Operations Management Exercise

Balancing Process Capacity



$150 / seat

Simulation Overview

Students are charged with eliminating process-related bottlenecks, maximizing utilization, reducing process variability, and improving profitability across three different sections of a car wash: vacuum, machine wash, and hand-dry stations. This exercise includes two configurable challenges. In some cases the demand is constant, and in other cases both the demand and the processes include variation.

Learning Focus

  • Measure the optimal performance of a process
  • Understand the relationships between throughput time, cycle time, throughput rate, and capacity utilization
  • Understand Little’s Law (balance of capacity utilization and management of bottlenecks)
  • Explore how variability affects key process measures and profitability

Topics Covered

  • Throughput and Cycle Time
  • Capacity Utilization
  • Operations Management

This simulation comes with a Teaching Guidebook for the facilitator along with 1:1 training sessions, free trials, videos and more.


This simulation is by Ricardo Ernst, Harvard Business School Publishing, and Forio

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