Drum-Buffer-Rope (DBR) is unique among the many production scheduling systems developed over the past three decades.
DBR improves on other pull-production systems such as Kanban by taking into account variability and uncertainty (problems, disruptions) in addition to planned, dependent events, thereby achieving even better on-schedule performance.
DBR exploits the systems' constraints and employs the careful and calculated use of time buffers. Buffers allow the operation to run at near minimum theoretical flow, while simultaneously protecting delivery schedule by maintaining just a little "fat" in the right places.
DBR can often be implemented using existing legacy business systems, requiring no special software of its own.
What's more, years of experience have led to improvement even upon traditional DBR. In the vast majority of situations, Simplified Drum-Buffer-Rope (S-DBR) can be used in place of its predecessor. S-DBR is simpler and more powerful than DBR because it allows organizations to manage a single buffer that spans several shops easily. Organizations no longer have to meet multiple schedules at multiple locations.
However, perhaps the greatest benefit from the simplicity in S-DBR is that organizations can now combine S-DBR easily with Critical Chain Project Management to synchronize very large organizations toward the attainment of a single goal.