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Plant location or the facilities location problem is an important strategic level decision making for an organization. One of the key features of a conversion process (manufacturing system) is the efficiency with which the products (services) are transferred to the customers.
This fact will include the determination of where to place the plant or facility. The selection of location is a key-decision as large investment is made in building plant and machinery. It is not advisable or not possible to change the location very often. So an improper location of plant may lead to waste of all the investments made in building and machinery, equipment.
Before a location for a plant is selected, long range forecasts should be made anticipating future needs of the company. The plant location should be based on the company’s expansion plan and policy, diversification plan for the products, changing market conditions, the changing sources of raw materials and many other factors that influence the choice of the location decision. The purpose of the location study is to find an optimum location one that will result in the greatest advantage to the organization.
The need for selecting a suitable location arises because of three situations
I. When starting a new organisation, i.e., location choice for the first time.
II. In case of existing organisation.
III. In case of Global Location.
a) Need for Selecting a Suitable Location
b) Factors Influencing Plant/Facility Location
c) Discuss the location Theories
d) Describe the location Models
I. In Case of Location Choice for the First Time or New Organisations
Cost economies are always important while selecting a location for the first time, but should keep in mind the cost of long-term business/organisational objectives. The following are the factors to be considered while selecting the location for the new organisations:
1. Identification of region:
The organisational objectives along with the various long-term considerations about marketing, technology, internal organisational strengths and weaknesses, region specific resources and business environment, legal-governmental environment, social environment and geographical environment suggest a suitable region for locating the operations facility.
2. Choice of a site within a region: Once the suitable region is identified, the next step is choosing the best site from an available set. Choice of a site is less dependent on the organisation’s long-term strategies. Evaluation of alternative sites for their tangible and
intangible costs will resolve facilities-location problem. The problem of location of a site within the region can be approached with the following cost oriented non-interactive model, i.e., dimensional analysis.
3. Dimensional analysis: If all the costs were tangible and quantifiable, the comparison and selection of a site is easy. The location with the least cost is selected. In most of the cases intangible costs which are expressed in relative terms than in absolute terms. Their relative
merits and demerits of sites can also be compared easily. Since both tangible and intangible costs need to be considered for a selection of a site, dimensional analysis is used. Dimensional analysis consists in computing the relative merits (cost ratio) for each of the cost
items for two alternative sites. When starting a new factory, plant location decisions are very important because they have direct
bearing on factors like, financial, employment and distribution patterns. In the long run, relocation of plant may even benefit the organization. But, the relocation of the plant involves stoppage of production, and also cost for shifting the facilities to a new location. In addition to these things, it will introduce some inconvenience in the normal functioning of the business. Hence, at the time of starting any industry, one should generate several alternate sites for locating the plant. After a critical analysis, the best site is to be selected for commissioning the plant.
Location of warehouses and other facilities are also having direct bearing on the operational performance of organizations.
The existing firms will seek new locations in order to expand the capacity or to place the existing facilities. When the demand for product increases, it will give rise to following decisions:
 Whether to expand the existing capacity and facilities.
 Whether to look for new locations for additional facilities.
 Whether to close down existing facilities to take advantage of some new locations.
II. In Case of Location Choice for Existing Organization
In this case a manufacturing plant has to fit into a multi-plant operations strategy. That is, additional plant location in the same premises and elsewhere under following circumstances:
1. Plant manufacturing distinct products.
2. Manufacturing plant supplying to specific market area.
3. Plant divided on the basis of the process or stages in manufacturing.
4. Plants emphasizing flexibility.
The different operations strategies under the above circumstances could be:
1. Plants manufacturing distinct products: Each plant services the entire market area for the organization. This strategy is necessary where the needs of technological and resource inputs are specialized or distinctively different for the different product-lines.
For example, a high quality precision product-line should not be located along with other product-line requiring little emphasis on precision. It may not be proper to have too many contradictions such as sophisticated and old equipment, highly skilled and semi-skilled
personnel, delicates processes and those that could permit rough handlings, all under one roof and one set of managers. Such a setting leads to much confusion regarding the required emphasis and the management policies. Product specialization may be necessary in a highly competitive market. It may be necessary to exploit the special resources of a particular geographical area. The more decentralized these pairs are in terms of the management and in terms of their physical location, the better would be the planning and control and the utilization of the resources.
2. Manufacturing plants supplying to a specific market area: Here, each plant manufactures almost all of the company’s products. This type of strategy is useful where market proximity consideration dominates the resources and technology considerations. This strategy requires great deal of coordination from the corporate office. An extreme example of this strategy is that of soft drinks bottling plants.
3. Plants divided on the basis of the process or stages in manufacturing: Each production process or stage of manufacturing may require distinctively different equipment capabilities, labour skills, technologies, and managerial policies and emphasis. Since the products
of one plant feed into the other plant, this strategy requires much centralized coordination of the manufacturing activities from the corporate office that are expected to understand the various technological aspects of all the plants.
4. Plants emphasizing flexibility: This requires much coordination between plants to meet the changing needs and at the same time ensure efficient use of the facilities and resources. Frequent changes in the long-term strategy in order to improve be efficiently temporarily, are not healthy for the organization. In any facility location problem the central question is: ‘Is this a location at which the company can remain competitive for a long time?’
For an established organization in order to add on to the capacity, following are the ways:
(a) Expansion of the facilities at the existing site: This is acceptable when it does not violate the basic business and managerial outlines, i.e., philosophies, purposes, strategies and capabilities.
For example, expansion should not compromise quality, delivery, or customer service.
(b) Relocation of the facilities (closing down the existing ones): This is a drastic step which can be called as ‘Uprooting and Transplanting’. Unless there are very compelling reasons, relocation is not done. The reasons will be either bringing radical changes in technology, resource availability or other destabilization.
All these factors are applicable to service organizations, whose objectives, priorities and strategies may differ from those of hardcore manufacturing organizations.
III. In Case of Global Location
Because of globalization, multinational corporations are setting up their organizations in India and Indian companies are extending their operations in other countries. In case of global locations there is scope for virtual proximity and virtual factory.
With the advance in telecommunications technology, a firm can be in virtual proximity to its customers. For a software services firm much of its logistics is through the information/ communication pathway. Many firms use the communications highway for conducting a large
portion of their business transactions. Logistics is certainly an important factor in deciding on a location—whether in the home country
or abroad. Markets have to be reached. Customers have to be contacted. Hence, a market presence in the country of the customers is quite necessary.
Many firms based in USA and UK in the service sector and in the manufacturing sector often out sources part of their business processes to foreign locations such as India. Thus, instead of one’s own operations, a firm could use its business associates’ operations facilities. The Indian BPO firm is a foreign-based company’s ‘virtual service factory’. So a location could be one’s own or one’s business associates. The location decision need not always necessarily pertain to own operations.
A. Tangible Reasons
The tangible reasons for setting up an operations facility abroad could be as follows:
Reaching the customer: One obvious reason for locating a facility abroad is that of capturing a share of the market expanding worldwide. The phenomenal growth of the GDP of India is a big reason for the multinationals to have their operations facilities in our country. An
important reason is that of providing service to the customer promptly and economically which is logistics-dependent. Therefore, cost and case of logistics is a reason for setting up manufacturing facilities abroad. By logistics set of activities closes the gap between production of goods/services and reaching of these intended goods/services to the customer to his satisfaction. Reaching the customer is thus the main objective. The tangible and intangible gains and costs depend upon the company defining for it as to what that ‘reaching’ means. The tangible costs could be the logistics related costs; the intangible costs may be the risk of operating is a foreign country. The gains are the
immediate gains; the intangible gains are an outcome of what the company defines the concepts of reaching and customer for it.
The other tangible reasons could be as follows:
(a) The host country may offer substantial tax advantages compared to the home country.
(b) The costs of manufacturing and running operations may be substantially less in that foreign country. This may be due to lower labour costs, lower raw material cost, better availability of the inputs like materials, energy, water, ores, metals, key personnel etc.
(c) The company may overcome the tariff barriers by setting up a manufacturing plant in a foreign country rather than exporting the items to that country.
B. Intangible Reasons
The intangible reasons for considering setting up an operations facility abroad could be as follows:
1. Customer-related Reasons
(a) With an operations facility in the foreign country, the firm’s customers may feel secure that the firm is more accessible. Accessibility is an important ‘service quality’ determinant.
(b) The firm may be able to give a personal tough.
(c) The firm may interact more intimately with its customers and may thus understand their requirements better.
(d) It may also discover other potential customers in the foreign location.
2. Organizational Learning-related Reasons
(a) The firm can learn advanced technology. For example, it is possible that cutting-edge technologies can be learn by having operations in an technologically more advanced country.
The firm can learn from advanced research laboratories/universities in that country. Such learning may help the entire product-line of the company.
(b) The firm can learn from its customers abroad. A physical location there may be essential towards this goal.
(c) It can also learn from its competitors operating in that country. For this reason, it may have to
be physically present where the action is.
(d) The firm may also learn from its suppliers abroad. If the firm has a manufacturing plant there, it will have intensive interaction with the suppliers in that country from whom there may be much to learn in terms of modern and appropriate technology, modern management methods, and new trends in business worldwide.
3. Other Strategic Reasons
(a) The firm by being physically present in the host country may gain some ‘local boy’ kind of psychological advantage. The firm is no more a ‘foreign’ company just sending its products across international borders. This may help the firm in lobbying with the government of that country and with the business associations in that country.
