Example of Case Study: Theory of Constraints

Published by admin under Case Studies,Samples

December 5, 2013

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“TOC or Theory of Constraints is a technique that business strategists use to identify the key limiting element (constraint) that affects the operation of their businesses, and then systematically improve the constraint to the extent that its harmfulness stops affecting the business. In a manufacturing firm, the limiting factor is also known as bottleneck. This essay will highlight a process that identifies and improves a constraint to make it harmless to business operation.

Application of the principles of the theory of constraints can improve internal business operations leading to reduced inventory and lead times, improvement of capacity, and profit growth. The theory of constraints offers a method that identifies and implements constraints. This method is called the Five Focusing Steps, and diagram below explains this cyclical process.

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In the theory of constraints of three-bottles demo, the main goal of the experiment is to identify the limiting factor in the flow of water from the bottle. The demonstration has three scenarios. In the first scenario, the person performing the experiment overturns the bottle to allow water to flow out of the bottle. The clock starts when the demonstrator turns the bottle upside down. It takes about 18 to 20 seconds for the water to flow out of the bottle at the rate of 4.5 liters per minute. The water started to flow through the bottle, but it created a vacuum inside the bottle, which caused the flow to stop shortly, allowing bubble of air into the bottle. The air relieved the vacuum inside the bottle causing an equal volume of water to flow through the bottleneck. The process repeated itself until the bottle was empty. It is a cycle of stop, start, and flow. The result of this process is turmoil inside the system. Many activities do not increase the rate at which the water flows from the bottle. There are unnecessary conflicts; many internal processes that do not add value to the operation of the system, making it captive of its internal operations. It is a demonstration of the world of local optima…”

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