The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

by

Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox

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Alex Rogo Character Analysis

Alex Rogo, the protagonist of the story, manages a failing manufacturing plant for the corporation UniCo in the small American town of Bearington. Although Alex’s plant appears efficient on paper and is full of knowledgeable, hard-working people, all their customer orders are months overdue and they struggle to maintain any sort of production schedule. In the beginning of the novel, Alex’s division manager and boss, Bill Peach, tells Alex that he must turn the plant around in three months or Peach will close the whole thing down. Meanwhile, Alex is so preoccupied with business that he often neglects his wife, Julie, and his kids, Dave and Sharon; Julie feels so overlooked by him that she threatens divorce. Unsure of what he is doing wrong, Alex asks a former mentor, Jonah, for advice on how to reform his business. Jonah teaches Alex about maintaining clear goals in any endeavor, especially in business, and he provides Alex with simple metrics to measure his progress toward that goal. Furthermore, Jonah teaches Alex how to identify the bottlenecks or constraints in his manufacturing system and utilize them to his advantage. With Jonah’s principles and his management staff’s support, Alex manages to make his plant the most profitable plant in the entire division. He also learns to share his life with Julie and begins to mend their relationship and to set aside more time for his kids. Rather than fire him, Bill Peach is so impressed by Alex’s progress that when Peach is promoted into the next corporate level of management, he promotes Alex to take over his role as division manager. In the final chapters of the story, Alex works with his staff to utilize Jonah’s business advice to help him manage a massive organization and learn to approach business problems as Jonah does: like a scientist. Alex’s transition from failing manager and husband to successful manager and family man ultimately demonstrates the power of using clear goals to manage all aspects of one’s life.

Alex Rogo Quotes in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement quotes below are all either spoken by Alex Rogo or refer to Alex Rogo . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the The North River Press edition of The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement published in 1984.
Chapter 1 Quotes

So where was I last night, [Peach] asks, when he tried to call me at home? Under the circumstances, I can’t tell him I have a personal life. I can’t tell him that the first two times the phone rang, I let it ring because I was in the middle of a fight with my wife, which, oddly enough, was about how little attention I’ve been giving her. And the third time, I didn’t answer it because we were making up.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Bill Peach, Julie Rogo
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

When I came back to manage this plant, the Bearington Herald did a story on me. I know, big deal. But I was kind of a minor celebrity for a while. The local boy had made it big. It was sort of a high-school fantasy come true. I hate to think that the next time my name is in the paper, the story might be about the plant closing. I’m starting to feel like a traitor to everybody.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker)
Page Number: 13-14
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

Halfway to the city, the sun rises. By then, I’m too busy thinking to notice it at first. I glance to the side and it’s floating out there beyond the trees. What makes me mad sometimes is that I’m always running so hard that—like most other people, I guess—I don’t have time to pay attention to all the daily miracles going on around me. Instead of letting my eyes drink in the dawn, I’m watching the road and worrying about Peach.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Bill Peach
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

“…consistent parameters…essential to gain…matrix of advantage…extensive pre-profit recovery…operational indices…provide tangential proof…”

I have no idea what’s going on. Their words sound like a different language to me—not a foreign language, exactly, but a language I once knew and only vaguely now recall. The terms seem familiar to me, but now I’m not sure what they really mean. They’re just words.

You’re just playing a lot of games with numbers and words.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Bill Peach, Ethan Frost, Jonah, Eliyahu Goldratt
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

Can I assume that making people work and making money are the same thing? We’ve tended to do that in the past. The basic rule has just been to keep everybody and everything out here working all the time; keep pushing that product out the door. And when there isn’t any work to do, make some. And when we can’t make them work, lay them off.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker)
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

“Everything is for your job,” she says. “It’s all you think about. I can’t even count on you for dinner. And the kids are asking me why you’re like this—”

There is a tear forming in the corner of her eye. I reach to wipe it away, but she brushes my hand aside.

“No!” she says. Just go catch your plane to wherever it is you’re going.”

“Julie—”

She walks past me.

“Julie, this is not fair!” I yell at her.

She turns to me.

“That’s right. You are not being fair. To me or to your children.”

Related Characters: Julie Rogo (speaker), Alex Rogo (speaker), Jonah
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

“A plant in which everyone is working all the time is very inefficient.”