(b) The firm may avoid ‘political risk’ by having operations in multiple countries.
(c) By being in the foreign country, the firm can build alternative sources of supply. The firm could, thus, reduce its supply risks.
(d) The firm could hunt for human capital in different countries by having operations in those countries. Thus, the firm can gather the best of people from across the globe.
(e) Foreign locations in addition to the domestic locations would lower the market risks for the firm. If one market goes slow the other may be doing well, thus lowering the overall risk.
Facility location is the process of determining a geographic site for a firm’s operations.
Managers of both service and manufacturing organizations must weigh many factors when assessing the desirability of a particular site, including proximity to customers and suppliers, labour costs, and transportation costs.
Location conditions are complex and each comprises a different Characteristic of a tangible(i.e. Freight rates, production costs) and non-tangible (i.e. reliability, Frequency security, quality) nature. Location conditions are hard to measure. Tangible cost based factors such as wages and products costs can be quantified precisely into what makes locations better to compare. On the other hand non-tangible features, which refer to such characteristics as reliability, availability and security, can only be measured along an ordinal or even nominal scale. Other non-tangible features like the percentage of employees that are unionized can be measured as well. To sumthis up non tangible features are very important for business location decisions. It is appropriate to divide the factors, which influence the plant location or facility location on the basis of the nature of the organisation as:
1. General locational factors, which include controllable and uncontrollable factors for all type of organisations.
2. Specific locational factors specifically required for manufacturing and service organizations.
Location factors can be further divided into two categories:
1. Dominant factors are those derived from competitive priorities (cost, quality, time, and flexibility) and have a particularly strong impact on sales or costs.
2. Secondary factors also are important, but management may downplay or even ignore some of them if other factors are more important.
General Locational Factors
Following are the general factors required for location of plant in case of all types of organisations.
Controllable Factors
1. Proximity to markets
2. Supply of materials
3. Transportation facilities
4. Infrastructure availability
5. Labour and wages
6. External economies
7. Capital
Fig. 2.1 Factors influencing plant location.

Uncontrollable Factors
1. Government policy
2. Climate conditions
3. Supporting industries and services
4. Community and labour attitudes
5. Community Infrastructure
Controllable Factors
1. Proximity to markets: Every company is expected to serve its customers by providing goods and services at the time needed and at reasonable price organizations may choose to locate facilities close to the market or away from the market depending upon the product. When the buyers for the product are concentrated, it is advisable to locate the facilities close to the market.
Locating nearer to the market is preferred if
• The products are delicate and susceptible to spoilage.
• After sales services are promptly required very often.
• Transportation cost is high and increase the cost significantly.
• Shelf life of the product is low.
Nearness to the market ensures a consistent supply of goods to customers and reduces the cost of transportation.
2. Supply of raw material: It is essential for the organization to get raw material in right qualities and time in order to have an uninterrupted production. This factor becomes very important if the materials are perishable and cost of transportation is very high.
General guidelines suggested by Yaseen regarding effects of raw materials on plant location are:
• When a single raw material is used without loss of weight, locate the plant at the raw material source, at the market or at any point in between.
• When weight loosing raw material is demanded, locate the plant at the raw material source.
• When raw material is universally available, locate close to the market area.
• If the raw materials are processed from variety of locations, the plant may be situated so as to minimize total transportation costs.
Nearness to raw material is important in case of industries such as sugar, cement, jute and cotton textiles.
3. Transportation facilities: Speedy transport facilities ensure timely supply of raw materials to the company and finished goods to the customers. The transport facility is a prerequisite for the location of the plant. There are five basic modes of physical transportation, air, road, rail, water and pipeline. Goods that are mainly intended for exports demand a location near to the port or large airport. The choice of transport method and hence the location will depend on relative costs, convenience, and suitability. Thus transportation cost to value added is one of the criteria for plant location.
4. Infrastructure availability: The basic infrastructure facilities like power, water and waste disposal, etc., become the prominent factors in deciding the location. Certain types of industries are power hungry e.g., aluminum and steel and they should be located close to the power station or location where uninterrupted power supply is assured throughout the year. The non-availability of power may become a survival problem for such industries. Process industries like paper, chemical, cement, etc., require continuous. Supply of water in large amount and good quality, and mineral content of water becomes an important factor. A waste disposal facility for process industries is an important factor, which influences the plant location.
5. Labour and wages: The problem of securing adequate number of labour and with skills specific is a factor to be considered both at territorial as well as at community level during plant location. Importing labour is usually costly and involve administrative problem. The history of labor relations in a prospective community is to be studied. Prospective community is to be studied. Productivity of labour is also an important factor to be considered. Prevailing wage patterns, cost of living and industrial relation and bargaining power of the unions’ forms in important considerations.
6. External economies of scale: External economies of scale can be described as urbanization and location economies of scale. It refers to advantages of a company by setting up operations in a large city while the second one refers to the “settling down” among other companies of related Industries. In the case of urbanization economies, firms derive from locating in larger cities rather than in smaller ones in a search of having access to a large pool of labour, transport facilities, and as well to increase their markets for selling their products and have access to a much wider range of business services.
Location economies of scale in the manufacturing sector have evolved over time and have mainly increased competition due to production facilities and lower production costs as a result of lower transportation and logistical costs. This led to manufacturing districts where many companies of related industries are located more or less in the same area. As large corporations have realized that inventories and warehouses have become a major cost factor, they have tried reducing inventory costs by launching “Just in Time” production system (the so called Kanban System).
This high efficient production system was one main factor in the Japanese car industry for being so successful. Just in time ensures to get spare parts from suppliers within just a few hours after ordering. To fulfill these criteria corporations have to be located in the same area increasing their market and service for large corporations.
7. Capital: By looking at capital as a location condition, it is important to distinguish the physiology of fixed capital in buildings and equipment from financial capital. Fixed capital costs as building and construction costs vary from region to region. But on the other hand buildings can also be rented and existing plants can be expanded. Financial capital is highly mobile and does not very much influence decisions. For example, large Multinational Corporations such as Coca_Cola operate in many different countries and can raise capital where interest rates are lowest and conditions are most suitable.
Capital becomes a main factor when it comes to venture capital. In that case young, fast growing (or not) high tech firms are concerned which usually have not many fixed assets. These firms particularly need access to financial capital and also skilled educated employees.
Uncontrollable Factors
1. Government policy: The policies of the state governments and local bodies concerning labour laws, building codes, safety, etc., are the factors that demand attention. In order to have a balanced regional growth of industries, both central and state governments in
our country offer the package of incentives to entrepreneurs in particular locations. The incentive package may be in the form of exemption from a safes tax and excise duties for a specific period, soft loan from financial institutions, subsidy in electricity charges and investment subsidy. Some of these incentives may tempt to locate the plant to avail these facilities offered.
2. Climatic conditions: The geology of the area needs to be considered together with climatic conditions (humidity, temperature). Climates greatly influence human efficiency and behaviour. Some industries require specific climatic conditions e.g., textile mill will require humidity.
3. Supporting industries and services: Now a day the manufacturing organization will not make all the components and parts by itself and it subcontracts the work to vendors. So, the source of supply of component parts will be the one of the factors that influences the
location. The various services like communications, banking services professional consultancy services and other civil amenities services will play a vital role in selection of a location.
4. Community and labour attitudes: Community attitude towards their work and towards the prospective industries can make or mar the industry. Community attitudes towards supporting trade union activities are important criteria. Facility location in specific location is not desirable even though all factors are favouring because of labour attitude towards management, which brings very often the strikes and lockouts.
5. Community infrastructure and amenity: All manufacturing activities require access to a community infrastructure, most notably economic overhead capital, such as roads, railways, port facilities, power lines and service facilities and social overhead capital like schools, universities and hospitals.
These factors are also needed to be considered by location decisions as infrastructure is enormously expensive to build and for most manufacturing activities the existing stock of infrastructure provides physical restrictions on location possibilities.
2 Specific Locational Factors for Manufacturing Organisation
Dominant Factors
Factors dominating location decisions for new manufacturing plants can be broadly classified in six groups. They are listed in the order of their importance as follows.
1. Favorable labour climate
2. Proximity to markets
3. Quality of life
4. Proximity to suppliers and resources
5. Utilities, taxes, and real estate costs
1. Favorable labour climate: A favorable labour climate may be the most important factor in location decisions for labour-intensive firms in industries such as textiles, furniture, and consumer electronics. Labour climate includes wage rates, training requirements, attitudes toward work, worker productivity, and union strength. Many executives consider weak unions oral low probability of union organizing efforts as a distinct advantage.
2. Proximity to markets: After determining where the demand for goods and services is greatest, management must select a location for the facility that will supply that demand. Locating near markets is particularly important when the final goods are bulky or heavy and
outbound transportation rates are high. For example, manufacturers of products such as plastic pipe and heavy metals all emphasize proximity to their markets.
3. Quality of life: Good schools, recreational facilities, cultural events, and an attractive lifestyle contribute to quality of life. This factor is relatively unimportant on its own, but it can make the difference in location decisions.
4. Proximity to suppliers and resources: In many companies, plants supply parts to other facilities or rely on other facilities for management and staff support. These require frequent coordination and communication, which can become more difficult as distance increases.
