March 28, 2009


“Process map a process (or use one you have already compiled earlier) and assess each process step to decide whether or not each step adds value from a Lean thinking perspective. Pay particular attention to delays and to quality checking points. Assess the throughput efficiency of the process. Is a demand-pull or Kanban system used to control flow?”

Spanish ITV


ITV stands for Vehicle Technical Inspection, and it is a semi public technical control all cars must go through periodically for security and environmental reasons.

Accessing ITV sites can take place:

*    when client decides to go directly according to his availability and the last revision date

*    when government reminds through a letter last revision will prescribe shortly and reminds you can contact them and order a particular date


The second method eases resource planning forecasting, so this channel is boosted by government reducing the total process time for customers with fixed dates.

If on the other hand customer decides not to set a fix date, there is much waste generated as resources haven’t been planned aligned with supply.


Once all papers have been reviewed by employee number 1, each car is given a queue number (1 out of 12) in order to go thorough the whole revision process. The queue management is done through an information system that alerts how many cars are still on each queue; and takes into account the aging of the car, as the older the car is the longer time takes normally to go through the whole process.


Whole revision process is done on a rolling car basis (each employee is specialised on controlling specific sections, and the car moves straight from one section to the other one).


This process allows controlling exactly the time spent on each of the queues, and reduces the time spent by employees going from one car to another.

Between each section there is a traffic light that alerts the car it can move towards the next section, and to the first employee to allow a new car enter the queue.

In this way the waste time and waste efforts between sections is reduced and allows the whole process to get good time metrics.


One of the potential problems of this process management, is that if one of the cars takes too much time on one section of the Queue, it will surely mean a waste of time not only for this car, but for the rest of the cars on the queue.


Could this current process be improved by implementing a more complex Kanban system?

If we generate one additional queue with no employees, that is used only in case one car seems to need more time than others, we would for sure reduce the waste without incrementing the needed resources.


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  1. Neil McPhater


    You have produced a very good blog for lesson 8, your last blog. Your chosen example is an excellent one. You have described it very well and used diagrams to first class effect, in particular the traffic lighting. I liked your point about the queue management information system to automate some decision making and scheduling. However you did not answer the point about ‘throughput efficiency’ – definintion in course Notes section 8.2.

    For reflection, you might consider that more OM terms and characteristics might have been used. This ‘configuration’ is a parallel (short and fat) one and the layout is such that each bay has sections ‘cells’. The rolling car basis is ‘pull demand’ and the traffic lights are a kanban (visibility flag).

    I take your point about having an overflow queue. However you will need to have resources available to be used right away. When they are not needed, which will be most of the time, they will be idle i.e. a waste. The secret of reducing waste here is to design the cells/processes tso hat ideally traffic lights are not needed. This means that cycle times for each section (cell) must be identical.

    Very well done indeed for ‘keeping your nose to the grindstone’ and completing your blogs ahead of schedule. I have very much enjoyed reviewing your blogs and hope my comments have been informative and useful. All the very best with the rest of your MBA.

    Ciao, Neil.

    29 Mar 2009, 12:48

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