Throughput (business)

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Throughput is rate at which a product is moved through a production process and is consumed by the end-user, usually measured in the form of sales or use statistics. The goal of most organizations is to minimize the investment in inputs as well as operating expenses while increasing throughput of its production systems. Successful organizations which seek to gain market share strive to match throughput to the rate of market demand of its products. [1] .

Contents

Overview

In the business management theory of constraints, throughput is the rate at which a system achieves its goal. Oftentimes, this is monetary revenue and is in contrast to output, which is inventory that may be sold or stored in a warehouse. In this case, throughput is measured by revenue received (or not) at the point of sale—exactly the right time. Output that becomes part of the inventory in a warehouse may mislead investors or others about the organizations condition by inflating the apparent value of its assets. The theory of constraints and throughput accounting explicitly avoid that trap.

The theory of constraints (TOC) is a management paradigm that views any manageable system as being limited in achieving more of its goals by a very small number of constraints. There is always at least one constraint, and TOC uses a focusing process to identify the constraint and restructure the rest of the organization around it. TOC adopts the common idiom "a chain is no stronger than its weakest link". This means that processes, organizations, etc., are vulnerable because the weakest person or part can always damage or break them or at least adversely affect the outcome.

Inventory goods held for resale

Inventory or stock is the goods and materials that a business holds for the ultimate goal of resale.

Throughput accounting

Throughput accounting (TA) is a principle-based and simplified management accounting approach that provides managers with decision support information for enterprise profitability improvement. TA is relatively new in management accounting. It is an approach that identifies factors that limit an organization from reaching its goal, and then focuses on simple measures that drive behavior in key areas towards reaching organizational goals. TA was proposed by Eliyahu M. Goldratt as an alternative to traditional cost accounting. As such, Throughput Accounting is neither cost accounting nor costing because it is cash focused and does not allocate all costs to products and services sold or provided by an enterprise. Considering the laws of variation, only costs that vary totally with units of output e.g. raw materials, are allocated to products and services which are deducted from sales to determine Throughput. Throughput Accounting is a management accounting technique used as the performance measure in the Theory of Constraints (TOC). It is the business intelligence used for maximizing profits, however, unlike cost accounting that primarily focuses on 'cutting costs' and reducing expenses to make a profit, Throughput Accounting primarily focuses on generating more throughput. Conceptually, Throughput Accounting seeks to increase the speed or rate at which throughput is generated by products and services with respect to an organization's constraint, whether the constraint is internal or external to the organization. Throughput Accounting is the only management accounting methodology that considers constraints as factors limiting the performance of organizations.

Throughput can be best described as the rate at which a system generates its products or services per unit of time. Businesses often measure their throughput using a mathematical equation known as Little's law, which is related to inventories and process time: time to fully process a single product.

In queueing theory, a discipline within the mathematical theory of probability, Little's result, theorem, lemma, law, or formula is a theorem by John Little which states that the long-term average number L of customers in a stationary system is equal to the long-term average effective arrival rate λ multiplied by the average time W that a customer spends in the system. Expressed algebraically the law is

Basic formula

Using Little's Law, one can calculate throughput with the equation:

where:

If you solve for R, you will get:
[2]

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The problem of Throughput Maximization is a family of iterative stochastic optimization algorithms that attempt to find the maximum expected throughput in an n-stage Flow line. According to Pichitlamken et al. (2006), there are two solutions to the discrete service-rate moderate-sized problem. With an expected throughput (defined as the limiting throughput over a long time horizon, as opposed to the approximation induced through the need for a warm-up period and ratio-estimate as described under Measurement of time. Each simulation replication should consist of warming up the system with 2000 released jobs starting from an empty system, then recording the time T required to release the next 50 jobs, and estimating the throughput on this replication as 50=T jobs per unit time. Time is then measured in the number of simulation replications performed.

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Theory of constraints (TOC) is an engineering management technique used to evaluate a manageable procedure, identifying the largest constraint (bottleneck) and strategizing to reduce task time and maximise profit. It assists in determining what to change, when to change it, and how to cause the change. The theory was established by Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt through his 1984 bestselling novel The Goal. Since this time, TOC has continued to develop and evolve and is a primary management tool in the engineering industry. When Applying TOC, powerful tools are used to determine the constraint and reduce its effect on the procedure, including:

References

  1. "What is 'Throughput'". investopedia.com . Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  2. "The Relationship Between Cycle Time and WIP". fabtime.com. Retrieved 15 November 2016.

Further reading

Eliyahu M. Goldratt Israeli physicist and management guru

Eliyahu Moshe Goldratt was an Israeli business management guru. He was the originator of the Optimized Production Technique, the Theory of Constraints (TOC), the Thinking Processes, Drum-Buffer-Rope, Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) and other TOC derived tools.