5. Utilities, taxes, and real estate costs: Other important factors that may emerge include utility costs (telephone, energy, and water), local and state taxes, financing incentives offered by local or state governments, relocation costs, and land costs.
Secondary Factors There are some other factors needed to be considered, including room for expansion, construction costs, accessibility to multiple modes of transportation, the cost of shuffling people and materials between plants, competition from other firms for the workforce, community attitudes, and many others. For global operations, firms are emphasizing local employee skills and education and the local infrastructure.
Dominant Factors
The factors considered for manufacturers are also applied to service providers, with one important addition — the impact of location on sales and customer satisfaction. Customers usually look about how close a service facility is, particularly if the process requires considerable customer contact.
Proximity to Customers
Location is a key factor in determining how conveniently customers can carry on business with a firm. For example, few people would like to go to remotely located dry cleaner or supermarket if another is more convenient. Thus the influence of location on revenues tends to be the dominant factor.
Transportation Costs And Proximity To Markets
For warehousing and distribution operations, transportation costs and proximity to markets are extremely important. With a warehouse nearby, many firms can hold inventory closer to the customer, thus reducing delivery time and promoting sales.
Location of Competitors
One complication in estimating the sales potential at different location is the impact of competitors.
Management must not only consider the current location of competitors but also try to anticipate their reaction to the firm’s new location. Avoiding areas where competitors are already well established often pays. However, in some industries, such as new-car sales showrooms and fast food chains, locating near competitors is actually advantageous. The strategy is to create a critical mass, whereby several competing firms clustered in one location attract more customers than the total number who would shop at the same stores at scattered locations. Recognizing this effect, some firms use a follow –the leader strategy when selecting new sites.
Secondary Factors
Retailers also must consider the level of retail activity, residential density, traffic flow, and site visibility. Retail activity in the area is important, as shoppers often decide on impulse to go shopping or to eat in a restaurant. Traffic flows and visibility are important because businesses’ customers arrive in cars. Visibility involves distance from the street and size of nearby buildings and signs. High residential density ensures nighttime and weekend business when the population in the area fits the firm’s competitive priorities and target market segment.
Alfred Weber (1868–1958), with the publication of Theory of the Location of Industries in 1909, put forth the first developed general theory of industrial location. His model took into account several spatial factors for finding the optimal location and minimal cost for manufacturing plants.
The point for locating an industry that minimizes costs of transportation and labour requires analysis of three factors:
1. The point of optimal transportation based on the costs of distance to the ‘materialindex’—the ratio of weight to intermediate products (raw materials) to finished product.
2. The labour distortion, in which more favorable sources of lower cost of labour may justify greater transport distances.
3. Agglomeration and degglomerating.
Agglomeration or concentration of firms in a locale occurs when there is sufficient demand for support services for the company and labour force, including new investments in schools and hospitals. Also supporting companies, such as facilities that build and service machines and financial services, prefer closer contact with their customers.
Degglommeration occurs when companies and services leave because of over concentration of industries or of the wrong types of industries, or shortages of labour, capital, affordable land, etc. Weber also examined factors leading to the diversification of an industry in the horizontal relations between processes within the plant. The issue of industry location is increasingly relevant to today’s global markets and transnational corporations. Focusing only on the mechanics of the Weberian model could justify greater
transport distances for cheap labour and unexploited raw materials. When resources are exhausted or workers revolt, industries move to different countries.
Various models are available which help to identify the ideal location. Some of the popular models are:
1. Factor rating method
2. Weighted factor rating method
3. Load-distance method
4. Centre of gravity method
5. Break even analysis
1 Factor Rating Method
The process of selecting a new facility location involves a series of following steps:
1. Identify the important location factors.
2. Rate each factor according to its relative importance, i.e., higher the ratings is indicative of prominent factor.
3. Assign each location according to the merits of the location for each factor.
4. Calculate the rating for each location by multiplying factor assigned to each location with basic factors considered.
5. Find the sum of product calculated for each factor and select best location having highest total score.
ILLUSTRATION 1: Let us assume that a new medical facility, Health-care, is to be located in Delhi. The location factors, factor rating and scores for two potential sites are shown in the following table. Which is the best location based on factor rating method?

The total score for location 2 is higher than that of location 1. Hence location 2, is the best choice.
2 Weighted Factor Rating Method
In this method to merge quantitative and qualitative factors, factors are assigned weights based on relative importance and weightage score for each site using a preference matrix is calculated. The site with the highest weighted score is selected as the best choice.
ILLUSTRATION 2: Let us assume that a new medical facility, Health-care, is to be located in Delhi. The location factors, weights, and scores (1 = poor, 5 = excellent) for two potential sites are shown in the following table. What is the weighted score for these sites? Which is the best location?


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Most of the above characteristics are related to products. Similarly, some of the quality characteristics of services are meeting promised due dates, safety, comfort, security, less waiting time and so forth. So, the various dimensions of quality are performance, features, reliability, conformance, durability, serviceability, aesthetics, perceived quality, safety, comfort, security, commitment to due dates, less waiting time, etc.
Different meaning could be attached to the word quality under different circumstances. The word quality does not mean the quality of manufactured product only. It may refer to the quality of the process (i.e., men, material, and machines) and even that of management. Where the quality manufactured product referred as or defined as “Quality of product as the degree in which it fulfills the requirement of the customer. It is not absolute but it judged or realized by comparing it with some standards”. Quality begins with the design of a product in accordance with the customer specification further it involved the established measurement standards, the use of proper material, selection of suitable manufacturing process etc., quality is a relative term and it is generally used with reference to the end use of the product.
Crosby defined as “Quality is conformance to requirement or specifications”.
a) Fundamental factors affecting quality
b) Importance of quality control
c) Quality Circles, Six sigma
d) Total Quality Management (TQM), Just In Time (JIT)
e) ISO 9000 Series, ISO 14000 Series
f) Inspection
Juran defined as “Quality is fitness for use”. “The Quality of a product or service is the fitness of that product or service for meeting or exceeding its intended use as required by the customer.” Dimensions of quality
a) Performance – How well the product or service performs the customers intended use. e.g. the speed of a computer.
b) Features- the special characteristics that appeal to customers e.g. power seats on a car.
c) Reliability- the likelihood of breakdowns, malfunctions and the need for repairs.
d) serviceability – the speed, cost, and convenience of repairs and maintenance
e) Durability- the effects on human sense- the look, feel, taste, smell or sound.
f) Customer service- the treatment received by customers before, doing and after sale.
g) How well product protects users before during and after use.
Fundamental Factors Affecting Quality
The nine fundamental factors (9 M’s), which are affecting the quality of products and services, are: markets, money, management, men, motivation, materials, machines and mechanization.
Modern information methods and mounting product requirements.
1. Market: Because of technology advancement, we could see many new products to satisfy customer wants. At the same time, the customer wants are also changing dynamically. So, it is the role of companies to identify needs and then meet it with existing technologies or by developing new technologies.
2. Money: The increased global competition necessitates huge outlays for new equipments and process. This should be rewarded by improved productivity. This is possible by minimizing quality costs associated with the maintenance and improvements of quality level.
3. Management: Because of the increased complex structure of business organization, the quality related responsibilities lie with persons at different levels in the organization.
4. Men: The rapid growth in technical knowledge leads to development of human resource with different specialization. This necessitates some groups like, system engineering group to integrate the idea of full specialization.
5. Motivation: If we fix the responsibility of achieving quality with each individual in the organization with proper motivation techniques, there will not be any problem in producing the designed quality products.
6. Materials: Selection of proper materials to meet the desired tolerance limit is also an important consideration. Quality attributes like, surface finish, strength, diameter etc., can be obtained by proper selection of material.
7. Machines and mechanization: In order to have quality products which will lead to higher productivity of any organization, we need to use advanced machines and mechanize various operations.
8. Modern information methods: The modern information methods help in storing and retrieving needed data for manufacturing, marketing and servicing.
9. Mounting product requirements: Product diversification to meet customers taste leads to intricacy in design, manufacturing and quality standards. Hence, companies should plan adequate system to tackle all these requirements.
The process through which the standards are established and met with standards is called control.
This process consists of observing our activity performance, comparing the performance with some standard and then taking action if the observed performance is significantly too different from the standards.
The control process involves a universal sequence of steps as follows:
1. Choose the control object
2. Choose a unit of measure
3. Set the standard value
4. Choose a sensing device which can measure
5. Measure actual performance
6. Interpret the difference between actual and standard
7. Taking action.
Need for Controlling Quality
In the absence of quality, the following will result:
1. No yardstick for comparing the quality of goods/services.
2. Difficulty in maintaining consistency in quality.
3. Dissatisfied customers due to increased maintenance and operating costs of products/services.
4. Increased rework cost while manufacturing products/providing services.
5. Reduced life time of the products/services.
6. Reduced flexibility with respect to usage of standard spare parts.
7. Hence, controlling quality is an essential activity.
Quality Control (QC) may be defined as a system that is used to maintain a desired level of quality in a product or service. It is a systematic control of various factors that affect the quality of the product. It depends on materials, tools, machines, type of labour, working conditions etc.
