Theory of Constraints in a Company
The XYZ Group is one of the largest landscaping companies in the United States. Sixty per cent of the business is landscape maintenance; the other 40 is landscape installation. Management knew the company could do better. In February 1996 the XYZ Group began its 'refinement process' using TOC.
The TOC journey started with about 90 middle- and upper-management personnel reading The Goal. Most agreed that the TOC concepts made sense, but they didn't know how to translate them from the production environment to their landscaping business. They began to understand that the constraint was not necessarily something negative that should be avoided, but that it may be the most profitable part of the business - and if they could control the constraint they could then control profitability. It was realized that work was being done in batches and that local optimum was the focus.
They claim that the ongoing search for constraints taught them some valuable lessons: