The Theory of Constraints has to do with increasing efficiency at a company. Constraints are anything that prevents your company from working at its maximum level of efficiency. In order to bring this efficiency up to par with the modern business world, you have to first make an objective assessment of all of your processes and identify where those processes could be changed to make the workplace more efficient. This doesn’t mean being a brutal taskmaster with a stopwatch who looks for any and every flaw in their employee’s practices. In fact, it makes work more pleasant for everyone.
Constraints exist in every manufacturing or workflow process. In most cases, there are likely fewer than you imagine, but their impact may be much larger than is apparent. Constraints can sometimes be eliminated and, in cases where they cannot be, it may be necessary to orient the entire system around accommodating and, in some cases, exploiting them. This is hard work and it requires a scientific outlook on the workflow process. Constraints may come from how you store inventory, from how you organize your workplace or from how your management orders new materials. It takes a trained eye to identify them.
The Theory of Constraints creates procedures that can be used over and over again to identify and eliminate sources of lost time and revenue within your manufacturing process. It is one of the primary tools used by consultants to help businesses more effectively use their resources to generate higher quality products and to provide a better workplace for their employees. Consultants strip down a business’s processes to their bare essentials, make rational and objective assessments of their value to the company and, where necessary, help the company to improve and thrive by eliminating the waste they generate.