TOC First Assessment

“First Assessment” – An Initial Site Visit

If you’re genuinely interested in the Theory of Constraints and what it can do for you, there are 3 potential starting points:

  1.   Join a 2-day public workshop, or sponsor a 2-day internal workshop.
  2.   Host a 4-hour Introduction to Theory of Constraints session.
  3.   Invite us to your plant to conduct a “First Assessment.”

Conducting a Theory of Constraints “First Assessment”

It is natural for an interested manager to ask us what we can do for his company. And in a limited time frame (for example, when we’re given a 1-hour appointment) we have little choice but to go into “presentation mode,” which always makes me feel like a vacuum cleaner salesman laying out his wares … because at that point we don’t know exactly which, out of the full array of weapons in our Theory of Constraints arsenal, are most relevant to the potential business performance outcomes in that company. So we ask a few questions, then try to hit the spot. We’re pretty good at this … but it’s not the best approach.

It makes far more sense to conduct what we call a “First Assessment.”

In 1 day on-site, with a plant tour and 1-on-1 access in 45 minute segments to someone representing General Management (typically any one of Owner, President, CEO, COO, General Manager, Plant Manager), to a Sales Manager, Production Manager, Controller, Engineering Manager, perhaps Purchasing Manager, we are able to conclude the day with a verbal presentation that highlights:

  1.   The nature, scale, and scope of the opportunity we see for improvement through an application of Theory of Constraints. We’ll provide cause-effect justification for our claims, be explicit on the assumptions we’re making, and quantify in approximate terms the potential benefits we see.
  2.   The general nature of the changes that will have to be put into place to achieve those benefits.
  3.   The major obstacles we see to putting those changes into place, and how they can be overcome.
  4.   The logical next step, with dollars attached, if the company wants to pursue the opportunity. This is likely to be a proposal for participation at a public workshop, or the hosting of a dedicated workshop, or a Full TOC-Focused Assessment.

At this point, the management team is in a position to make an informed decision as to whether this is a direction they believe is worth exploring further.