Step 4 – Improve Process Flow
What is Process Flow?
Process flow is the continuous movement of items through an entire production system without interference. When process flow is being restricted items will begin to back up at certain operations, this is called a “constraint” or “bottleneck”. Too many constraints will cause the production system to begin to slow down, and this will increase lead times. This means it will take longer to deliver the finished products to customers.
How can a business improve Process Flow?
There are several ways that a business can improve process flow: 1. Identify the constraints in a production process 2. Determine the root cause of the constraints 3. Find solutions to eliminate the root cause of the constraints 4. Test the solutions to determine if they work.
What changes will be required to improve Process Flow?
Once the root causes of the constraints are identified the solution could require some changes in the production process. It might require a total re-design of the equipment, methods and layout of the work area. Employees would need to be re-trained to understand the improvements. It would also require a process to be monitored on a regular basis to track and trend its performance over time.
Here is an introduction video from our Level 2 – Lean Practitioner online training course: