operations manager core conflictoperations manager core conflict - The core conflict created by the traditional rules for operations managers. The conflict is between judging the operations manager's performance according to the local impact of decisions and judging the manager's performance according to the global impact of the manager's actions.
Illustration: The operations manager is under constant pressure to reduce waste and the biggest waste in operations is viewed as idle time on a resource (person or equipment). The assumption on the BD side of the EC is: BD A resource standing idle is a waste. Therefore local efficiency is used to measure resources. The operations manager then looks for work (even if it's not needed now) to keep the resource busy. When work is increased on the shop floor local efficiencies go up and top management is satisfied. BUT maximizing efficiencies results in increased work-in-process, which increases lead times and inhibits flow, thereby jeopardizing sales. The TOC solution to this conflict is to use holistic rules for managing the shop floor: drum-buffer-rope (simplified drum-buffer-rope) and buffer management.