#Immediacy on speech making

Finding the bottle-neck Finding the bottle-neck in a continuous operation is usually ...

Finding the bottle-neck Finding the bottle-neck in a continuous operation is usually a straightforward but not necessarily easy technical problem which can be handled by your own staff. If not, you will need to engage a suitable technical consultant to identify the bottle-necks and recommend what should be done. A batch operation may be less straightforward and the starting point is usually to select a few typical products which between them account for about 60-80 per cent of total operating time Take the first product and write down in correct sequence all the steps involved in making that product, including any preparatory steps at the beginning and cleaning up at the end.

Note what equipment is used at each step, since we want to find out the capacity of each piece of equipment while making that particular product.

In other words, how long is that piece of equipment in use during the making of that batch of product? Repeat this exercise for each of the other products selected. Now rule a sheet of paper into four vertical columns headed: product, percentage time, first bottleneck, second bottleneck. Write down the product which takes most time in column 1 and put the percentage of total time in column 2. Study the sequence for that product and pick out the bottle-neck, put it in column 3. Try also to spot what the next bottle-neck is likely to be and put it in column 4. Repeat this for the other products, in descending order of time.

Now decide which bottlenecks. need to be tackled. Not all manufacturers work in the way described above, ie turning the whole factory over to one product at a time Many work in a more flexible manner They have several products under way at one time and move the material from one piece of equipment to another, letting it 'wait' between each step in production if the desired equipment is already in use Neither method is inherently superior to the other. It is a matter of 'horses for training', deciding which is the most suitable method for a particular business.

One advantage of the latter method is that it is usually pretty obvious where the bottle-neck lies, and no extensive study is needed to show which equipment always has a waiting list. Bottle-neck-busting For reasons already discussed, it is recommended that you first try to meet a shortfall in capacity by temporary means, even when you believe the increase in demand to be long-term. A further reason for doing so is to gain time to experiment and study alternative means of overcoming the bottleneck.

There is often more than one way, with differing advantages and disadvantages. Some experience of temporary measures also provides a cost base against which to compare alternative solutions.

First you should re-examine the short-term measures mentioned above, whether you are using them or not. You may be able to secure more economic rates on a long-term basis. At the same time, study whether it would be possible to overcame the bottle-neck by better motivation of existing staff, for instance: better training; rearranging the work groups and their involvement; providing financial incentives linked to output on individual or team bases; profit sharing. If you decide reluctantly that you must increase staff on a permanent basis, you should study the alternatives of at least partial shift-work or more day workers, full-time or part-time.

If you have no option but to install more equipment, try first ...

If you have no option but to install more equipment, try first to get second-hand 'equipment in good condition, since this is often very reasonably priced. If you have to ge... read more

As a general rule, it is not a good idea for a ...

As a general rule, it is not a good idea for a small manufacturing business to have more than one location.

It puts more strain on ... read more

the daily plan of where each vehicle should go. In many businesses ...

the daily plan of where each vehicle should go. In many businesses this is made up, not by the drivers, but by someone in the office who may or may not have any driving experience. Get