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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Bottlenecks are the slowest stage or member of a system due to limited capacity, which can be used to set the maximum pace for the entire system. A bottleneck’s capacity will always be less than or equal to the demand placed on it. A bottleneck is the same thing as a constraint.

Bottlenecks Quotes in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement quotes below are all either spoken by Bottlenecks or refer to Bottlenecks. For each quote, you can also see the other terms 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 18 Quotes

“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 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 25 Quotes

“But what are we supposed to do?” asks Bob. “If we don’t keep our people working, we’ll have idle time, and idle time will lower our efficiencies.”

So what?” asks Jonah. […] “Take a look at the monster you’ve made. It did not create itself. You have created this mountain of inventory with your own decisions. And why? Because of the wrong assumption that you must make the workers produce 100 percent of the time, or else get rid of them to ‘save’ money.”

Related Characters: Bob Donovan (speaker), Jonah (speaker)
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

“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:
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Bottlenecks Term Timeline in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The timeline below shows where the term Bottlenecks appears in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 18
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...tells Alex he is correct. He explains that some parts of a system are a “bottleneck resource,” a resource (or machine) who cannot keep up with the demands placed on it,... (full context)
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
...sheets, printouts, and so on as Alex, Bob, Stacey, Lou, and Ralph search for their bottlenecks. Ralph is frustrated—much of their data is years behind, and sorting through it could take... (full context)
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Not long after, they find themselves gathered in front of their bottleneck machines: the NCX-10, a one-of-a-kind machine for shaping metal that requires little human labor, and... (full context)
Chapter 19
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
After Alex told Jonah of his new confusion about the bottlenecks over the phone, Jonah offered to come see the plant for himself. Alex picks him... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...the middle of a batch, still running on its own. He states that while any non-bottleneck machine may have some idle time, bottleneck machines need to be running at full capacity... (full context)
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...million. This realization shocks Alex. Jonah asks to see where they do quality inspection for bottleneck parts. He sees that they do quality inspection only after products go through the heat-treating... (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
...explains that although Alex and his staff would normally calculate the operating expense of each bottleneck machine based on its power and labor requirements, coming out to $20 to $30 an... (full context)
Chapter 20
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
...determines that at least 80 percent of everything they work on must pass through the bottlenecks. They decide to do quality inspections on parts before sending them through the bottlenecks, to... (full context)
Chapter 21
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
...overdue orders they have outstanding. Eighty-five percent of them are waiting on parts from the bottleneck machines. Alex tells Ralph and Stacey to prioritize those parts and start working their way... (full context)
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
...tag system, placing red tags on the critical pieces that need to run through a bottleneck machine and green tags for non-essential parts. Alex spends all of Friday holding meetings with... (full context)
Chapter 22
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
...production and begin to reduce their overdue backlog of orders. Placing quality control before the bottlenecks rather than after eliminated six percent of wasted capacity, which should increase their throughput. Even... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...to the work done by the NCX-10, thus increasing the capacity of one of their bottlenecks. (full context)
Chapter 23
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
...actual operation times, so they can see where they’re losing time and money due to bottlenecks. Alex is frustrated to hear about the idle bottlenecks and encourages Ralph to collect data... (full context)
Chapter 24
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
...happened and will call Julie to explain. She also tells Alex that it seems their bottlenecks are spreading: now that the plant’s throughput has increased, they are running into shortages of... (full context)
Chapter 25
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
...plant to meet with Stacey, Bob, Ralph, and Lou. Stacey explains that they have new bottlenecks, but Jonah suggests these new delays might not be bottlenecks at all. They go out... (full context)
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
Jonah realizes that 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... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...Alex thinks about their warehouses of excess inventory and realizes Jonah is right. Letting some non-bottleneck machines or workers stand idle is less counterproductive than forcing everyone to work, but creating... (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
...parts than the system can turn into products, they are turning some machines into unnecessary bottlenecks. Instead, they should aim to “utilize” each machine or resource—producing exactly the amount that the... (full context)
Chapter 26
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
...their system without it becoming clogged. Ralph states that with his new data from the bottlenecks, he can now predict how long it takes any part to go from the beginning... (full context)
Chapter 28
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...worries about increased setup time, but Alex reminds him that since this mostly happens at non-bottleneck machines, they have idle time to burn anyway. Thinking about this, Bob estimates they can... (full context)
Chapter 29
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
...sped the entire plant’s manufacturing process up. Although there is still some idle time for non-bottlenecks, the smaller batch sizes make everything move quicker, providing all workers and machines with more... (full context)
Chapter 33
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
...wants to take over Bob’s role as production manager. She recently discovered that, although the bottlenecks are taken care of, a secondary problem arises with what she calls “capacity constraint resources”... (full context)
Chapter 36
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
...process of steps. They decide to write their process out: Step 1: “Identify the system’s bottlenecks.” Step 2: “Decide how to exploit the bottlenecks.” Step 3: “Subordinate everything to the above... (full context)
Chapter 37
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...have. Stacey realizes that with the red and green tagging system still in place, the bottlenecks were still operating like bottlenecks when they no longer needed to. She surmises that if... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...are shipping so far ahead of schedule now that the market is more of a bottleneck than the NCX-10 and heat-treating machines—they are limited by their sales. Lou agrees but wonder... (full context)
Chapter 39
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Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
Alex’s excitement is tempered when Stacey and Bob approach him with bad news: new bottlenecks are appearing and throwing off the flow. Workers are running into overtime trying to correct... (full context)
Chapter 40
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
...about corporate issues like selfishness and greed. Lou remarks that the plant’s process had physical bottlenecks, but the organization’s bottlenecks might not be so concrete. Their five-step process still appears legitimate,... (full context)