in step A may create a delay in step B for extra work. Lead time tab dates (no revision changes past this point) can be ignored to meet customer requests. Where is your bottleneck now? Herbie is not just the fat kid who can’t keep up. He is the constraint and his affect changes depending on where and why he becomes the constraint.HF Chris

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    #168278

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    If you want to read some good stuff about accounting read “Relevance Lost.” If you figure out Activity Based Costing you will be better equiped to value projects.
    Good luck

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