Chapter 11. Reducing Response Times

Short response times have strategic and tactical importance. They serve as strategic value drivers for an organization.

At the strategic level, short response times provide an organization with the flexibility to move from one product to another, from one service to another, with the ability to react quickly to customer requests, and to manage rapid market changes. In a changing market, with its inherent uncertainty, a flexible organization can adapt itself quickly to changes in the environment and increase its chances of survival and success.

At the tactical level (as we have seen in the previous chapter), fast response times enable companies to function with low levels of work in process (WIP), thereby reducing costs and increasing throughput.

Methods for Reducing Response Times and Work in Process

Reducing response times and reducing the amount of WIP can be achieved by various methods, including:

  • Strategic gating

  • Tactical gating

  • Working with a complete kit

  • Managing bottlenecks

  • Using the just‐in‐time (JIT) method

  • Measurement and control

  • Implementing the drum‐buffer‐rope (DBR) mechanism

  • Practicing quality improvement and reduction of the garbage plant

  • Avoiding bad multitasking (BMT)

  • Using concurrent engineering (CE)

  • Implementing group technology (GT)

  • Working in parallel rather than serially

Strategic Gating

Strategic gating is a managerial tool that screens out tasks that should not reach the system and therefore, should not consume the scarce time of the bottleneck. ...

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