Related Characters: Jonah (speaker), Alex Rogo
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

Our hike is a set of dependent events…in combination with statistical fluctuations. Each of us is fluctuating in speed, faster and slower. But the ability to go faster than average is restricted. It depends upon all the others ahead of me in line. So even if I could walk five miles per hour, I couldn’t do it if the boy in front of me could only walk two miles per hour. And even if the kid directly in front of me could walk that fast, neither of us could do it unless all the boys in the line were moving at five miles per hour at the same time.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Dave Rogo , Jonah
Related Symbols: The Hikers
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18 Quotes

“This much is clear to me. We have to change the way we think about production capacity. We cannot measure the capacity of a resource in isolation. Its true productive capacity depends upon where it is in the plant. And trying to level capacity with demand to minimize expenses has really screwed us up. We shouldn’t be trying to do that at all.”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Jonah
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:

“A bottleneck […] is any resource whose capacity is qual to or less than the demand placed upon it. And a non-bottleneck is any resource whose capacity is greater than the demand placed upon it.”

Related Characters: Jonah (speaker), Alex Rogo , Eliyahu Goldratt
Page Number: 139
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

“Alex, tell your children what’s bothering you,” my mother says, “It affects them too.”

I look at the kids and realize my mother’s right.

Related Characters: Alex’s Mother (speaker), Alex Rogo (speaker), Dave Rogo , Sharon Rogo
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 21 Quotes

“Look, I’m convinced you did the right thing back there. Aren’t you?”

“Maybe I did the right thing,” [Bob] says, “but I had to break all the rules to do it.”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Bob Donovan (speaker), Jonah
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

“I’m going to have Bob Donovan put together an I.E. to write up [your new] procedures formally, so we can start using them round the clock. […] You keep that mind of yours working. We need it.”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Mike Haley, Bob Donovan
Page Number: 193
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

“I’m working.” I tell her.

“Can I help?” [Sharon] asks.

“Well…I don’t know,” I say. “It’s kind of technical. I think you’ll probably be bored by it.”

“Oh,” she says. “does that mean you want me to leave?”

Guilt strikes.

“No, not if you want to stay,” I tell her. “Do you want to try to solve a problem?”

“Okay,” she says, brightening.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Sharon Rogo (speaker), Julie Rogo
Page Number: 213
Explanation and Analysis:

“If we don’t go ahead with a system to withhold inventory and release it according to the bottlenecks, we’ll be missing a major opportunity to improve performance and save the plant. And I’m not about to stand by and let that happen just to maintain a standard that obviously has more impact on middle management politics than it does on the bottom line. I say we go ahead with this. And if efficiencies drop, let them.”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Bob Donovan
Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28 Quotes

“It’s perfectly okay to have more setups on non-bottlenecks, because all we’re doing is cutting into time the machines would spend being idle. Saving setups at a non-bottleneck doesn’t make the system one bit more productive.”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Jonah, Bob Donovan
Page Number: 233
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 30 Quotes

Living and breathing within range of my sight are 30,000 people who have no idea that one small but important part of the town’s economic future will be decided tomorrow. Most of them haven’t the slightest interest in the plant or what we’ve done here—except if UniWare closes us, they’ll be mad and scared. And if we stay open? Nobody will care. Nobody will even know what we went through.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker)
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 31 Quotes

I start to speak, but Hilton Smyth raises his voice and talks over me.

“The fact of the matter is that your cost-of-products measurements increased,” says Hilton. “And when costs go up, profits have to go down. It’s that simple. And that’s the basis of what I’ll be putting into my report to Bill Peach.”

Related Characters: Hilton Smyth (speaker), Alex Rogo , Bill Peach
Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:

“Hilton, this morning I asked you to sit in for me because we were meeting with Granby. Two months from now the three of us are moving up the ladder, to head the group. Granby left it to us to decide who will be the next manager of the division. I think that the three of us have decided. Congratulations Alex; you will be the one to replace me.”

Page Number: 262
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

A chill goes down my back as I remember it. I was in deep trouble. My plant was under a real threat of being closed down; over 600 people were about to join the already long unemployment lines; my career was one inch from being kissed by limbo; and on top of all that, the unbelievable hours I was putting in at work had pushed our marriage to the brink of going down the tube. In short, I was about to change from a bright, rising star to an ordinary bum.

