Abolish Efficiency?

Henry Ford abolished efficiency in his assembly lines. He limited the space between workstations. There is no space in assembly lines to build WIP inventory. Every workstation must work at the constraint’s production rate. Non-constraint workstations stop or slow down to match the speed of the constraint. Taichi Ohno (Toyota) did something similar with his … Continue reading Abolish Efficiency?


Try This!

His constraint is food ... he gets it by stealingour lunches Do you have one or more of these problems with your manufacturing business? Your lead time to customers is too long. Customers expect, and some competitors promise a shorter lead time. You do not always deliver on time. Your capacity is not enough. You … Continue reading Try This!


What is Value in Business? Value is the perception a person puts onto an item or service. The transaction requires a seller and a buyer. The seller often values his item or service at a level that gives him the return on his investment and effort he seeks. The buyer’s valuation is based on how well the item or … Continue reading What is Value in Business?


Can YOU get the Max from a Complex Business?

A complex business such as the one depicted in my graphic is not so easy to manage. They produce a polymer in the lower square. Different raw materials transform into products that result in intermediate products. The polymer transforms into many different product groups. Each with many individual products (T, H, C etc). The business … Continue reading Can YOU get the Max from a Complex Business?


Pitfalls of Success – Avoid them!

My graphic above tells the story. You or your company’s management are or become dissatisfied (1) with your performance (in my story I mention dissatisfaction with lead time and reliability). Management puts pressure on the organisation to improve. They may suggest Lean, 6-Sigma, TOC, or another improvement methodology. The improvement team selects the method they … Continue reading Pitfalls of Success – Avoid them!


The Value of 1-Hour Productive Time

Anil Jain noticed a pretty bad mistake I made. This comes from multitasking. At least multi-tasking between writing and dealing with grandchildren is my excuse! 1 hour gained is not whatever I wrote in the original. It is about 5% of the productive hours for operations that operate 24 hours per day.Thanks Anil! Non-constraints: A … Continue reading The Value of 1-Hour Productive Time



Is implementing OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) a mistake? The answer must be: “It depends.” I am reading OEE.COM. There is a lot of good stuff there. Although the page does mention the constraint, I believe it does not emphasize it enough. The page starts with the question “What is OEE?”. Here is’s answer: OEE … Continue reading MISTAKE?


Lead Time & Cash Flow – Receivables

My last post was “Lead Time and Cash Flow”. Anil Jain responded with: “Dear Rudolf, just read your article Lead time and cash flow. It's so meaningful and insightful. I am reproducing a few lines here: "Also, we can help you improve your accounts receivable. The time it takes for customers to pay your invoice. … Continue reading Lead Time & Cash Flow – Receivables


Lead Time & Cash Flow

As a CEO, you understand the importance of cash flow for the success and growth of your company. Alkyone Consulting and Common Sense Solutions can help you improve your cash flow through operational excellence. We focus on identifying and addressing limiting factors that impact cash flow, capacity, and lead time. We work with your suppliers to reduce lead time, minimizing inventory and increasing cash flow. We also specialize in dynamic inventory management (DIM) which helps improve your reputation as a reliable supplier, increases customer satisfaction, and boosts profitability. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you achieve your business goals and boost your bottom line.


Supply Chain Disruptions

Quote from the Internet: “The single greatest manufacturing challenge remains supply chain disruptions.” Supply chain disruptions have always been around – they have been a fact of life for supply chain managers forever. Let's separate them into 2 categories: “Normal” and “Black Swan” disruptions. The World has just experienced 2 “Black Swans” Covid and the war … Continue reading Supply Chain Disruptions


Lead Time, Queue Time, Touch Time 4

If an item spends 90% of its time sitting in a queue somewhere and lead time is cut by 50% what will happen to the per cent of queue time? It will decrease, but to how much? What will happen to touch time? The answer is touch time will increase from 10 to 20% of … Continue reading Lead Time, Queue Time, Touch Time 4


Dynamic Supply Chain Management

Avoid Shortages & Surpluses with Dynamic Supply Chain Management In our dynamic World, the business environment is constantly changing. Your supply chain should constantly adjust its parameters to changing demand and supply, changing lead times, and changing factory capabilities etc. etc. Your planning, scheduling and execution processes should be able to rapidly respond to changes … Continue reading Dynamic Supply Chain Management


Cut Your Lead Time (in Images)!

To Cut a Lead Time is as Easy as Cutting an Apple “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Below you see the lead time situation before and after making a 50% cut The first image is of the factory before making the proposed 50% cut. What you see: 1.     5 process steps with the processing time for … Continue reading Cut Your Lead Time (in Images)!

Is Cost Reduction a Good Thing?

Can I assume your company is in the business of making money and not saving money through cost reduction? Isn’t to make money a positive action? Making good money and a sound return on investment are signs your company is sustaining itself. From the money you earn you can invest in the future. If you … Continue reading Is Cost Reduction a Good Thing?

Uncle Scrooge’s Paint Factory

Found and Dealt with their Weakest LinkYesterday I posted this as an Uncle Scrooge Story. Today I have written what and how happened. More detail, but it is the same story. It is June 2005. I am sitting in my office watching the planes taking off and landing across the highway from my window. The … Continue reading Uncle Scrooge’s Paint Factory

Uncle Scrooge’s Paint Factory

"Ahoy there, wee ones! Gather 'round, Uncle Scrooge has a tale to share. It was the summer of 2012, and a paint plant was in a spot of bother. Despite having all the workers they needed, they just couldn't keep up with demand, and what's worse, the management was as stingy as a miserly old … Continue reading Uncle Scrooge’s Paint Factory

Would a Simulation Show the Potential Benefits?

Are you interested in a manual simulator? It can help you show different ways to manage an operation – a factory. A simulator makes it easier to persuade colleagues or customers to change. Recently I wrote about such a simulator. I used it to help a paint factory understand where their limiting factor is. They … Continue reading Would a Simulation Show the Potential Benefits?

Simulating the Impact of a Constraint

It is June 2005 I am sitting in the COO’s office. Charlie is telling me about the automotive paint plant in Spain and their capacity issue. Dominique the plant manager wants to buy an extra production unit. He needs it to meet increasing demand in Spain. Charlie says to me, “I do not want to … Continue reading Simulating the Impact of a Constraint

Abolish Efficiency

The aim to be more efficient is everywhere. In many factories, you will find screens that show how many units they produce per hour. All the work centres in a factory have such a target. A lack of efficiency annoys us. Recently I flew back from London. After landing, our aeroplane taxied past the normal … Continue reading Abolish Efficiency

Fun with Chat GPT

I asked the Chat GPT some questions ... it turned out to be a discussion. I did not get as much as I wanted from it, but the discussion is interesting the way (according to me) Chat GPT adheres to conventional wisdom. Only when challenged does it admit my points are valid. But, then it … Continue reading Fun with Chat GPT