Information & Training. | TQM. Total Quality Management.
Process Flow ConstraintsMaterials constraints:
Inventory can provide a highly visible sing of an unbalanced process. Inventory build-up’s are easy to identify and frequently result in dynamic management focus, resulting in the provision of extra resources such as overtime, extra process equipment, … However, such actions often just move the problem onto a later stage within the process and do not address the root cause of the original problem. Material constraints can be related to inaccurate scheduling, poor supplier performance, non-conforming raw materials, poor inventory management, unplanned product and process changes, …
Process Flow Constraints – Equipment:
There needs to be adequate process and test equipment available to meet ongoing and peak demands. In a process, where there may be regular product mix changes, then changeover times need to be factored into the overall ability of the process to meet output demands. Equipment reliability must be well understood and again realistically factored into actual equipment availability, similarly with necessary maintenance, calibration and training requirements which can all result in unplanned equipment downtimes.
The skills, competences, attitude of individuals can all impact on the rate of flow within a process. The availability of adequate numbers of individuals, with the appropriate skills mix are pre-requisites for an efficient process. Staff turnover can clearly impact a process, especially where there are significant upskilling requirements for newly introduced staff. The management and resourcing of the human input into a process is critical to achieving smooth process operation.
The layout and flexibility of the process, capability of process and test equipment, accuracy of process specifications relative to customer requirements, process lead-times, process changeover times, etc., can all impact on the actual performance of the process versus the needs of the organization to deliver to requirements.
Process Flow Constraints – Operating environment:
The regulations, laws, practices, customer expectations, supplier capabilities, impacting on the operating environment of an organization all fundamentally impact on the smooth operating of the internal process. Failure to adhere to a necessary regulation, can result in line shutdown, the capability of a supplier to consistently provide raw materials which do not meet specifications will clearly impact the operation of processes. The potential constraints which can arise in the wider operating environment need to be identified, risk assessed and actions taken to minimize such risks from impacting internal process flows.
Management need to understand the customer (both the external and internal customer) and have the capability, motivation and authority to provide all those resources as necessary to allow the process to effectively operate. Where constraints arise, management must be able to identify the actions necessary to achieve an understanding and permanently address the constraint. For example, this often results in the appointment of a problem-solving team, providing the team with the time and skills set to investigate the problem, reviewing proposed solutions and allowing the team the responsibility to address the problem, then ensuring effective measures and processes are in place to ensure the problem stays permanently addressed.
Process Flow Constraints – Policy:
The Mission and Goals of an organization need to be clearly defined, understood and appropriately implemented. Whenever an organization is not entirely clear as to its purpose, then there can be follow-on consequences which can hinder smooth, efficient process flows. In reality most organizations have a range of often competing objectives, e.g. profit maximization in the short versus the longer term, e.g. maximize short term profits by holding back on investment on processes needed in the longer term; concern for the community and environment, e.g. will not operate certain processes at night time due to potential noise impacts: providing employees with enhances benefits, e.g. longer holidays, improved health benefits, etc., …..The focus of management, decisions regarding the allocation of resources, will impact on process flows. Often organizational “policy” can have the greatest impact on the ideal of a smooth, bottleneck free, process.
Information & Training. | Total Quality Management Tools and Techniques …
- Continuous improvement utilizing Analytical Techniques.
- 5 why’s analysis
- Process Flow Diagrams/Flowcharts/Process Mapping
- Check sheets /Check Lists
- Run charts
- Scatter Diagrams/Scatter Plot
- Cause and Effect/Fishbone/Ishikawa Diagrams
- Identifying sources & causes of variation
- Control/Shewart Charts/DPU Charts
- Cpk and Ppk Analysis
- Pareto Analysis
- Bottleneck Analysis
- Etc. Etc.
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