QC is a broad term, it involves inspection at particular stage but mere inspection does not mean QC. As opposed to inspection, in quality control activity emphasis is placed on the quality future production. Quality control aims at prevention of defects at the source, relies on effective feedback system and corrective action procedure. Quality control uses inspection as a valuable tool. According to Juran “Quality control is the regulatory process through which we measure actual quality performance, compare it with standards, and act on the difference”. Another definition of quality control is from ANSI/ASQC standard (1978) quality control is defined as “The operational techniques and the activities which sustain a quality of product or service that will satisfy given needs; also the use of such techniques and activities”. Alford and Beatty define QC as “In the broad sense, quality control is the mechanism by which products are made to measure up to specifications determined from customers, demands and transformed into sales engineering and manufacturing requirements, it is concerned with making things right rather than discovering and rejecting those made wrong”.
Types of Quality Control QC is not a function of any single department or a person. It is the primary responsibility of any
supervisor to turn out work of acceptable quality. Quality control can be divided into three main sub-areas, those are:
1. Off-line quality control,
2. Statistical process control, and
3. Acceptance sampling plans.
1. Off-line quality control: Its procedure deal with measures to select and choose controllable product and process parameters in such a way that the deviation between the product or process output and the standard will be minimized. Much of this task is accomplished through product and process design.
Example: Taguchi method, principles of experimental design etc.
2. Statistical process control: SPC involves comparing the output of a process or a service with a standard and taking remedial actions in case of a discrepancy between the two. It also involves determining whether a process can produce a product that meets desired
specification or requirements. On-line SPC means that information is gathered about the product, process, or service while it is functional. The corrective action is taken in that operational phase. This is real-time basis.
3. Acceptance sampling plans: A plan that determines the number of items to sample and the acceptance criteria of the lot, based on meeting certain stipulated conditions (such as the risk of rejecting a good lot or accepting a bad lot) is known as an acceptance sampling plan.
Steps in Quality Control
Following are the steps in quality control process:
1. Formulate quality policy.
2. Set the standards or specifications on the basis of customer’s preference, cost and profit.
3. Select inspection plan and set up procedure for checking.
4. Detect deviations from set standards of specifications.
5. Take corrective actions or necessary changes to achieve standards.
6. Decide on salvage method i.e., to decide how the defective parts are disposed of, entire scrap or rework.
7. Coordination of quality problems.
8. Developing quality consciousness both within and outside the organization.
9. Developing procedures for good vendor-vendee relations.
Objectives of Quality Control
Following are the objectives of quality control:
1. To improve the companies income by making the production more acceptable to the
customers, i.e., by providing long life, greater usefulness, maintainability etc.
2. To reduce companies cost through reduction of losses due to defects.
3. To achieve interchangeability of manufacture in large scale production.
4. To produce optimal quality at reduced price.
5. To ensure satisfaction of customers with productions or services or high quality level, to build
customer goodwill, confidence and reputation of manufacturer.
6. To make inspection prompt to ensure quality control.
7. To check the variation during manufacturing.
The broad areas of application of quality control are incoming material control, process control and product control.
Benefits of Quality Control
 Improving the quality of products and services.
 Increasing the productivity of manufacturing processes, commercial business, corporations.
 Reducing manufacturing and corporate costs.
 Determining and improving the marketability of products and services.
 Reducing consumer prices of products and services.
 Improving and/or assuring on time deliveries and availability.
 Assisting in the management of an enterprise.
Seven Tools for Quality Control
To make rational decisions using data obtained on the product, or process, or from the consumer, organizations use certain graphical tools. These methods help us learn about the characteristics of a process, its operating state of affairs and the kind of output we may expect from it. Graphical methods are easy to understand and provide comprehensive information; they are a viable tool
for the analysis of product and process data. These tools are effect on quality improvement. The seven quality control tools are:
1. Pareto charts 2. Check sheets 3. Cause and effect diagram
4. Scatter diagrams 5. Histogram 6. Graphs or flow charts
7. Control charts
The quality circles begun in Japan in 1960s.
The concept of quality circles is based on the participating style of management. It assumes that productivity will improve through an uplift of morale and motivations which are in turn achieved through consultation and discussion in informal groups.
One organizational mechanism for worker participation in quality is the quality circle. It is typically an informal group of people that consists of operators, supervisors, managers and soon who get together to improve ways to make the product or deliver the service.
According to Juran, quality circle defined as “a group of work force level people, usually from within one department, who volunteer to meet weekly (on company time) to address quality problems that occur within their department.”
Quality circle members select the problems and are given training is problem-solving techniques. A quality circle can be an effective productivity improvement tool because it generates new ideas and implements them. Where the introduction of quality circle is capably planned and where the company environment is supporting they are highly successful. The benefits fall into two categories: those are measurable saving and improvement in the attitudes and behavior of people.
Quality circles pursue two types of problems, those concerned with the personal well being of the worker and those concerned with the well being of company. Benefits of Quality Circle The most important benefit of quality circles is their effect on people’s attitudes fall into three categories:
1. Quality Circles Effect on Individual Characteristics
(a) Quality circles enable the individual to improve personal capabilities—group participation
and learning specific problem-solving tools.
(b) Quality circles increase the individual’s self-respect.
(c) Quality circles help worker change certain personality characteristics—shy person become as active.
2. Quality Circles Effect on Individuals Relations with Other
(a) Quality circles increase the respect of the supervisor for the worker.
(b) Quality circles increase workers understanding of the difficulties faced by supervisors— problem selection, solving and implementations.
(c) Quality circle increase management’s respect for worker.
3. Quality Circles Effect on Workers and Their Attributes
(a) Quality circles change some workers negative attitudes.
(b) Quality circle reduces conflict stemming from the working environment.
(c) Quality circles help workers to understand better the reasons while many problems solved quickly.
Quality circles, as a management tool, are based on the following basic principles of people:
(a) People want to do a good job.
(b) People want to be recognized as intelligent, interested employees and to participate in
decisions affecting their work.
(c) People want information to better understand goals and problems of their organization and make informed decisions.
(d) Employees want recognition and responsibility and a feeling of self-esteem. Motivational methods are not enough for successful quality circle programs. Management support, technical knowledge, and statistical procedures are essential.
Now-a-days, customers demand products/services with greater durability and reliability at the most economic price. This forces producers to strictly follow quality procedures right from design till shipment and installation of the products. So that goal of any competitive industry is to provide a product or service at the most economical costs, ensuring full customer satisfaction.
This can be achieved through Total Quality Management (TQM), because, quality is not a technical function, but a systemic process extending throughout all phases of the business, e.g., marketing, design, development, engineering, purchasing, production/operations.
As per Feigebaum, “Total Quality Management is an effective system of integrating the quality development, quality maintenance and quality improvement efforts of various groups in an organization so as to enable marketing, engineering, production and service at the most economical levels which allow for full customer satisfaction”.
Benefits of TQM
The benefits of TQM can be classified into the following two categories:
1. Customer satisfaction oriented benefits.
2. Economic improvements oriented benefits.
1. Customer satisfaction oriented benefits: The benefits under this category are listed below:
(a) Improvement in product quality.
(b) Improvement in product design.
(c) Improvement in production flow.
(d) Improvement in employee morale and quality consciousness.
(e) Improvement of product service.
(f) Improvement in market place acceptance.
2. Economic improvements oriented benefits: The benefits under this category are as follows:
(a) Reductions in operating costs.
(b) Reductions in operating losses.
(c) Reductions in field service costs.
(d) Reductions in liability exposure.
It is the application of six sigma principles in maintenance. Six sigma is a maintenance process that focuses on reducing the variation in business production processes. By reducing variation, a business can achieve tighter control over its operational systems, increasing their cost effectiveness and encouraging productivity breakthrough. Six sigma is a term created at Motorola to describe the goal and process used to achieve breakthrough levels of quality improvement. Sigma is the Greek symbol used by statisticians to
refer to the six standard deviations. The term six sigma refers to a measure of process variation (six standard deviations) that translates into an error or defect rate of 3.4 parts per million. To achieve quality performance of six sigma level, special sets of quality improvement
methodologies and statistical tools developed. These improvement methods and statistical tools are taught to a small group of workmen known as six sigma champions who are assigned full-time responsibility to define, measure, analyze, improve and control process quality. They also facilitate the improvement process by removing the organizational roadblocks encountered. Six sigma methodologies improve any existing business process by constantly reviewing and re-tuning the process.
To achieve this, six sigma uses a methodology known as DMAIC (Define opportunities, Measure performance, Analyse opportunity, Improve performance, Control performance). This six sigma process is also called DMAIC process. Six sigma relies heavily on statistical
techniques to reduce failures and it incorporates the basic principles and techniques used in Business, Statistics, and Engineering. Six sigma methodologies can also be used to create a brand new business process from ground up using design for six sigma principles.
Six Sigma Maintenance Process The steps of six sigma maintenance are same as DMAIC process. To apply six sigma in
maintenance, the work groups that have a good understanding of preventive maintenance techniques in addition to a strong leadership commitment. Six sigma helps in two principal inputs to the maintenance cost equation: Reduce or eliminate the need to do maintenance
(reliability of equipment), and improve the effectiveness of the resources needed to accomplish maintenance. Following are the steps involved in six sigma maintenance process.
This step involves determining benchmarks, determining availability and reliability requirements, getting customer commitments and mapping the flow process.
This step involves development of failure measurement techniques and tools, data collection process, compilation and display of data.
This step involves checking and verifying the data and drawing conclusions from data. It also involves determining improvement opportunities, finding root causes and map causes.
