What’s the Difference Between a Manufacturing Bottleneck and a Constraint?

Bottlenecks and constraints are two terms that are often used interchangeably in Demand-Driven Manufacturing as well as in discussions on Lean Manufacturing and flow. It’s easy to use one term when you actually mean the other. However, since these two limiters on throughput need to be addressed differently, it’s important to understand the distinction. What is a Manufacturing Bottleneck? A bottleneck represents a temporary overload on a resource. The cause

Smart Capital Investing in a Recovering Economy

Earlier this year, the MAPI Foundation increased their projection for manufacturing sector growth for 2018 – 2021 from 1.5% to 2.8%. We haven’t seen overall growth like that in a long time, and it should spell a welcome relief for many manufacturers. Capital Spending: A Leading or Lagging Indicator of Profitability? One of the metrics that MAPI points to for their increased optimism is the pace of capital equipment spending.

Fast Results Using TOC for Demand-Driven Manufacturing – Part Two

Manufacturers use constraints management first to gain the most demand-driven change Last time, we talked about focusing on enterprise improvements rather than local efficiencies using constraints management (TOC). We discussed that continuous improvement tools such as TOC, Lean and Six Sigma work like “sandpaper” on an organization’s processes, smoothing various stages of their demand-driven journey. I likened TOC to the “coarse” grit of sandpaper—the one to use first to get

How the Internet of Things Can Shorten Lead Times

A new study in Modern Materials Handling reports that 86% of industrial organizations are currently adopting IoT (Internet of Things) solutions, and 84% believe those solutions are very or extremely effective. Manufacturers lagged behind the industrial segment as a whole, with only 77% of manufacturers implementing IoT in their facilities. So, what is holding manufacturers back? Anecdotally, I can share that many of the manufacturers I talk to intend to

Time to Revisit Your Constraints

    We talk a lot about constraints management in our work with customers who are implementing Demand-Driven Manufacturing (DDM) in their facilities. That’s because constraints management is fundamental for synchronizing the pace of production and keeping the demand (orders) flowing throughout the shop floor. But, our focus is naturally on physical constraints, e.g., that piece of equipment or workstation that is preventing you from delivering on time or offering

FAQ: Can I Use Demand-Driven Manufacturing in a Make-to-Stock Environment?

Demand-Driven Manufacturing seems like it was made for Make/Assemble-to-Order and Engineer-to-Order environments. It’s true that Demand-Driven Manufacturing can be beneficial for manufacturers who already produce goods based on customer demand because it improves their responsiveness to customers and lowers lead and cycle times. Demand-Driven Manufacturing is a method of manufacturing where production is based on actual customer orders (demand) rather than a forecast. But what about Make-to-Stock environments? These manufacturers