So, takt time serves to give you a real target for improvement, not just an arbitrary, made-up percentage. If it currently takes you 1:52 (112 seconds) per paper, you’d need an 11% reduction in your cycle time to meet your planned customer demand. (Cycle time is how long a process actually takes to complete. You reduce it by applying generous portions of continuous improvement.) Goals with a specific purpose are always easier for front-line employees to get behind than annual improvement goals (. improve productivity by 10% per year).
But what about items that don’t start and finish on the same day? For example, let’s say an item started on January 1st and finished on January 2nd. The above calculation would give a cycle time of two days (2 – 1 + 1 = 2). This is a reasonable, realistic outcome, which makes sense from a customer’s perspective: If we communicate a cycle time of one day, then the customer might have an expectation that they will receive their item on the same day. If we tell them two days, they have a realistic expectation that they will receive their item on the next day, etc. This is just one way that Kanban calculations can help you communicate with your customers.