What's the Difference Between Constraints and Bottlenecks?

Theory of Constraints
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Claudio Castanon

What's the Difference Between Constraints and Bottlenecks?

Constraint and bottleneck are different concepts:
- A constraint is a restriction of a process, it might be, equipment, people, specifications, materials, enviroment, policies, suppliers.
Being a restriction, these constraints do not allow to meet the customer demand or any other customer key requirement by not being "capable" (in terms of capacity).
For the whole process to flow as expected in order to obtain a daily production rate versus customer demand you can not produce or sell more than the constraint is capable to give.
Do not let a constraint dictate your throughput, fix the constraint to meet the desired throughput, once you have fixed the internal constraints, be prepared to meet the mother of all constraints: the market.
- A bottleneck on the other hand is simply caused by bad management of a process.

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