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Julie Rogo, Jonah, Eliyahu Goldratt
Page Number: 265
Explanation and Analysis:

“[Jonah’s] solutions look trivial, but the fact is that for years we’ve done the exact opposite. Moreover, the other plants insist on sticking to the old, devastating ways. Probably Mark Twain was right saying that ‘common sense is not common at all’ or something similar.”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Jonah, Julie Rogo, Eliyahu Goldratt
Page Number: 267
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 36 Quotes

“Everywhere, improvement was interpreted as almost synonymous to cost savings. People are concentrating on reducing operating expenses as if it’s the most important measurement.”

“Not even that,” Bob interrupts. “We were busy reducing costs that didn’t have any impact on reducing operating expenses.”

“Correct,” Lou continues. “But the important thing is that we, in our plant, have switched to regard throughput as the most important measurement. Improvement for us is not so much to reduce costs but to increase throughput.”

Related Characters: Lou (speaker), Bob Donovan (speaker), Alex Rogo , Eliyahu Goldratt
Page Number: 297-298
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 38 Quotes

“Things start to be connected to each other. Things that we never thought were related start to be strongly connected to each other. One single common cause is the reason for a very large spectrum of different effects. You know Julie, it’s like order is built out of chaos. What can be more beautiful than that?”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Julie Rogo, Jonah, Hilton Smyth, Eliyahu Goldratt
Page Number: 318
Explanation and Analysis:
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Alex Rogo Character Timeline in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The timeline below shows where the character Alex Rogo appears in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
Alex Rogo drives into the parking lot of the manufacturing plant he manages. He immediately sees... (full context)
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Alex’s staff tells him that when Peach found out a piece of order 41427 was missing,... (full context)
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Peach leaves and Alex tells his secretary, Fran, that he’ll be out on the factory floor awhile. He surveys... (full context)
Chapter 2
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At home, Alex’s wife, Julie, is dressed up and has her hair done—she wants to go out with... (full context)
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After eating a quick dinner, Alex goes back to the plant. Donovan meets him and explains that they fixed the NCX-10,... (full context)
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Later, Alex reflects on the day. He feels like there is nothing at all to celebrate—his plant... (full context)
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Alex can’t even understand what he’s doing wrong. He has good employees and they work hard... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Early in the morning, Alex drives into headquarters, where Peach has called an emergency meeting with all the other plant... (full context)
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
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As Alex walks in from the parking garage, he runs into one of Peach’s staff members. The... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Two weeks earlier, when Alex felt like things were still operating smoothly, he ran into Jonah, an old Israeli physics... (full context)
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Alex insists that a more efficient plant costs less money and thus makes a greater net... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
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...he studies manufacturing organizations now, and that many plants have the exact same problems as Alex’s. However, he is late for his flight and must be going. As Alex walks with... (full context)
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As they reach the gate, Jonah hands Alex a cigar and challenges him to question whether his plant is productive and whether it... (full context)
Chapter 5
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In Peach’s meeting, Alex sniffs the cigar and wonders if Jonah isn’t right: perhaps nobody in that room actually... (full context)
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Alex drives back toward the plant but decides not to return to the office just yet.... (full context)
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Alex looks at their warehouses of unsold merchandise and thinks that perhaps sales are their primary... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Alex enters the plant at 4:30 p.m. On his way in, he notices three laborers sitting... (full context)
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Alex enters his office after most of the day-shift workers have already left. His answering machines... (full context)
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Lou asks Alex if the plant is about to be closed, and Alex admits that it is. However,... (full context)
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Late in the evening, after Lou goes home, Alex sits with a pad of paper and a pencil. He writes out “net profit, ROI,... (full context)
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Alex realizes it’s after 10 p.m. and calls Julie, telling her he’ll be home in an... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Alex gets home and finds dinner waiting for him in the microwave. His second-grade daughter, Sharon,... (full context)
Chapter 8
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The next day, Alex wonders how to get in touch with Jonah if he doesn’t even know where to... (full context)
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Alex drives to his mother’s house, which is right in town. He used to visit her... (full context)
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Alex dozes by the phone for 45 minutes until Jonah calls back. Jonah immediately asks Alex... (full context)
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Jonah congratulates Alex for finding the answer. He offers three new measurements to operate by: throughput, inventory, and... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Alex wakes in his mother’s house at 11 a.m. He quickly calls Fran to tell her... (full context)
