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I love discussing optimization of productions.  It starts with understanding some basic terms.  You might use your own terms for your brewery, but if the time ever comes to talk with someone outside of your organization on operations you’ll likely want to have this Cheat Sheet handy.

  • Cycle Time: Cycle time is how long it takes to accomplish a single task.  For example, Washing a Keg.
  • Lead Time: This is the latency (delay) between the initiation and execution of a process.
  • Throughput Time:  This is the sum of all of your product individual process times accounting for value added and non-value added activities.  For example, Wash a keg, Sanitize a keg, fill a keg, store a keg, distribute the keg, receive the keg back dirty and empty.  It includes the time the keg is sitting idle waiting for an activity.

If you want to save money and not purchase kegs while also expanding your sales, you need to reduce your throughput time.  However, first you need to know where you are.

What is your throughput time?