The Goal Answers





2. He would say that statistical variation would make this result impossible to obtain. The plant would produce below the capacity of the individual machine.


This is not a good idea. You are asking all workers to be efficient. It may help the bottleneck, but all other operations will produce excess product. Inventory will definitely go up. This will increase operating expense due to the cost of capital. It will probably drive other costs up too. The throughput will only go up if the bottleneck workers are not already 100% efficient. Most likely the extra inventory will make it difficult to control the system and the throughput will go down.

The main point is that the plan will increase inventory and operating expenses. Throughput may go either way, but probably will go down.


This is probably not a good idea. There is no consideration of the bottleneck. If the automation is not on the bottleneck the hoped for decrease in cost will probably not be realized. The nonbottleneck operation cannot be run at full efficiency without increasing inventory.

3c. This is not a good idea. Ordering raw materials at the last possible minute causes a risk that the material may not reach the bottleneck in time. The risk is caused by statistical variation for the machines between the raw material source and the bottleneck. Bottleneck time may be lost with a corresponding loss in throughput. Operating costs will probably go up because extra ordinary efforts will be expended to keep the bottleneck busy. Inventory may go down.

The main point is the loss in throughput due to statistical variability. We must keep a buffer to protect against variability.
3d. This is not a good idea. The plant is already too busy to produce the orders it has on time. Reducing the prices may increase the demand but it probably won't increase sales. Thus throughput will not increase. Thoughput will be decreased because the revenue on the current sales will decrease because of the reduced prices. Probably inventory will increase because more raw materials will be introduced in an effort to meet the demand. Operating costs will probably go up because of the increased inventory and extraordinary measures taken to meet the added demand.
3e. This is a bad idea. The result is a balanced plant. There is not one bottleneck, but every department is a bottleneck. Statistical variability is the villian here. It is impossible to keep all the departments equally busy because every one will be idle some of the time. The throughput will decrease. In an effort to keep them all busy inventory and operating expense will probably increase.

The main point is that a balanced plant has reduced throughput because of statistical variability.

3f. This might improve family relations, but it won't help the plant. It won't do much good for the family finances either.