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The goal: a process of ongoing improvement

Book review: The goal

            The goal: a process of ongoing improvement is a book written by Eliyahu M. Goldratt published in New York by the North River Press. It is one of the most compelling books that have 274 pages and was published in 1986. Eliyahu approached the production world with a general sense of outlook .He uses the topic goal for his book and it is a captive topic that creates interest in any reader. He uses goal to explain how one can use just one goal so as to make money and he continues to give out strategy that one can follow so as to meet this goal. His general sense of outlook is evident in the way he beautifully demonstrates his ideas all through the book as he looks into the cost accounting from outside and he has also ensured that he has developed a whole new system for this accounting. This is a recommended book for all accountants as well as managers since it have a good foundation and it should therefore be implemented in the curriculum of each and every accounting program. This book thus constantly helps the accounting industry towards making continuous development in this sector. Eliyahu uses the mechanism of Socratic inductive way of thinking so as to teach the readers of his theory of constraints. He thus presents these ideas in a fascinating manner about the people’s dealing with the constraints that managers face at home as well as at work each and every day.

            The book describes a new mechanism for optimizing the production surroundings that is the theory of constraints. This is where the traditional effective theories are determined to maximize the machine production with an aim of attaining advantage of large amount of production. The theory of constraints therefore centers on the use the bottleneck machines only so as to help the company to achieve their goal which include making money so as to enhance the company to exist in the nearby days to come.

            This book uses characters such as Alex Rogo, a production manager and Jonah, a manager who helps the author to explain his ideas. Alex is mentored by Jonah so as to assist him to optimize his plan and control his company from being closed down. Alex Rogo being the firm manager is constantly fighting so as to achieve the outcome requirements of his plant. Some of the conflicts that she undergoes through include, ongoing conflicts that occurs between the various departments such as marketing, accounting as well as production in the company. Jonah is a friendly manager who helps Rogo to identify and manage these challenges within the company. In particular, Rogo is able to realize production bottlenecks that are vital points that determine the rate of production for the firm. It is through this that he is able to develop mechanisms for rising above and living with these bottlenecks (Goldratt & Cox 1986).  Eliyahu thus uses the bottleneck to demonstrate his ideas throughout the book as it is a fair and easy product to identify with. For instance, in a manufacturing firm, one identifies these bottlenecks through seeing a big stack of goods that are waiting in the process f delivery while in the service surroundings; one can identify them through looking for stacks of files in an office. Therefore, Eliyahu’s ideas are surprisingly applicable in the production as well as in the service surroundings. Through the study and application of these ideas the reader is able to improve the organizational efficiency as well as productivity. The reader of this book is also able to free up the investments that are withheld in the excess inventory, minimize the consumers’ frustration and organization’s anxiety. This book is a must read requirement for all kinds of managers.

            It is important as it is a book of all times as it even applies in the current economic system as it demonstrates that one only needs one type of asset so as to be able to continue thriving. The goal of each and every organization or firm should thus be to keep making money so as to ensure that there is a guarantee of the organization operating even for the days to come and that it secures jobs and welfare for their employees. The book thus starts off with a lot of information on the manner in which money making process is measured. Eliyahu thus proposes three determinants for making money and they include turnover, inventories and operating expenses. According to him, turnover is the speed through which money is made through the means of sales. Inventories n the other hand involves the investments that the organization makes so as to be able to make products while the operation costs includes all the costs that are necessary for the company to turn the inventories into being sellable goods (Goldratt & Cox 1986). All these three measures are optimized as the maximization of the productivity of bottleneck machines are made while batches as well as the inventories are kept minimal for the other kind of machines.

                                 In the novel the author has used fine devices that have aided Alex in reaching cathartic moments. Alex’s breakthrough is seen in the overwhelming roadblocks in the novel. In the novel Alex is invited to chaperone where his son further delegated the duty of leadership to Alex. In this scenario Alex finds himself surrounded by different and pre-adolescent boys who were enthusiastic to conquer their day’s milestone of a 10 mile hike that was approximately 5 hours. As the boys were different so was their capabilities and speeds is in the boy scout camping trip only to find out that the troop master is sick. The troop master, Herbie was different from other boys who was more of a constraint for the group and would have hindered the troop from achieving it task. With a common agenda the troop and Alex as the leader they decided to redistribute Herbie backpack content and they all assumed that Herbie was leading the troops. This led to a major change in the system that enabled them transverse the distance and reach on time to their designation (Goldratt & Cox 1986).

            The key concept in the novel has been focused in the overall system goal as it uses a systematic approach of making out and making the most of the constraints. The author thus explains on some of the key strategies, steps and systematic approaches that are used so as to improve the firms as they center on the concept of development throughout the book as illustrated. He uses one example that involves the addition of automation to the line which is a good idea, given the manner in which the firm measures productivity. However, the lining up of the system to center o the goal which is the money making goal, quickly points out that mechanization actually destroys the system through creation of large scale of inventory downstream at the work departments that are unable to process at the speed that is necessary to contain the throughput that is offered unto the newly attained mechanized equipments (Goldratt & Cox 1986). This proved that though productivity was high they were unable to deliver their products and this automatically affected their profitability. Through the identification of the downstream limit, the realignment of the resources was essential as it assured that the constraining machines were consistently busy and hence allowed the upstream equipments to be subsidiary in everything else as they increased the firm’s output thus meeting the delivery roles and thus increasing the profitability.

            The book’s twists as well as turns through the use of threats of the firm closure, scaling back and even the marriage challenge helps to keep the reader engaged throughout the reading as it offers simple demonstrations on how to use the theory of the constraints mechanisms. Hence with the present focus in accounting and management, the TOC is re-emerging as a vital and also worthy tool for consideration. The key end product of this focus on value chains as well as system flows is and will continue being the strategy that remains to be important in the maximization of the outputs. Eliyahu’s book, the goal therefore offers the readers with an easy way of understanding views into the use of the TOC and any new reader who has a key interest in the TOC method or one who wants to refresh the TOC concepts is recommended to read this book as it is an educative book.


















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Goldratt, E. M., & Cox, J. (1986). The goal: A process of ongoing improvement. New York: North River Press.

1450 Words  5 Pages
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