The textbook answer defines cost drivers as those factors that determine the overall cost of operations. As an example, in manufacturing the cost drivers may be processing time or number of steps to produce the product. In service, the cost drivers could be the actual ratio of billable to non-billable time.
The bottleneck is a manufacturing principle whereby somewhere in the production flow is a point of low or inability to keep up with the input. For business owners the key is identify the bottlenecks and fix them. This is a never ending concept and the end goal is to tweak production.
When a business can maximize the product or service delivered within a given period of time, it has reached maximum throughput. This is the basis of maximizing earnings and therefore profits for a company. This article will examine the definition more thoroughly and illustrate to the reader how to identify issues associated with the throughput for your business.
One of the basic business concepts is range of production. It means maximizing the capacity (range) of the assets in your operation. When the business operation goes beyond the maximum production range, costs associated with the marginal production generally exceed the revenue generated with the marginal increase. So to maximize profit in any business, operate within your range of production.
In every business no matter production or service, there exists a bottleneck. Your job as the owner or manager is to find it and fix the problem. Once this one is found and resolved; move onto the next one. There is always a bottleneck to find and fix. What is important is to find the problem, identify the core issue, and then resolve the bottleneck. This may sound simply, but it takes someone in a position of knowledge and experience to complete this task.
What I learned was that equipment didn’t call in sick, it didn’t back talk me, it never got upset about how much it was paid and it just kept on humming. It was making us money and I didn’t have to deal with personnel issues. Boy, if only all production could be like this. Turn it on and make money.