I contend it’s a good thing. No, I contend it’s a great thing. Allow me to explain.
Let’s say there are three processes in your widget making factory – machining, painting, and assembly.
After your current state value stream mapping exercise you learn that machining is the constraint to the system due to a variety of reasons (e.g. cycle time, defects, availability losses, etc.).
Once this is understood you and your band of merry men (and women) attack these issues with reckless abandon. After a few weeks of focused kaizen, machining is no longer the constraint – assembly is.
In fact, if you are able to increase the output of assembly you will immediately sell more since your sales growth has gone through the roof due to your already best in class lead-times.
So, as you probably guessed, your team heads over to assembly with stop watches and video camera in hand. You study things and identify lots of excess motion, poor material presentation, and ineffective planning of the cells.
A few weeks later, assembly is rolling along like a well oiled machine… and wouldn’t you know it… that darn painting process is now the bottleneck!
I could go on and on with this post, but I think you get the point.
You see, I contend that moving constraints mean your business is in constant growth mode. And this constant growth is placing constant pressure on your manufacturing capabilities.
Conversely, if you work to balance your cycle times to takt time and that suffices for more than six months, I’d contend you are not growing your business. And that, as they say here in Texas, ain’t good.
Do you agree?