Operations Management

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1. GENESIS OF ‘THE GOAL’

The Goal is about science and education. The author believes that these two words have been abused to the extent that their original meanings have been lost in a fog of too much respect and mystery. Science for him is not about the secrets of nature or even about truths. Science is simply the method to try and postulate a minimum set of assumptions that can explain, through a straightforward logical derivation, the existence of many phenomena of nature. For example the Law of Conservation of Energy of physics is not truth. It is just an assumption that is valid in explaining a tremendous amount of natural phenomena. Such an assumption can never be proven since even though an infinite number of phenomena that can be explained by it. On the other hand, it can be disproved by just a single phenomenon that cannot be explained by the assumption. This disproving does not detract from the validity of the assumption. It just highlights the need or even the existence of another assumption that is more valid. This is the case with the assumption of the conservation of energy, which was replaced by Einstein's global-more valid -postulation of the conservation of energy and mass. Einstein's assumption is not true to the same extent that the previous one was not "true". The author believes that we have restricted the connotation of science to a very selective, limited assemblage of natural phenomena. We refer to science when we deal with physics, chemistry or biology. This book is an attempt to show that we can postulate a very small number of assumptions and utilise them to explain a very large spectrum of industrial phenomena. What the author has attempted to show with this book is that no exceptional brainpower is needed to construct a new science or to expand on an existing one. What is needed is just the courage to face inconsistencies and to avoid running away from them just because "that's the way it was always done". The author has also dared to interweave into the book a family life struggle, which he assumes is quite familiar to any manager who is to some extent obsessed with his work. The author has also attempted to show in the book the meaning of education. The author sincerely believes that the only way we can learn is through our deductive process. Presenting us with final conclusions is not a way that we learn. At best it is a way that we are trained. That's why he has tried to deliver the message contained in the book in the Socratic way. The author believes that our textbooks should not present us with a series of end results but rather a plot that enables the reader to go through the deduction process himself.

2. INTRODUCTION TO ‘THE GOAL’

The Goal is about new global principles of manufacturing. It’s about people trying to understand what makes their world tick so that they can make it better. As they think logically and consistently about their problems they are able to determine “cause and effect “ relationship between their actions and results. In the process they deduce some basic principles, which they use to save their plant and make it successful. In today's manufacturing society production management is one of the most crucial ideals to stay competitive in the market place. In our competitive manufacturing industry if a plant does not satisfy customer's wants and needs their sales and profits will suffer and management may end up pulling the plug if sales continue to decrease.

The book covers the following topics in great detail:

• Communication;

• Inventory; Bottlenecks;

• Efficiency; and

• Capacity Planning.

There are several reasons why the author chose a novel to explain his understanding of manufacturing – how it works and why it works that way in reality. Firstly, he wants to make the global principles of manufacturing more understandable and show how they can bring order to the chaos that so often exists in our plants. Secondly,...
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