Theory of Constraints (TOC) Drum Buffer Rope


Throwing Darts in a Tornado or Theory of Constraints Drum Buffer Rope (Your Choice)

By Dr Lisa Lang

We are surrounded by complexity. People don’t show up for work, machines go down, jobs take longer to run than we estimated, customers call and change delivery dates, and the list goes on.

This tornado of chaos makes it difficult to meet customer commitments and simultaneously make a profit. And when making a profit feels like a big risk — like throwing darts in a tornado, we have a big challenge.

Dart in Tornado

The good news is that it’s likely that your competitors are not doing much better. If they were much better at meeting delivery dates or have consistently shorter lead-times, you would hear about it.

This means that there is a huge opportunity.

If YOU can tame the tornado allowing you to reduce your lead-time and increase your due date performance you could win more work.

Make sense?

But, here’s the problem. The steps you need to take to reduce this chaos are the steps of the Velocity Scheduling System and they are counter-intuitive.

That’s also good news. If you’re first reaction is to resist them, then so is your competitors. So we’re back to having a big opportunity. Dr Goldratt calls this “competing with blind kittens”.

I just returned from Denmark where I got to meet one of our Velocity Scheduling System coaching clients. This client had all the normal complexity that we see in most custom job shops and then some.

• Their trucks only delivered to certain regions on certain days with a one week cycle.
• AND, they had a very big constraint in painting.
• AND, they were a union shop.
• AND, they had a significant ongoing loss since the economic downturn.
• AND, they have big seasonal impact to deal with.

All of that was making it not only difficult to make a profit, but more importantly it was difficult to know what to do differently and they could not afford typical consulting help.

Enter the Velocity Scheduling System Coaching Program …

After just 5 weeks after having started VSS and 5 weeks into their new year, they DOUBLED their output. Here’s a graph they gave me during my visit.

Theory of Constraints Results

These results were achieved after implementing the first and part of the second steps of the Velocity Scheduling System. So we are projecting another doubling of output to follow within 2 months.

Not bad. But what about you? Are you ready to stop trying to throw darts in a tornado?

If so, sign up for one of our Velocity Scheduling System Coaching Programs. All the details and the full schedule are at   Please post your comments or questions to by clicking on “Leave a Comment” at the top of this post.

Wishing You Success

“Dr Lisa” Lang

P.S. Registration is limited. With this post over 1500 shops have been notified.

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