The Theory of Constraints and the Automotive Industry
The bottleneck appears in many aspects of the automotive industry. Not only is the specified branch of the manufacturer but also in more specific branches of products such as locally owned dealers, individual parts suppliers, and then on the consumer service side, repair shops. Looking at all of these some bottlenecks or constraints are easily identifiable. For this I will look closer at the service side of the industry and how the theory of constraints can ...view middle of the document...
So if we are looking at a smaller locally owned shop we could identify the restraint as being poor scheduling of both labor and appointments. Once this is identified the theory will help ease the restraint.
To handle this they will need to pad the forecast for the amount of work they estimate will be needed and accommodate the scheduling to match this. This can be done with a unique scheduling system for the shop with room for the varying service levels needed. With that the shop as a whole has to have the initiative to focus on the areas needed during these times. Something to consider would to have cross trained employees. So if collusion repair are needing more labor while routine fixes is slow, mechanics are able to assist in the larger work load.
To make the theory work there must be positive attitude towards any changes taking place. Positive reinforcement and incentive plans could help assist with this. Change can be hard in the employee environment so as a leader a good example and pointing out how all will benefit from increased service levels will create a happy work environment making changes easier to adjust to.