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As Alex drives to the plant, he thinks about Jonah’s new metrics—which aren’t so different from what... (full context)
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Alex decides they need to talk to Stacey Potazenik, their inventory control manager. When Alex asks... (full context)
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Alex brings Bob Donovan into the conversation and asks him about the robots. Bob insists the... (full context)
Chapter 10
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After an hour and a half, Alex has explained Jonah’s concepts and new metrics to his staff. Lou observes that all of... (full context)
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The conversation briefly derails when Alex mentions that Granby will be at the plant in a few weeks to shoot his... (full context)
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From their meeting, Alex calls Jonah’s number in London, but his office tells Alex that Jonah is currently in... (full context)
Chapter 11
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That evening, Julie is angry at Alex for going on an unannounced trip. Alex tells her it’s completely necessary but realizes that... (full context)
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The next morning, Alex meets Jonah for breakfast in his New York hotel. He already tried calling Julie and... (full context)
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Jonah smokes a cigar and asks Alex what he thinks when he sees one of his workers standing idle at the plant... (full context)
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...when a manufacturing system is too well-balanced and too lean to accommodate error. Jonah tells Alex that he must go, but he invites Alex to consider what these two factors mean... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Alex recalls a man in his company who came home one night to an empty house,... (full context)
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They argue about how little time Alex spends at home and how neglected Julie feels, since he always puts his career before... (full context)
Chapter 13
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On Saturday morning, Alex lies in bed next to Julie, who is still asleep. His son, Dave, is standing... (full context)
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As they walk, Alex thinks about Julie and his conversation with Jonah about statistical fluctuations and dependent events. In... (full context)
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As they stop for a rest, Alex tells Ron that he should’ve kept a moderate pace, but Ron insists that he did.... (full context)
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Alex realizes there are athletic limits to how fast each hiker can go, but no limits... (full context)
Chapter 14
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As the scout troop breaks for lunch, Alex wonders why they have not made as much progress as they should have. He thinks... (full context)
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A few kids, including Dave, notice Alex and his matches and bowls. Alex tells them that he’s inventing a game and enlists... (full context)
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As the boys continue rolling, Alex realizes that the further back in the line each boy is, the more each other... (full context)
Chapter 15
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 After lunch, the hikers begin again, though Alex notices that they’ve rearranged themselves according to speed. The fastest boys take the lead, and... (full context)
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...than two. However, realizing that the slowest variable governs the pace of the group gives Alex an idea. He shouts up the trail for everyone to stop hiking and hold their... (full context)
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As the hikers begin again, Alex is pleased to see that they stay together as a group for the first time.... (full context)
Chapter 16
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When Alex and Dave get home the next afternoon, the house is empty. Dave finds a note... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...starts terribly. Dave and Sharon try to make breakfast but make a huge mess instead. Alex drops them off at school and arrives at the office to a phone call from... (full context)
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Alex expects his staff—Bob, Lou, Stacey, and Ralph Nakamura, his data processor—to be as thrilled as... (full context)
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After the meeting, Alex calls his mother to ask her to move in with him and take care of... (full context)
Chapter 18
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That evening, Alex comes home to find his mother with Sharon and Dave, cooking dinner. Sharon tells Alex... (full context)
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...Fran spends the next hour trying to get him on the phone. When they do, Alex explains to Jonah what happened with Herbie and that he needs to optimize his entire... (full context)
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...later, the conference table is covered with charts, data sheets, printouts, and so on as Alex, Bob, Stacey, Lou, and Ralph search for their bottlenecks. Ralph is frustrated—much of their data... (full context)
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With disappointment, Alex realizes that reorganizing the plant won’t be as easy as reorganizing hikers—neither the NCX-10 nor... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Alex eats dinner with his mother, Dave, and Sharon. Noticing that Alex is distressed, his mother... (full context)
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After Alex told Jonah of his new confusion about the bottlenecks over the phone, Jonah offered to... (full context)
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...for $1,000, then the total value of that delay is $1 million. This realization shocks Alex. Jonah asks to see where they do quality inspection for bottleneck parts. He sees that... (full context)
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Jonah explains that although Alex and his staff would normally calculate the operating expense of each bottleneck machine based on... (full context)
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The next morning, Alex eats breakfast with his mother and the kids. They tell him that Julie called again... (full context)
Chapter 20
