Bottlenecks: Avoiding Inefficiencies

Sep 08, 2015

I met with a friend several days ago and we talked about his business and the current issues he is facing. He said one of his biggest challenges at the moment has to do with bottlenecks. There are times when his crews must wait for a specific cast to be completed before another part of the operation can be completed. This is extremely frustrating given then fact that he carefully considers all aspects of production when determining their schedules.

What could be causing this bottleneck? Are his bottleneckproduction schedules accurate? He went on to explain he quickly realized the issue when he met with the head of the department responsible for making the casts. The manager did not believe in a schedule and preferred to run the line according to what he felt was best. My friend explained to this manager the importance of following the schedule and the effects it has on the total production process.

After a lengthy discussion, the manager understood why the schedule was necessary and he bought into the idea of being a team player. I the owner if he considered tying incentives to timely production. He admitted he had never given thought to such an idea but was excited about the possibility.

What are some other ways to help prevent bottlenecks? Where do you currently have bottlenecks or did you in your operation? What have you done or would you like to do?

I personally believe one method to responding is to tie performance to incentives. Another way is to do as my friend did through production planning. Maybe consider re-arranging your factory. If the cause of the slowdown is due to movement of material, then organizing a factory to be more efficient may be the answer. Another would be to talk to engineering, maybe the issue can be re-evaluated and production efficiency restored to save time and effort.

I hope to hear from you on ideas you have or any concerns you may have as well.

Categories: Cost Accounting