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48 The PCB Magazine • May 2014 the degree of success that can be achieved. Pro- cess analysis involves utilizing a team approach to map each of the processes at the appropriate level, and then analyzing each step for its value from the customer's perspective. Most organizations have many processes that work together to bring a specific product from the point of a customer purchase order through the conversion process and ending with order fulfillment to the customer. The conversion process is simply turning (convert- ing) inputs into outputs. From a big-picture per- spective, raw materials are turned into finished goods, but within this macro-process there are many conversion cycles taking place as each process hands off a partially completed product to the next process. And again, remember that this could be one office function handing off to another just as easily as two manufacturing pro- cesses. The entire enterprise must be evaluated, from the problem-solving activity of taking a concept through engineering, to the informa- tion management activity involving order-tak- ing and scheduling, to the physical transforma- tion of converting raw material into finished product, delivered to the customer. Process Analysis Terms The following terms may be useful to an or- ganization during the activity of process flow- charting, value-stream mapping, and analysis. • Blocking: Occurs when the activities in a process stage must stop because there is no place to deposit the item just completed • Bottleneck: Occurs when the limited ca- pacity of a process stage causes work to pile up or become unevenly distributed in the flow of a process • Cycle time: The average time between completions of successive units exiting a process • Make-to-order: Process for producing in response to an actual order that results in mini- mum inventory levels • Make-to-stock: Process for producing to meet expected or forecasted demand, shipped from stock, which results in high inventory levels • Process: Any activity within an organiza- tion that converts inputs into outputs • Starving: Occurs when the activities in a process stage must stop because there is no incoming work • Takt time: Setting the pace of production to match actual demand; Takt time = available work time per day/daily total customer demand • Throughput time: The time it takes a discrete unit to go from start to finish in a process • Utilization: The ratio of the time that a resource is actually utilized relative to the time that it is available for use Process Flowcharting Process flowcharting is the use of a diagram to represent the major elements of a process; in other words, it is a picture of the process. There are many symbols used in process flow- charting, but the basic elements are tasks or operations, decision points, queue or storage, and directional process flow (Figure 1). The first BEST PRACTICES 101, PART 1 continues Figure 1.

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