Example of How Takt Time and Pitch Apply in the Lean Office

Posted by on Dec 19, 2010 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Takt is a German word that refers to musical beat or rhythm and takt time is the time available to produce a product in order to meet customer demand.  It is about having a rate of processing that meets what the customer requires.
Takt time is calculated as follows:
Takt time = (Available work time per day) / (Customer demand per day)
As an example, lets take a finance department that conducts a vouchering process to pay suppliers.  If the demand is 300 vouchers processed per day, and the daily available work time is 8 hours, then the takt time is calculated as 480/300 = 1.6 minutes.  This means that one voucher should be processed, on average, every 96 seconds.
Pitch on the other hand is a compromise when items can’t be processed per the takt time.  It is adopted when items can’t be flowed at the rate of takt time and is often seen in high-volume transactional processes.  In our vouchering process it may not be practical to move vouchers per the takt time or every 96 seconds.  This is when the concept of pitch is applied.
The formula for pitch is:
Pitch = Takt time X Number of work units
Let’s assume that we decide to move the completed vouchers every hour.  So this is the pitch, and we need to find the number of work units that need to be grouped to move at this pace.
Pitch = Takt time X Number of work units
60 min X 60 sec = 96 sec X Number of work units
Number of work units = 38 vouchers
This means that to maintain a pitch of every hour, vouchers need to be moved in bundles of 38.
A supervisor (or anyone else, for that matter) can use pitch to see if a process is on schedule.  If the demand is 300 vouchers per day, every hour 38 vouchers should be completed and ready to go.  If the vouchering team gets behind, the supervisor can assign temporary help to get the process caught up.

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