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When Alex gets to the office, he calls Julie’s mother, Ada, to ask if Julie is at... (full context)
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That evening, Alex drives to Julie’s parents’ house unannounced. He knocks on the door, but Ada refuses to... (full context)
Chapter 21
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At home, Alex wonders what it would be like to date women again if Julie divorces him. He... (full context)
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At the plant, Ralph gives Alex his compiled list of all 67 overdue orders they have outstanding. Eighty-five percent of them... (full context)
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That afternoon, Alex sees that the NCX-10 is idle again. He confronts the machinist, who says that they’re... (full context)
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Alex decides they need to come up with a method to sort and tag critical projects.... (full context)
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That afternoon, O’Donnell tells Alex he can move the lunch breaks around; the union won’t fight it. On Saturday evening,... (full context)
Chapter 22
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In Alex’s office, his staff congratulates themselves—the first week with their new tagging system has helped them... (full context)
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Bob, who has been missing all afternoon, calls and tells Alex that he has something exciting to show him. Alex finds Bob unloading a large old... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Alex sits in his office and thinks back to his date with Julie on Saturday night.... (full context)
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Alex meets with Bob to discuss the problem, and Bob tells him that since both the... (full context)
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...consistently manages to process 10 percent more parts through the heat-treating machines than anyone else. Alex visits Mike during his shift, and Mike shows him how his workers pre-sort the batches... (full context)
Chapter 24
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On Friday, as most workers are going home, Alex’s management staff com into his office with an open bottle of champagne and Styrofoam cups.... (full context)
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That evening, Alex and his staff get drunk in a bar, continuing their celebration. Alex is too inebriated... (full context)
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On Monday, Stacey tells Alex that she feels terrible about what happened and will call Julie to explain. She also... (full context)
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In the evening, Julie calls Alex to apologize for assuming the worst; she’d come home unannounced to surprise Alex. Alex tells... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Alex picks Jonah up from the airport once again and brings him to the plant to... (full context)
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...he needs to explain more about the nature of bottleneck and non-bottleneck parts. He reminds Alex of his earlier statement that a busy plant is not necessarily an efficient or optimized... (full context)
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...into sellable product, or throughput. As they walk back to the conference room, Jonah tells Alex and his staff to consider how they will solve their problem as they walk back... (full context)
Chapter 26
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In the evening, Alex sits at his dining room table at home, trying to work out how to keep... (full context)
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...suggests they tie a rope to everyone to stop anyone from falling ahead or behind. Alex realizes that the rope wouldn’t even need to be tied to everyone, just to the... (full context)
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After putting the kids to bed, Alex thinks about Julie and the ongoing challenges at the plant. They will try to regulate... (full context)
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 Alex and his staff need to know when to allow more raw material into their system... (full context)
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...payroll, they don’t cost any more money whether they are working or just standing there. Alex decides that they will go ahead with the plan anyway, even though Peach won’t like... (full context)
Chapter 27
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At the monthly plant managers’ meeting with Bill Peach, Ethan Frost reports that Alex’s plant has had its first profitable month in years, better than any of the other... (full context)
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Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
Alex meets with Peach after the meeting, and Peach tells him that despite their good month,... (full context)
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The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
Rather than go straight back to the plant, Alex decides to stop at Julie’s parents’ house. Alex and Julie go for a walk in... (full context)
Chapter 28
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Alex gets home in the evening, just as Jonah calls from Singapore to check on their... (full context)
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Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
While meeting at a restaurant, Alex relays Jonah’s new advice to his staff. Jonah claims that any part’s time in the... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...can, leading to more sales and more throughput. Bob worries about increased setup time, but Alex reminds him that since this mostly happens at non-bottleneck machines, they have idle time to... (full context)
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Alex drives to UniCo headquarters to meet with Johnny Jons and convince him to promise four-week... (full context)
Chapter 29
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Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
In their house in Bearington, Alex lies awake next to Julie, who is sleeping. It’s four a.m., but Alex can’t stop... (full context)
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
Alex tells Julie that he can’t sleep, and she intuits that it is because of his... (full context)
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
At the plant, Lou tells Alex that he’s found a new way to calculate cost-per-part that doesn’t make their expenses appear... (full context)