This step involves creating model equipment and maintenance process, total maintenance plan and schedule and implementing those plans and schedule.
This step involves monitoring the improved programme. Monitor improves performance and assesses effectiveness and will make necessary adjustments for the deviation if exists.
Lean Maintenance
Lean maintenance is the application of lean principle in maintenance environments.
Lean system recognizes seven forms of waste in maintenance. They are over production, waiting, transportation, process waste, inventory, waste motion and defects. In lean maintenance, these wastes are identified and efforts are made for the continuous improvement in process by eliminating the wastes. Thus, lean maintenance leads to maximize yield, productivity and profitability. Lean maintenance is basically equipment reliability focused and reduces need for maintenance troubleshooting and repairs. Lean maintenance protects equipments and system from the route causes of malfunctions, failures and downtime stress. From the sources of waste uptime can be
improved and cost can be lowered for maintenance.
9.7 ISO 9000 SERIES
ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization. It is an international body, which consists of representatives from more than 90 countries. The national standard bodies of these countries are the members of this organization. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) are the Indian representative to ISO, ISO and International Electro Technical Commission (IEC)) operate jointly as a single system. These are non-governmental organizations, which exist to provide common standards on international trade of goods and services.
ISO 9000 standards expect firms to have a quality manual that meets ISO guidelines, documents, quality procedures and job instructions, and verification of compliance by third-party auditors.
ISO 9000 series has five international standards on quality managements. They are:
1. ISO 9000 — Quality management and Quality assurance standards
2. ISO 9001 — Quality systems: Quality in design
3. ISO 9002 — Quality systems: Production and Installation
4. ISO 9003 — Quality systems: Final inspection and test
5. ISO 9004 — Quality management and systems
Objectives of ISO 9000 Series
The objectives of ISO 9000 series is listed in Table 6.1.

Benefits of ISO 9000 Series
ISO 9000 series provides several tangible and intangible benefits which are listed below:
1. This gives competitive advantage in the global market.
2. Consistency in quality, since ISO helps in detecting non-conformity early which makes it possible to take corrective action.
3. Documentation of quality procedures adds clarity to quality system.
4. ISO 9000 ensures adequate and regular quality training for all members of the organization.
5. ISO helps the customers to have cost effective purchase procedure.
6. The customers while making purchases from companies with ISO certificate need not spend much on inspection and testing. This will reduce the quality cost and lead-time.
7. This will help in increasing productivity.
8. This will aid to improved morale and involvement of workers.
9. The level of job satisfaction would be more.
Steps in ISO 9000 Registration
1. Selection of appropriate standard from ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and ISO 9003 using the guidelines
given in ISO 9000.
2. Preparation of quality manual to cover all the elements in the selected model.
3. Preparation of procedures and shop floor instructions which are used at the time of implementing the system. Also document these items.
4. Self-auditing to check compliance of the selected model.
5. Selection of a registrar and making application to obtain certificate for the selected model.
A registrar is an independent body with knowledge and experience to evaluate any one of the three models of the company’s quality system (ISO 9002). Registrars are approved and certified by acridities.
The registrar, on successful verification and assessment will register the company. Before selecting a registrar, one should know the following:
1. Accreditors of the registrar.
2. Background and credibility of the registrar.
3. Cost of registration through the proposed registrar.
4. Expected harmony between the company and the potential registrar while working towards
implementing ISO model in the company.
Just-In-Time (JIT) Manufacturing is a philosophy rather than a technique. By eliminating all waste and seeking continuous improvement, it aims at creating manufacturing system that is response to the market needs.
The phase just in time is used to because this system operates with low WIP (Work-In- Process) inventory and often with very low finished goods inventory.
Products are assembled just before they are sold, subassemblies are made just before they are assembled and components are made and fabricated just before subassemblies are made. This leads to lower WIP and reduced lead times. To achieve this organizations have to be
excellent in other areas e.g. quality. According to Voss, JIT is viewed as a “Production methodology which aims to improve overall
productivity through elimination of waste and which leads to improved quality”. JIT provides an efficient production in an organization and delivery of only the necessary parts in the right quantity, at the right time and place while using the minimum facilities”.
Benefits of JIT
The most significant benefit is to improve the responsiveness of the firm to the changes in the market place thus providing an advantage in competition. Following are the benefits of JIT:
1. Product cost—is greatly reduced due to reduction of manufacturing cycle time, reduction of waste and inventories and elimination of non-value added operation.
2. Quality—is improved because of continuous quality improvement programmes.
3. Design—Due to fast response to engineering change, alternative designs can be quickly brought on the shop floor.
4. Productivity improvement.
5. Higher production system flexibility.
6. Administrative and ease and simplicity.
Shiego Shingo, a Japanese JIT authority and engineer at the Toyota Motor Company identifies seven wastes as being the targets of continuous improvement in production process. By attending to these wastes, the improvement is achieved.
1. Waste of over production eliminate by reducing set-up times, synchronizing quantities and
timing between processes, layout problems. Make only what is needed now.
2. Waste of waiting eliminate bottlenecks and balance uneven loads by flexible work force and equipment.
3. Waste of transportation establish layouts and locations to make handling and transport unnecessary if possible. Minimize transportation and handling if not possible to eliminate.
4. Waste of processing itself question regarding the reasons for existence of the product and then why each process is necessary.
5. Waste of stocks reducing all other wastes reduces stocks.
6. Waste of motion study for economy and consistency. Economy improves productivity and consistency improves quality. First improve the motions, then mechanise or automate otherwise.
There is danger of automating the waste.
7. Waste of making defective products develop the production process to prevent defects from being produced, so as to eliminate inspection. At each process, do not accept defects and makes no defects. Make the process fail-safe. A quantify process always yield quality product.
Fig. 4.8 Wastes in operations

Benefits of JIT
The most significant benefit is to improve the responsiveness of the firm to the changes in the market place thus providing an advantage in competition. Following are the benefits of JIT:
1. Product cost—is greatly reduced due to reduction of manufacturing cycle time, reduction of waste and inventories and elimination of non-value added operation.
2. Quality—is improved because of continuous quality improvement programmes.
3. Design—Due to fast response to engineering change, alternative designs can be quickly brought on the shop floor.
4. Productivity improvement.
5. Higher production system flexibility.
6. Administrative and ease and simplicity.
Disadvantages of JIT approach
a) Faculty forecasting may lead to stock outs.
b) JIT requires establishment of system to link p buyers of suppliers
c) lack of safety stocks makes the firm vulnerable to fail.
d) Removes advantage of bill buying e.g. reduced prices.
e) Requires much training to break down barriers between functions within the organization
Inspection is an important tool to achieve quality concept. It is necessary to assure confidence to manufacturer and aims satisfaction to customer. Inspection is an indispensable tool of modern manufacturing process. It helps to control quality, reduces manufacturing costs, eliminate scrap losses and assignable causes of defective work.
The inspection and test unit is responsible for appraising the quality of incoming raw materials and components as well as the quality of the manufactured product or service. It checks the components at various stages with reference to certain predetermined factors and detecting and sorting out the faulty or defective items. It also specified the types of inspection devices to use and the procedures to follow to measure the quality characteristics. Inspection only measures the degree of conformance to a standard in the case of variables.
In the case of attributes inspection merely separates the nonconforming from the conforming. Inspection does not show why the nonconforming units are being produced. Inspection is the most common method of attaining standardization, uniformity and quality of
workmanship. It is the cost art of controlling the production quality after comparison with the established standards and specifications. It is the function of quality control. If the said item does not fall within the zone of acceptability it will be rejected and corrective measure will be applied to see that the items in future conform to specified standards.
Objectives of Inspection
1. To detect and remove the faulty raw materials before it undergoes production.
2. To detect the faulty products in production whenever it is detected.
3. To bring facts to the notice of managers before they become serous to enable them discover weaknesses and over the problem.
4. To prevent the substandard reaching the customer and reducing complaints.
5. To promote reputation for quality and reliability of product.
Purpose of Inspection
1. To distinguish good lots from bad lots.
2. To distinguish good pieces from bad pieces.
3. To determine if the process is changing.
4. To determine if the process is approaching the specification limits.
5. To rate quality of product.
6. To rate accuracy of inspectors.
7. To measure the precision of the measuring instrument.
8. To secure products-design information.
9. To measure process capability.
Types of Inspection
Types of inspection are:
1. Floor inspection 2. Centralized inspection
3. Combined inspection 4. Functional inspection
5. First piece inspection 6. Pilot piece inspection
7. Final inspection
1. Floor Inspection
In this system, the inspection is performed at the place of production. It suggests the checking of materials in process at the machine or in the production time by patrolling inspectors. These inspectors move from machine to machine and from one to the other work centres. Inspectors have to be highly skilled. This method of inspection minimize the material handling, does not disrupt the line layout of machinery and quickly locate the defect and readily offers field and correction.
1. Detection of errors of the source reduces scrap and rework.
2. Correction is done before it affects further production, resulting in saving cost of unnecessary work on defective parts.
3. Material handling time is reduced.
4. Job satisfaction to worker as he can’t be held responsible for bad work at a later date.
5. Greater number of pieces can be checked than a sample size.
6. Does not delay in production.
1. Delicate instruments can be employed.
2. Measuring or inspection equipment have to be recalibrated often as they are subjected to wear
or dust.
