1st Edition

The New Beginning A Business Novel on How to Successfully Implement the Combination of The Theory of Constraints, Lean, and Six Sigma to Drive Profit Margins

By Bob Sproull, Matt Hutcheson Copyright 2021
    344 Pages 128 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    344 Pages 128 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    344 Pages 128 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

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    This book is a sequel to the business novel, The Secret to Maximizing Profitability – A Business Novel on How to Successfully Combine the Theory of Constraints, Lean, and Six Sigma to Drive Profit Margins to New Levels. In The New Beginning, Tom Mahanan, Tires for All’s former Director of Finance, who learned how to combine the Theory of Constraints with Lean and Six Sigma, and then applied it to Tires for All, strives to take his company to levels of profitability they had never experienced before. As a reward for his work, Tom was given a permanent seat on the Board of Directors, as long as he continued his improvement work at the remaining portfolio of companies owned by the Board of Directors.

    Tom performed extremely well, but one day he receives a life-changing phone call from his former mentor, Bob Nelson, the man who he had worked with at Tires for All to make amazing improvements. Bob asks him to play golf with him and two others, Jeff Johnson, from Toner International, and Pete Hallwell, the CFO at Maximo Health Center Complex. Pete and Tom share a golf cart during the round and begin chatting about the work Tom had done at Tires for All and the other portfolio of companies. Pete, who works for a healthcare complex of hospitals, is so impressed with the results Tom had achieved, that he invites him to lunch the following week. Tom accepts his offer of lunch and ultimately, Tom signs a consulting agreement with Pete.

    Tom had provided an example from a previous improvement effort where he worked with a hospital in Chicago to improve their Emergency Department time for STEMI-type heart attack patients. In his explanation, Tom presents a variety of improvement tools which includes the integration of the Theory of Constraints, Lean, and Six Sigma. Tom then meets with his current employer and specifically, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Jonathan Briggs, to let him know that he will be resigning to form his own consulting firm. Jonathan then surprises Tom by offering him a consulting agreement to improve all of their portfolio companies. The remainder of the book is all about teaching companies how to combine the Theory of Constraints, Lean, and Six Sigma to obtain optimal results. In the final two chapters, a new problem surfaces, which is the Corona Virus.

    Essentially, this book teaches the reader how to successfully combine and implement the Theory of Constraints, Lean, and Six Sigma to produce results that many companies only dream of having. It covers a variety of different company types including manufacturing and healthcare.

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1 Tom’s New Beginning

    Chapter 2 The Phone Call

    Chapter 3 The Meeting

    Chapter 4 A New Direction

    Chapter 5 Maximo Health Center Complex

    Chapter 6 Simpson’s New Beginning

    Chapter 7 Maximo Health Center Complex’s New Beginning

    Chapter 8 Simpson Water Heater’s Next Meeting

    Chapter 9 The Next Step at Maximo Health Center Complex

    Chapter 10 Drum Buffer Rope at Simpson Water Heaters

    Chapter 11 Maximo’s Goal Tree

    Chapter 12 Developing an Improvement Plant at Simpson

    Chapter 13 The Expanded Case Study at Simpson Water Heaters

    Chapter 14 Maximo’s Improvement Plan

    Chapter 15 More Training at Maximo

    Chapter 16 Simpson Water Heater’s Goal Tree

    Chapter 17 The Board Meeting

    Chapter 18 Maximo’s Improvement Effort

    Chapter 19 Drum Buffer Rope at Maximo

    Chapter 20 Simpson Water Heater’s New Initiative

    Chapter 21 The End of the New Beginning

    Chapter 22 The Virus

    Chapter 23 The Webinar


    Bob Sproull is an Independent Consultant and the owner of Focus and Leverage Consulting. Bob is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and a Theory of Constraints Jonah. Bob has served as a Vice President of Quality, Engineering, and Continuous Improvement for two different manufacturing companies, was General Manager for a manufacturing company, has an extensive consulting background in Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO), and focuses on teaching companies how to maximize their profitability through an integrated Lean, six Sigma, and Constraints Management improvement methodology. Bob is an internationally known speaker and author of numerous white papers and articles on continuous improvement. Bob’s background also includes 9 years with the Presbyterian University Hospital complex in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he ran the Biochemistry Department at Children’s Hospital, performed extensive research in breakthrough testing methods and assisted with the development of organ transplant procedures. Bob completed his undergraduate work at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Rochester with a dual Math/Physics major. A results-driven Performance Improvement Professional with a diverse healthcare, manufacturing, MRO and technical background, he has significant experience appraising under-performing companies, developing and executing highly successful improvement strategies based upon the integration of Lean, Six Sigma, and Constraints Management methodology. Bob is the author of four books, including, The Focus and Leverage Improvement Book, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis, 2018; The Problem-Solving, Problem-Prevention, and Decision-Making Guide - Organized and Systematic Roadmaps for Managers, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis, 2018; The Ultimate Improvement Cycle: Maximizing Profits Through the Integration of Lean, Six Sigma and the Theory of Constraints, Productivity Press, 2009; Process ProblemSolving: A Guide for Maintenance and Operation’s Teams, Productivity Press, 2001; and Theory of Constraints, Lean, and Six Sigma Improvement Methodology: Making the Case for Integration, Productivity Press, 2019; and co-author of Epiphanized: Intergrading Theory of Constraints, Lean and Six Sigma, North River Press, 2012; Epiphanized: A Novel on Unifying Theory of Constraints, Lean and Six Sigma, 2nd Edition, and Focus and Leverage: The Critical Methodology for Theory of Constraints, Lean, and Six Sigma (TLS). Degrees, Certifications, and Memberships: Bachelor of Science Equivalent in Math and Physics, University of Rochester Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Kent State University Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, Sigma Breakthrough Technologies, Inc. TOCICO Strategic Thinking Process Program Certificate TOC Thinking Processes (Jonah Course) L-3 Communications Critical Chain Expert Certificate, Realization Technologies Lean MRO Operations Certificate, University of Tennessee Bob resides in Prattville, Alabama

    This book delivers insight into how to rapidly help organizations become much more effective and profitable. Through an engaging story about a year in the life of a consultant, they demonstrate how the synergistic combination of Lean, Six Sigma, & Theory of Constraints (known as the Ultimate Improvement Cycle or UIC) can help quickly drive the performance of organizations from mediocre to record setting levels. As a consultant, I truly appreciate and relate to the realistic scenarios and levels of achievement presented in this book. These results are more than possible with the UIC; they’re repeatable and reproducible. Now, more than ever, would be a great time to read this book and learn how to apply it for anyone passionate about improving their organizations…especially consultants, plant managers, organizational leadership, as well as board members of companies and equity groups. It works.

    • Michael Asbury, founder, Elevate Coaching & Consulting

    The strongest parts of this book are the intuitive illustrations and explanations of the basic principles of Theory of Constraints that will hold the hand of a newcomer and serve as training material for the professional. This book contains inspirational and hands on examples of how to systematically walk an organization through empowering its employees, forming independent teams of subject matter experts and with only a little injection of new knowledge and perspective setting them loose on the core problems of the organization.

    • Rasmus Hammer, process consultant -- Theory of Constraints, Frederiksberg Forsyning A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark

    This book takes the reader from the cost-accounting world of saving money to the throughput world of making money. Utilizing theory of constraints, this book illustrates a methodology enabling cross-functional teams to define and implement their goals.

    • Steve Schmidt, founder and owner, ISWW Solutions, LLC