APICS Operations Management Body of Knowledge Framework, Third Edition

6.7 Theory of constraints (TOC)

TOC focuses on four key concepts: constraints, drum, buffer, and the rope. Managing constraints is critical to the process. In the process, the pace of the line operation is set by the speed of the constraint, an inventory buffer is placed before the constraint to protect the pace, and inventory is pulled through the line based on customer order input, which minimizes inventory and speeds the entire production process.