3. High cost of inspection because of numerous sets of inspections and skilled inspectors.
4. Supervision of inspectors is difficult due to vibration.
5. Pressure on inspector.
6. Possibility of biased inspection because of worker.
1. Heavy products are produced.
2. Different work centres are integrated in continuous line layout.
2. Centralised Inspection
Inspection is carried in a central place with all testing equipment, sensitive equipment is housed in air-conditioned area. Samples are brought to the inspection floor for checking. Centralised inspection may locate in one or more places in the manufacturing industry.
1. Greater degree of inspection due to sensitive equipment.
2. Less number of inspectors and tools.
3. Equipment needs less frequency of recalibration.
4. Cost of inspection is reduced.
5. Unbiased inspection.
6. Supervision of inspectors made possible.
7. No distraction to the inspector.
1. Defects of job are not revealed quickly for prevention.
2. Greater material handling.
3. High cost as products are subjected to production before they are prevented.
4. Greater delay in production.
5. Inspection of heavy work not possible.
6. Production control work is more complicated.
7. Greater scrap.
3. Combined Inspection
Combination of two methods whatever may be the method of inspection, whether floor or central.
The main objective is to locate and prevent defect which may not repeat itself in subsequent operation to see whether any corrective measure is required and finally to maintain quality economically.
4. Functional Inspection
This system only checks for the main function, the product is expected to perform. Thus an electrical motor can be checked for the specified speed and load characteristics. It does not reveal the variation of individual parts but can assure combined satisfactory performance of all parts put together. Both manufacturers and purchasers can do this, if large number of articles are needed at regular intervals. This is also called assembly inspection.
5. First Piece or First-Off Inspections
First piece of the shift or lot is inspected. This is particularly used where automatic machines are employed. Any discrepancy from the operator as machine tool can be checked to see that the product is within in control limits. Excepting for need for precautions for tool we are check and disturbance in machine set up, this yields good result if the operator is careful.
6. Pilot Piece Inspection
This is done immediately after new design or product is developed. Manufacturer of product is done either on regular shop floor if production is not disturbed. If production is affected to a large extent, the product is manufactured in a pilot plant. This is suitable for mass production and products involving large number of components such as automobiles aeroplanes etc., and modification are design or manufacturing process is done until satisfactory performance is assured or established.
7. Final Inspection
This is also similar to functional or assembly inspection. This inspection is done only after completion of work. This is widely employed in process industries where there is not possible such as, electroplating or anodizing products. This is done in conjunction with incoming material inspection.
Methods of Inspection
There are two methods of inspection. They are: 100% inspection and sampling inspection.
This type will involve careful inspection in detail of quality at each strategic point or stage of manufacture where the test is involved is non-destructive and every piece is separately inspected. It requires more number of inspectors and hence it is a costly method. There is no sampling error.
This is subjected to inspection error arising out of fatigue, negligence, difficulty of supervision etc.
Hence, completer accuracy of influence is seldom attained. It is suitable only when a small number of pieces are there or a very high degree of quality is required. Example: Jet engines, aircraft, medical and scientific equipment.
In this method randomly selected samples are inspected. Samples taken from different patches of products are representatives. If the sample proves defective, the entire concerned is to be rejected or recovered. Sampling inspection is cheaper and quicker. It requires less number ofInspectors. It is subjected to sampling errors but the magnitude of sampling error can be estimated. In the case of destructive test, random or sampling inspection is desirable. This type of inspection governs wide currency due to the introduction of automatic machines or equipments which are less susceptible to chance variable and hence require less inspection, suitable for inspection of products which have less precision importance and are less costly. Example: Electrical bulbs, radio bulbs, washing machine etc.
Drawbacks of Inspection
Following are the disadvantages of inspection:
1. Inspection adds to the cost of the product but not for its value.
2. It is partially subjective, often the inspector has to judge whether a products passes or not.
3. Fatigue and Monotony may affect any inspection judgment.
4. Inspection merely separates good and bad items. It is no way to prevent the production of bad items.
i. Discuss the different types of inspection.
ii. Discuss the seven tools for quality control.
iii. Discuss the fundamental factors affecting quality.
iv. Discuss the ‘9 M’’s of quality of product or service.
v. Explain the benefits of TQM.
vi. What are the benefits of ISO 9000 series?

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Materials management is a function, which aims for integrated approach towards the management of materials in an industrial undertaking. Its main objective is cost reduction and efficient handling of materials at all stages and in all sections of the undertaking. Its function includes several important aspects connected with material, such as, purchasing, storage, inventory control, material handling, standardization etc.
Materials management is defined as “the function responsible for the coordination of planning, sourcing, purchasing, moving, storing and controlling materials in an optimum manner so as to provide a pre-decided service to the customer at a minimum cost”.
From the definition it is clear that the scope of materials management is vast. The functions of materials management can be categorized in the following ways: (as shown in Fig. 8.1)
1. Material Planning and Control
2. Purchasing
3. Stores Management
4. Inventory Control or Management
Objectives of the study:
a) Introduction and Meaning
b) Scope or Functions of Materials Management
c) Material Planning and Control
d) Purchasing
e) Stores Management
f) Inventory Control or Management
g) Standardization
5. Standardization
6. Simplification
7. Value Analysis
8. Ergonomics’
9. Just-in-Time (JIT)
All the above mentioned functions of materials management has been discussed in detail in this


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Production planning and control is a tool available to the management to achieve the stated objectives. Thus, a production system is encompassed by the four factors. i.e., quantity, quality, cost and time. Production planning starts with the analysis of the given data, i.e., demand for products, delivery schedule etc., and on the basis of the information available, a scheme of utilization of firms resources like machines, materials and men are worked out to obtain the target in the most economical way.
Once the plan is prepared, then execution of plan is performed in line with the details given in the plan. Production control comes into action if there is any deviation between the actual and planned. The corrective action is taken so as to achieve the targets set as per plan by using control techniques. Thus production planning and control can be defined as the “direction and coordination of firms’ resources towards attaining the prefixed goals.” Production planning and control helps to achieve uninterrupted flow of materials through production line by making available the materials at right time and required quantity.
The present techno-economic scenario of India emphasize on competitiveness in manufacturing.
Objectives of the topic:
a) Introduction and Meaning of production control.
b) Need for Production Planning and Control
c) Objectives of Production planning and control
d) Phases of Production Planning and control
e) Functions of Production Planning and control
Indian industries have to streamline the production activities and attain the maximum utilization of firms’ resources to enhance the productivity. Production planning and control serves as a useful tool to coordinate the activities of the production system by proper planning and control system. Production system can be compared to the nervous system with PPC as a brain.
Production planning and control is needed to achieve:
1. Effective utilization of firms’ resources.
2. To achieve the production objectives with respect to quality, quantity, cost and timeliness of delivery.
3. To obtain the uninterrupted production flow in order to meet customers varied demand with respect to quality and committed delivery schedule.
4. To help the company to supply good quality products to the customer on the continuous basis at competitive rates.
Production planning is a pre-production activity. It is the pre-determination of manufacturing requirements such as manpower, materials, machines and manufacturing process. Ray wild defines “Production planning is the determination, acquisition and arrangement of all facilities necessary for future production of products.” It represents the design of production system. Apart from planning the resources, it is going to organize the production. Based on the estimated demand for company’s products, it is going to establish the production programme to meet the targets set using the various resources.
Production Control
In spite of planning to the minute details, most of the time it is not possible to achieve production 100 per cent as per the plan. There may be innumerable factors which affect the production system and because of which there is a deviation from the actual plan. Some of the factors that affect are:
1. Non-availability of materials (due to shortage, etc.);
2. Plant, equipment and machine breakdown;
3. Changes in demand and rush orders;
4. Absenteeism of workers; and
5. Lack of coordination and communication between various functional areas of business.
Thus, if there is a deviation between actual production and planned production, the control function comes into action. Production control through control mechanism tries to take corrective action to match the planned and actual production. Thus, production control reviews the progress of the work, and takes corrective steps in order to ensure that programmed production takes place. The essential steps in control activity are:
1. Initiating the production,
2. Progressing, and
3. Corrective action based upon the feedback and reporting back to the production planning.
Following are the objectives of production planning and control:
1. Systematic planning of production activities to achieve the highest efficiency in production of goods/services.
2. To organize the production facilities like machines, men, etc., to achieve stated production objectives with respect to quantity and quality time and cost.
3. Optimum scheduling of resources.
4. Coordinate with other departments relating to production to achieve regular balanced and uninterrupted production flow.
5. To conform to delivery commitments.
6. Materials planning and control.
7. To be able to make adjustments due to changes in demand and rush orders.
Production planning and control has three phases namely:
A. Planning Phase
B. Action Phase
C. Control Phase

A. Planning Phase
Planning is an exercise of intelligent anticipation in order to establish how an objective can be achieved or a need fulfilled in circumstances, which are invariably restrictive. Production planning determines the optimal schedule and sequence of operations economic batch quantity, machine assignment and dispatching priorities for sequencing.
It has two categories of planning namely
1. Prior planning
2. Active planning.
PRIOR PLANNING Prior planning means pre-production planning. This includes all the planning efforts, which are taking place prior to the active planning.
Modules of pre-planning
The modules of prior planning are as follows:
1. Product development and design is the process of developing a new product with all the features, which are essential for effective use in the field, and designing it accordingly. At the design stage, one has to take several aspects of design like, design for selling, design for
manufacturing and design for usage.
