Step 4 - Improve Process Flow

Step 4 is focused on the identification and elimination of constraints and/or bottlenecks that restrict the 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”. To many constraints will cause the production system to begin to slow down, and it will increase lead times. This means it will take longer to deliver the finished products to customers.

Flow Layout Before & After

How can a business improve Process Flow?

There are several ways that a business can improve process flow:

  1. Identify the constraints and/or bottleneck in a process
  2. Determine the root cause of the constraint and/or bottleneck
  3. Find solutions to eliminate the root cause of the constraint and/or bottleneck
  4. Test the solutions to determine if they worked to eliminate the problem

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.

Improve Process Flow Video

In this short video, Chris Turner - Lean Mfg. Coach will give a brief explanation about Workplace Organization.

Improve Process Flow Course

I have an individual training module for Improve Process Flow available to purchase. It is from my advanced level training course which is Level 3 - Lean Expert in Manufacturing. For more information click the image below:

Categories: 10-Step Model