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Alex meets with Bob, Ralph, and Stacey to discuss Burnside’s order. Alex wonders if they could... (full context)
Chapter 30
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Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
At the start of the new month, Alex and his staff have their monthly report. Lou reports that they had a 17-percent improvement... (full context)
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Ethan Frost calls Alex, having just heard from Smyth, with questions about their new accounting methods. He sends an... (full context)
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Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
While Lou and Alex are meeting about the revised numbers, they hear a helicopter land in the parking lot.... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
Since Alex must be at corporate headquarters in the morning, he decides to spend the night with... (full context)
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The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
Julie confesses that she’s nervous about moving back home, because she doesn’t want Alex to stop paying attention to her like he does now. But she also knows that... (full context)
Chapter 31
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Alex arrives at headquarters to find that only Hilton Smyth and Neil Cravitz will be conducting... (full context)
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When Alex states that UniCo’s goal isn’t to keep costs down but to make money, Cravitz immediately... (full context)
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Alex leaves the meeting but feels he must speak with Peach himself. He strides into Peach’s... (full context)
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Peach recommends that Alex spend the next two months preparing for his new role. Alex returns to the plant... (full context)
Chapter 32
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Alex and Julie celebrate the promotion over dinner, but Alex can tell that Julie is forcing... (full context)
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Julie asks Alex why they didn’t come up with Jonah’s solutions on their own, since they all seem... (full context)
Chapter 33
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Alex approaches Lou, intending to recruit him to division management as part of his team. Before... (full context)
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Next, Alex offers Bob a job on his new division staff. Bob flatly refuses. He tells Alex... (full context)
Chapter 34
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The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
Alex and Julie drink tea together in the evening and talk about their days. Alex shares... (full context)
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At the plant, Alex gathers his staff and explains that he needs their help preparing to be an effective... (full context)
Chapter 35
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The next day, Alex asks his staff if anyone has come up with a better way to organize information.... (full context)
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...find an “intrinsic order” to organize events in the division, they can make real progress. Alex realizes that they are trying to make management into a science, just like Jonah is... (full context)
Chapter 36
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...function, they prioritized throughput, then inventory, and considered operating expense as the least important measurement. Alex considers Lou’s observation critically important and reflects that it represents a shift in the basic... (full context)
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...a previous step, a bottleneck has been broken, go back to Step 1.” Written out, Alex thinks that it all seems simple. Stacey advises replacing “bottleneck” with “constraint.” (full context)
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At home with Julie, Alex feels both elated and nervous. He isn’t sure how to increase throughput anymore without taking... (full context)
Chapter 37
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Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...metric they’ve used to measure progress (including cost accounting) needs to be completely reexamined. However, Alex is excited: with the 20 percent excess capacity that Stacey artificially filled, he thinks he... (full context)
Chapter 38
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Alex picks Ralph and Lou up early in the morning and drives to headquarters, calculating in... (full context)
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Alex and Lou think a moment, then tell Jons they can produce products for the French... (full context)
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Alex remembers Julie’s point that Jonah is a scientist and Ralph’s mention of Mendeleev. He wonders... (full context)
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That evening, Alex and Julie drink tea together and Julie tells him more about Socrates. Alex tells her... (full context)
Chapter 39
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In the morning, Bill Peach calls Alex to ask him to come into headquarters. Hilton Smyth’s plant’s traditional metrics look good, but... (full context)
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Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
Alex’s excitement is tempered when Stacey and Bob approach him with bad news: new bottlenecks are... (full context)
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Lou and Alex chat in Alex’s office. Lou is impressed with Bob’s new leadership, but Alex is worried.... (full context)
Chapter 40
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Lou and Alex drive home from headquarters together, as they have every day for the last two weeks.... (full context)
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The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
Alex fears that all they are doing is collecting data, but Lou insists data collection is... (full context)
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Later, Lou and Alex meet to analyze their issues: Lou believes that bad metrics are the division’s chief constraints,... (full context)
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As they continue debating about constraints and core problems, Alex realizes that they are fundamentally asking “what to change,” “what to change to,” and “how... (full context)