2. Forecasting is an estimate of demand, which will happen in future. Since, it is only an estimate based on the past demand, proper care must be taken while estimating it. Given the sales forecast, the factory capacity, the aggregate inventory levels and size of the work force, the manager must decide at what rate of production to operate the plant over an intermediate
planning horizon.
3. Aggregate planning aims to find out a product wise planning over the intermediate planning horizon.
4. Material requirement planning is a technique for determining the quantity and timing for the acquisition of dependent items needed to satisfy the master production schedule.
ACTIVE PLANNING The modules of active planning are: Process planning and routing,
Materials planning. Tools planning, Loading, Scheduling etc.
1. Process planning and routing is a complete determination of the specific technological process steps and their sequence to produce products at the desired quality, quantity and cost. It determines the method of manufacturing a product selects the tools and equipments, analyses how the manufacturing of the product will fit into the facilities. Routing in particular prescribes the flow of work in the plant and it is related to the considerations of layout, temporary locations for raw materials and components and materials handling systems.
2. A material planning is a process which determines the requirements of various raw materials/subassemblies by considering the trade-off between various cost components like, carrying cost, ordering cost, shortage cost, and so forth.
3. Tools’ planning determines the requirements of various tools by taking process specification (surface finish, length of the job, overall depth of cut etc.), material specifications (type of material used, hardness of the material, shape and size of the material etc.) and equipment specifications (speed range, feed range, depth of cut range etc.).
4. Loading is the process of assigning jobs to several machines such that there is a load balance among the machines. This is relatively a complex task, which can be managed with the help of efficient heuristic procedures.
5. Scheduling is the time phase of loading and determines when and in what sequence the work will be carried out. This fixes the starting as well as the finishing time for each job.
B. Action Phase
Action phase has the major step of dispatching. Dispatching is the transition from planning phase to action phase. In this phase, the worker is ordered to start manufacturing the product. The tasks which are included in dispatching are job order, store issue order, tool order, time ticket, inspection order, move order etc. The job order number is the key item which is to be mentioned in all other reports/orders. Stores issue order gives instruction to stores to issue materials for manufacturing the product as per product specifications. As per tooling requirements for manufacturing the product, the tool order instruct the tool room to issue necessary tools. Time ticket is nothing but a card which is designed to note down the actual time taken at various processes. This information is used for
deciding the costs for future jobs of similar nature and also for performing variance analysis, which helps to exercise control.
Job order is the official authorization to the shop floor to start manufacturing the product. Generally, the process sequence will contain some testing and inspection. So, these are to be instructed to inspection wing in the form of inspection order for timely testing and inspection so that the amount of rework is minimized. The manufacture of product involves moving raw materials/subassemblies to the main line. This is done by a well-designed materials handling system. So, proper instruction is given to the materials handling facilities for major movements of materials/subassemblies in the form of a move order. Movements which involve less distance and fewer loads are managed at the shop floor level based on requests from operators.
C. Control Phase
The control phase has the following two major modules:
1. Progress reporting, and
2. Corrective action.
1. Progress Reporting
In progress reporting, the data regarding what is happening with the job is collected. Also, it helps to make comparison with the present level of performance. The various data pertaining to materials rejection, process variations, equipment failures, operator efficiency, operator absenteeism, tool life, etc., are collected and analyzed for the purpose of progress reporting. These data are used for performing variance analysis, which would help us to identify critical areas that deserve immediate attention for corrective actions.
Functions of production planning and controlling is classified into:
1. Pre-planning function
2. Planning function
3. Control function
The functions of production planning and controlling are depicted in the Fig. 5.2.

Pre-planning is a macro level planning and deals with analysis of data and is an outline of the planning policy based upon the forecasted demand, market analysis and product design and development. This stage is concerned with process design (new processes and developments, equipment policy and replacement and work flow (Plant layout). The pre-planning function of PPC is concerned with decision-making with respect to methods, machines and work flow with respect to availability, scope and capacity.
The planning function starts once the task to be accomplished is specified, with the analysis of four M’s, i.e., Machines, Methods, Materials and Manpower. This is followed by process planning (routing). Both short-term (near future) and long-term planning are considered. Standardization, simplification of products and processes are given due consideration.
Control phase is effected by dispatching, inspection and expediting materials control, analysis of work-in-process. Finally, evaluation makes the PPC cycle complete and corrective actions are taken through a feedback from analysis. A good communication, and feedback system is essential to enhance and ensure effectiveness of PPC.
Routing may be defined as the selection of path which each part of the product will follow while being transformed from raw materials to finished products. Path of the product will also give sequence of operation to be adopted while being manufactured. In other way, routing means determination of most advantageous path to be followed from department to department and machine to machine till raw material gets its final shape, which involves the following steps:
(a) Type of work to be done on product or its parts.
(b) Operation required to do the work.
(c) Sequence of operation required.
(d) Where the work will be done.
(e) A proper classification about the personnel required and the machine for doing the work.
For effective production control of a well-managed industry with standard conditions, the routing plays an important role, i.e., to have the best results obtained from available plant capacity. Thus routing provides the basis for scheduling, dispatching and follow-up.
Techniques of Routing
While converting raw material into required goods different operations are to be performed and the selection of a particular path of operations for each piece is termed as ‘Routing’. This selection of a particular path, i.e. sequence of operations must be the best and cheapest to have the lowest cost of the final product. The various routing techniques are:
1. Route card: This card always accompanies with the job throughout all operations. This indicates the material used during manufacturing and their progress from one operation to another. In addition to this the details of scrap and good work produced are also recorded.
2. Work sheet: It contains
(a) Specifications to be followed while manufacturing.
(b) Instructions regarding routing of every part with identification number of machines and work place of operation.
This sheet is made for manufacturing as well as for maintenance.
3. Route sheet: It deals with specific production order. Generally made from operation sheets.
One sheet is required for each part or component of the order. This includes the following:
(a) Number and other identification of order.
(b) Symbol and identification of part.
(c) Number of pieces to be made.
(d) Number of pieces in each lot—if put through in lots.
(e) Operation data which includes:
(i) List of operation on the part.
(ii) Department in which operations are to be performed.
(iii) Machine to be used for each operation.
(iv) Fixed sequence of operation, if any.
(f) Rate at which job must be completed, determined from the operation sheet.
4. Move order: Though this is document needed for production control, it is never used for routing system. Move order is prepared for each operation as per operation sheet. On this the quantity passed forward, scrapped and to be rectified are recorded. It is returned to planning office when the operation is completed.
i. What do you mean by production planning and control?
ii. Why do you need production planning and control?
iii. What are the objective of production planning and control?
iv. Discuss the phases of production planning?
v. Explain the techniques of routing

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Scheduling can be defined as “prescribing of when and where each operation necessary to manufacture the product is to be performed.”
It is also defined as “establishing of times at which to begin and complete each event or operation comprising a procedure”. The principle aim of scheduling is to plan the sequence of work so that production can be systematically arranged towards the end of completion of all
products by due date.
1. The principle of optimum task size: Scheduling tends to achieve maximum efficiency when the task sizes are small, and all tasks of same order of magnitude.
2. Principle of optimum production plan: The planning should be such that it imposes an equal load on all plants.
3. Principle of optimum sequence: Scheduling tends to achieve the maximum efficiency when the work is planned so that work hours are normally used in the same sequence.
Inputs to Scheduling
1. Performance standards: The information regarding the performance standards (standard times for operations) helps to know the capacity in order to assign required machine hours to the facility.
 Define scheduling
 Discuss the principles of scheduling
 Discuss the strategies for scheduling
 Various methods of scheduling; gantt chart, PERT,
2. Units in which loading and scheduling is to be expressed.
3. Effective capacity of the work centre.
4. Demand pattern and extent of flexibility to be provided for rush orders.
5. Overlapping of operations.
6. Individual job schedules.
Scheduling strategies vary widely among firms and range from ‘no scheduling’ to very sophisticated approaches.
These strategies are grouped into four classes:
1. Detailed scheduling: Detailed scheduling for specific jobs that are arrived from customers is impracticable in actual manufacturing situation. Changes in orders, equipment breakdown, and unforeseen events deviate the plans.
2. Cumulative scheduling: Cumulative scheduling of total work load is useful especially for long range planning of capacity needs. This may load the current period excessively and under load future periods. It has some means to control the jobs.
3. Cumulative detailed: Cumulative detailed combination is both feasible and practical approach. If aster schedule has fixed and flexible portions.
4. Priority decision rules: Priority decision rules are scheduling guides that are used independently and in conjunction with one of the above strategies, i.e., first come first serve. These are useful in reducing Work-In-Process (WIP) inventory.
Types of scheduling can be categorized as forward scheduling and backward scheduling.
1. Forward scheduling is commonly used in job shops where customers place their orders on “needed as soon as possible” basis. Forward scheduling determines start and finish times of next priority job by assigning it the earliest available time slot and from that time, determines when the job will be finished in that work centre. Since the job and its components start as early as possible, they will typically be completed before they are due at the subsequent work centres in the routing. The forward method generates in the process inventory that are needed at subsequent work centres and higher inventory cost. Forward scheduling is simple to use and it gets jobs done in shorter lead times, compared to backward scheduling.
