Lean Manufacturing & the Theory of Constraints

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Significance of the Relevant Range to CVP Relationships

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 Eliminating Waste
  • 0:45 Defining Our Terms
  • 1:50 Building a Connection
  • 4:50 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

In this lesson, you'll learn about lean manufacturing and the elimination of waste in the world of business. We'll define the term and build a connection to the theory of constraints.

Eliminating Waste

Imagine that you are making a quilt. Before you begin, you have to find a pattern and then purchase the fabric. After finding the perfect fabric, you rush home and begin to cut out the pieces. Before the night is over, you start the sewing process. By the end of the week, you finish sewing the last pieces together and finally complete your quilt. However, you notice something. You have several pieces of fabric left over that may go to waste. They seem too small to use for another project; yet, you can't help but feel wasteful just throwing them all away, so you begin to wonder if you can find a way to minimize or eliminate the creation of all this wasteful fabric? In this lesson, we will learn all about the idea of eliminating waste in the business word, which is known as lean manufacturing.

Defining our Terms

Before we get too deep, let's take a brief minute to go over some important definitions. First of all, lean manufacturing refers to the concept of trying to eliminate or minimize waste or actions that utilize resources without contributing value. This may occur during several processes, such as manufacturing, distributing, designing, and those that pertain to customer service procedures. In other words, it is a way for a company to cut any activity or resource that is not needed and ultimately ends up getting wasted.

Another term that will come in handy is the theory of constraints, which has two parts. The first part is the process of finding the most crucial limiting factor, otherwise known as a constraint, that keeps a company from reaching its goals. The second part is working towards improving that constraint so that it does not remain a limiting factor. So, the theory of constraints basically involves the task of finding what is holding a company back and working on a way to make improvements so that it no longer interferes with the company's goals.

Building a Connection

So, you may be wondering how lean manufacturing is connected to the theory of constraints? The objective of the theory of constraints is to find the current constraint that keeps a company from reaching their goals. By using the lean manufacturing methodology, the company eliminates that constraint and should be able to set a pace, or timing determined by the constraint or by customers' demands, that increases productivity. Before a company can find that pace, it needs to be able to recognize the familiar constraints it might encounter.

Lean manufacturing takes a broad focus in regards to waste elimination, whereas the theory of constraints focuses on individual constraints until they are no longer considered a constraint. For example, some constraints could be not having enough materials, inventory, employees, or space. How much overtime is allowed, contracts that need to be fulfilled, and government regulations are a few others. The market itself can also be a constraint.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support