What's the Difference Between Constraints and Bottlenecks?

Theory of Constraints
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Claudio Castanon, Mexico

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.


Wil Thomas
Manager, United States

Sometimes a Constraint is Used to Create a Bottleneck

I will point out that even if we have a "market constraint", we still need an internal management to... Sign up

Juergen Kanz, Germany

Is the Market the Real Constraint?

I suggest to identify the internal constraint at first. The so called Capacity Constrained Resources... Sign up

Salvador Pena
Business Consultant, Mexico

Bottleneck versus Constraint

Hi, I agree, bottleneck and constraint concepts are different. A bottleneck has the lowest capacity ... Sign up

Kunal A Bhat
Consultant, India

Constraint versus Bottleneck

A constraint is a limitation that the system has. A bottleneck is where a system underperforms due ... Sign up


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