Bottleneck is derived from the word the neck of a bottle, which is usually small compared to the other parts of a bottle. Hence, it limits the amount of any substance being drawn from the bottle.
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It means a delay that occurs at one point in a process and thereby causing inefficiency or reduction of the speed in which the process is expected to take place (Goldrat, 2004). If delays due to bottlenecks are not addressed, a process is likely to fail. The process of driving from home to work has some bottlenecks which lead to increasing the time one takes to work.
Considering the information given on the process of driving to work daily, there are quite a number of main bottlenecks which are evident during the entire process. The greatest bottleneck is the state of my car and whether it has gas or not.
From the data provided, it is clear that in the case where the car has enough fuel and is in a good condition, the process of going to work takes the shortest time possible. Lack of enough fuel in the car will imply that fueling will have to be done hence taking extra time in the gas station, which delays the process.
Lack of fuel in the car or not being in a favorable condition will also imply boarding a public vehicle which may not always be available. This is a major bottleneck since if they are not available, one has to walk to work hence taking unusually long, and getting to work tired and unable to work efficiently. If the public vehicles are available, one is dropped at the station and walks to the working place, which may lead to more delays.
The traffic light stopovers and traffic jams are sometimes not predictable. Police checks may also lead to delays in this process. Though they are not predictable, there are ways in which their effects in the process of driving to school can be minimized.
Using Goldrat’s theory to identify and reduce the bottlenecks
To maximize the time usage in the daily process of driving to school, the above constrains have to be identified and resolved altogether. The reduction or elimination of these bottlenecks can be done by applying Goldratt’s theory of constrains.
Using this theory to reduce the constrains brought about by the car, the latter should always be fueled the previous day as a matter of early planning (Goldrat, 2004). This will reduce delays due to time taken in refilling the car.
The bottleneck due to using a public vehicles and being dropped at the station leading to delay due to the extra time taken to walk to the work place can be reduced by starting the journey a little bit earlier than normal days. Other bottlenecks like the police checks and traffic jams can also be reduced through this action.
Mastering the occurrence of the traffic jams can also be used so that one avoids the jam when expected to occur by leaving earlier or taking an alternative route (Shtub & Karni, 2009).
In summing up, it is vital to mention that using the theory of constrains helps in reducing my driving time to work place through elimination of bottlenecks that have been identified. This theory breaks the process into steps in order to be able to get a better understanding of all the steps and improve the products of any other process that may experience challenges.
Goldrat, M. (2004). The goal: a process of ongoing improvement. New York: North River Press.
Shtub, A. & Karni, R. (2009). ERP: the Dynamics of Supply Chain and Process Management. London: Springer.