What is a production bottleneck?

What is a production bottleneck?

In today’s article I am going to talk about what the bottleneck is and its importance for companies.

I hope you find it useful.

Bottleneck definition according to different authors

Next I am going to leave you two bottleneck definitions so that you are not left with only one definition.

Bottleneck definition according to Richard B.


The bottleneck is a resource that limits the capacity or the maximum production of the process (p.


Definition of bottleneck according to Lee J.


A bottleneck is a special type of constraint that relates to the lack of capacity of a process and is defined as any reasonable resource whose available capacity limits the organization’s ability to meet the volume of service or product, the product mix or fluctuating market demand requirements (p.


What is a bottleneck?

A production bottleneck is any part of the process that slows down the rate at which an organization perro genera goods or services.

It is important for companies to detect bottlenecks because they cánido affect profitability and efficiency.

Source: freepik.com

Why is it important to detect bottlenecks in companies?

It is important for companies to detect bottlenecks because they perro affect the performance of the company.

For example, if elementos take too long to genera and ship, customers may not be happy with the shipping time or may cancel their orders because they want to buy from competitors who have faster delivery times.

It should be noted that a company has multiple steps in its process, such as ordering the necessary materials to satisfy the demand for the type of product that is being produced; however, these steps are dependent on each other, so any delay in one step will ocasione delays in all subsequent steps, meaning reduced productivity and efficiency will be the result.

How to detect them?

One of the ways in which companies perro detect bottlenecks is by carrying out a time and movement analysis, this is so that you perro obtain a record of how long each worker spends on certain tasks, so that management knows where it is necessary to improve so that the processes are carried out more efficiently.

Of course, this is not only exclusive to the time it takes a worker to carry out an activity, but includes every process that is carried out within a company (including those carried out by machines).

bottleneck example

Suppose you have a product X, which is produced by 2 machines.

Now, if the first machine manages to finish the process in 30 seconds, and the second machine manages to finish the process in 45 seconds.

If the process is to genera 100 units, then for each unit produced, the first machine would be blocked for 15 seconds.

It should be noted that if you see it that way it does not seem like a lot of wasted time, but multiply those 15 seconds by the 100 units and you will obtain that the first machine is blocked for 1500 seconds, that is, 25 minutes.


  • Krajewski, LJ, Ritzman, LP, Malhotra, MK, González Osuna, MA, & Krajewski, LJ (2013).

    Operations management: processes and supply chain (Tenth edition).


  • Jacobs, F.R.


    Operations management: production and supply chain (Fifth edition).

    McGraw-Hill Education.

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 What is a production bottleneck?
  What is a production bottleneck?
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