Demand Flow Technology is a mathematically based approach to manufacturing that positions a company to become demand driven. It was created by John R. Costanza, an executive with operations management experience at Hewlett Packard and Johnson & Johnson. Costanza founded the John Costanza Institute of Technology in Englewood, CO in 1984 to provide consulting and education services for manufacturers to implement the methodology.
Demand Flow Technology (DFT) uses applied mathematical methods to link raw and in-process materials with units of time and production resources in order to create a continuous flow in the factory. The objective is to link factory processes together in a flow and drive it towards customer demand.
In the early years, DFT was regarded as a method for "Just-in-time" (JIT), which advocated manufacturing processes driven to actual customer demand via Kanban. It was introduced as a way for American manufacturers to adopt Japanese production techniques, such as Toyota Production System (TPS), whilst avoiding some of the cultural conflicts in applying Japanese business methods in an American company. Later, it has come to be seen as a lean manufacturing method that allows factories to implement techniques such as one-piece flow, TAKT-based line design, Kanban material management and demand-driven production.
Demand Flow Technology is promoted as a method particularly suitable for high-mix, low-volume manufacturing. in 2001, Costanza was awarded a patent for this approach for mixed-model manufacturing.