Theory of Constraints, or ToC, is a systems approach to the management of organisations, focussing on maximising the flow and thereby achieving improvement of system’s productivity. The methodology can be applied by any position within a company where it is necessary to manage a flow.
A good analogy of the thinking is the water supply, when you open the tap, water is readily available. For this to happen, there is a bigger system in the background eg larger pipes, reservoir, pumps making the water readily available at the point it is needed. The flow can be controlled by opening and closing the tap as needed, in the background, water is waiting for consumption. Essentially the customer is the system constraint, controlling the water flow.
Who will benefit?
Any business will benefit from this thinking, with dramatic results, the size of the enterprise is irrelevant. One such recent result was a printing company, which went from near bankruptcy to profitable within a matter of 3 months. This merely through discovering how to improve the flow within their organisation.
Where does TOC originate?
The Goal written by Dr Eli Goldratt in 1984 was the start and the theory has been around ever since, as an international concept. The book is still a bestseller and is one of the most influential management books of all times. TOC Southern Africa was started on request by Dr Goldratt and has been acting as agents for the Goldratt Marketing since 2000.
What does TOCSA do?
Apart from assisting people to move from an old to a new set of rules, they also offer workshops and courses to impart ToC to students.
The Thinking Process courses are also offered to assist students to develop new ways of finding solutions in situations where solutions are not already available and also to recognise what should and should not be done in business.
Online courses are now also available through the Tuit Shop. During these online courses, students can look forward to an element of tutoring by Philip Viljoen, the CEO of TOCSA.
Universities are also starting to recognise the importance of this thinking for all disciplines and hopefully this will soon be available as part of their ‘toolkit’ for business students.
Theory of Constraints Practitioners Alliance Conference
Taking place 16-18 August, this is the 27th International TOCPA conference to take place over the span of the last 4 years. The event will kick off with a day of Master Classes where attendees have the privilege of sharing knowledge with inspiring international speakers. Various ToC successes will be shared during the conference as well as sharing of insights by some of the best ToC practitioners.