2. Backward scheduling is often used in assembly type industries and commit in advance to specific delivery dates. Backward scheduling determines the start and finish times for waiting jobs by assigning them to the latest available time slot that will enable each job to be completed just when it is due, but done before. By assigning jobs as late as possible, backward scheduling minimizes inventories since a job is not completed until it must go directly to the next work centre on its routing. Forward and backward scheduling methods are shown in Fig. 6.1

The scheduling methodology depends upon the type of industry, organization, product, and level of sophistication required. They are:
1. Charts and boards,
2. Priority decision rules, and
3. Mathematical programming methods.
1. Gantt Charts and Boards
Gantt charts and associated scheduling boards have been extensively used scheduling devices in the past, although many of the charts are now drawn by computer. Gantt charts are extremely easy to understand and can quickly reveal the current or planned situation to all concerned. They are used in several forms, namely,
(a) Scheduling or progress charts, which depicts the sequential schedule;
(b) Load charts, which show the work assigned to a group of workers or machines; and
(c) Record a chart, which are used to record the actual operating times and delays of workers and machines.
2. Priority Decision Rules
Priority decision rules are simplified guidelines for determining the sequence in which jobs will be done. In some firms these rules take the place of priority planning systems such as MRP systems. Following are some of the priority rules followed.

3. Mathematical Programming Methods
Scheduling is a complex resource allocation problem. Firms process capacity, labour skills, materials and they seek to allocate their use so as to maximize a profit or service objective, or perhaps meet a demand while minimizing costs.
The following are some of the models used in scheduling and production control.
(a) Linear programming model: Here all the constraints and objective functions are formulated as a linear equation and then problem is solved for optimality. Simplex method, transportation methods and assignment method are major methods used here.
(b) PERT/CPM network model: PERT/CPM network is the network showing the sequence of operations for a project and the precedence relation between the activities to be completed. Note: Scheduling is done in all the activities of an organization i.e., production, maintenance etc. Therefore, all the methods and techniques of scheduling is used for maintenance management
i. What is scheduling?
ii. Mention the types of scheduling.
iii. What are the inputs to scheduling?
iv. Discuss the scheduling methods.

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Design of the production system involves planning for the inputs, conversion process and outputs of production operation. The effective management of capacity is the most important responsibility of production management. The objective of capacity management (i.e., planning and control of capacity) is to match the level of operations to the level of demand. Capacity planning is to be carried out keeping in mind future growth and expansion plans, market trends, sales forecasting, etc. It is a simple task to plan the capacity in case of stable
demand. But in practice the demand will be seldom stable. The fluctuation of demand creates problems regarding the procurement of resources to meet the customer demand. Capacity decisions are strategic in nature. Capacity is the rate of productive capability of a facility. Capacity is usually expressed as volume of output per period of time. Production managers are more concerned about the capacity for the following reasons:
 Sufficient capacity is required to meet the customers demand in time.
 Capacity affects the cost efficiency of operations.
 Capacity affects the scheduling system.
 Capacity creation requires an investment.
Capacity planning is the first step when an organization decides to produce more or new products.
a) Understand, appreciate and explain the importance of capacity planning.
b) Discuss ways of defining and measuring capacity.
c) Describe the factors that determine effective capacity alternatives.
d) Discuss the major considerations related to developing capacity alternatives.
An Operations Manager is supposed to identify tactics and formulate a strategy in order to answer the basic questions with respect to capacity handling. These questions are:
1. What kind of capacity is needed?
2. How much is needed?
3. When is it needed?
Importance of Capacity Decisions
Capacity decisions impacts ability to meet future demands, affects operating costs. These decisions often act as a major determinant of initial costs, as they involve long-term commitment. These decisions affect competitiveness and gives ease of management. Capacity
Decisions focus on globalization as it is more complex and impacts long range planning.
1. Ability to meet future demands.
Capacity essentially limits the rate of possible output.Having capacity to satisfy demand can allow a company of taking advantage of tremendous opportunities. An international automobile manufacturer of good repute increased its production by working on its capacity decision after its quality product received a lot more demand than it was originally anticipated.
2. Affects operating costs.
We already know that estimated or forecasted demand differs from actual demand, so the ideal concept of capacity matching demand is untrue. Organizations should be willing to take a critical decision to balance the cost of over and under capacity. Overcapacity reflects overkill of resources and under capacity shows a weak management philosophy to make best use of an available market.
3. Acts as a major determinant of initial costs.
It is typical to see that greater the capacity of a productive unit, greater would be the cost. This does not mean I am advocating a one to one relationship for higher capacity for production to costs; in fact larger units tend to cost proportionately less than smaller units. E.g. Pakistan Steel
Mill at Karachi is one good example, where higher costs are misunderstood as the mills capacity is not being fully utilized
4. Involves long-term commitment.
Once long term commitment of resources have been taken, the difficulty of reversing would cost more. Indicating a capacity increase or decrease for an organization set up would mean
additional costs.
5. Affects competitiveness.
This is very critical, if a firm has an excessive capacity or can quickly add capacity, which fact may serve as a barrier against entry by other firms.
6. Affects ease of management.
Capacity increase or decrease decisions involves management to answer the question of operating the organization as well as an increase or decrease in the plant capacity
7. Globalization adds complexity.
Capacity decision often involves making a decision in a foreign country which requires the management to know about the political, economic and cultural issues.
8. Impacts long range planning.
Capacity decisions extend beyond 18 months and thus get classified as long term in nature.
The capacity of the manufacturing unit can be expressed in number of units of output per period. In some situations measuring capacity is more complicated when they manufacture multiple products. In such situations, the capacity is expressed as man-hours or machine hours. The relationship between capacity and output is shown in Fig. 5.6. Design capacity: Designed capacity of a facility is the planned or engineered rate of output of goods or services under normal or full scale operating conditions. For example, the designed capacity of the cement plant is 100 TPD (Tonnes per day). Capacity of the sugar factory is 150 tonnes of sugarcane crushing per day.
System capacity: System capacity is the maximum output of the specific product or product mix the system of workers and machines is capable of producing as an integrated whole. System capacity is less than design capacity or at the most equal, because of the limitation of
product mix, quality specification, breakdowns. The actual is even less because of many factors affecting the output such as actual demand, downtime due to machine/equipment failure, unauthorized absenteeism.

4. Installed capacity: The capacity provided at the time of installation of the plant is called installed capacity.
5. Rated capacity: Capacity based on the highest production rate established by actual trials is referred to as rated capacity.
Capacity planning is concerned with defining the long-term and the short-term capacity needs of an organization and determining how those needs will be satisfied. Capacity planning decisions are taken based upon the consumer demand and this is merged with the human, material and financial resources of the organization. Capacity requirements can be evaluated from two perspectives—long-term capacity strategies and short-term capacity strategies.
Long-term capacity requirements are more difficult to determine because the future demand and technology are uncertain. Forecasting for five or ten years into the future is more risky and difficult. Even sometimes company’s today’s products may not be existing in the future. Long range capacity requirements are dependent on marketing plans, product development and lifecycle of the product. Long-term capacity planning is concerned with accommodating major changes that affect overall level of the output in long-term. Marketing environmental assessment and implementing the long-term capacity plans in a systematic manner are the major responsibilities of management. Following parameters will affect long range capacity decisions.
1. Multiple products: Company’s produce more than one product using the same facilities in order to increase the profit. The manufacturing of multiple products will reduce the risk of failure. Having more than one product helps the capacity planners to do a better job. Because products are in different stages of their life-cycles, it is easy to schedule them to get maximum
capacity utilisation.
2. Phasing in capacity: In high technology industries, and in industries where technology developments are very fast, the rate of obsolescence is high. The products should be brought into the market quickly. The time to construct the facilities will be long and there is no much time as the products should be introduced into the market quickly. Here the solution is phase in capacity on modular basis. Some commitment is made for building funds and men towards facilities over a period of 3–5 years. This is an effective way of capitalising on technological breakthrough.
3. Phasing out capacity: The outdated manufacturing facilities cause excessive plant closures and down time. The impact of closures is not limited to only fixed costs of plant and machinery. Thus, the phasing out here is done with humanistic way without affecting the community. The phasing out options makes alternative arrangements for men like shifting them to other jobs or to other locations, compensating the employees, etc.
Managers often use forecasts of product demand to estimate the short-term workload the facility must handle. Managers looking ahead up to 12 months, anticipate output requirements for different products, and services. Managers then compare requirements with existing capacity and then take decisions as to when the capacity adjustments are needed. For short-term periods of up to one year, fundamental capacity is fixed. Major facilities will not be changed. Many short-term adjustments for increasing or decreasing capacity are possible. The adjustments to be required depend upon the conversion process like whether it is capital intensive or labour intensive or whether product can be stored as inventory. Capital intensive processes depend on physical facilities, plant and equipment. Short-term capacity can be modified by operating these facilities more or less intensively than normal. In labour intensive processes short-term capacity can be changed by laying off or hiring people or by giving overtime to workers. The strategies for changing capacity also depend upon how long
the product can be stored as inventory. The short-term capacity strategies are:
1. Inventories: Stock of finished goods during slack periods to meet the demand during peak
2. Backlog: During peak periods, the willing customers are requested to wait and their orders are fulfilled after a peak demand period.
3. Employment level (hiring or firing): Hire additional employees during peak demand period and lay-off employees as demand decreases.
4. Employee training: Develop multi-skilled employees through training so that they can be rotated among different jobs. The multi-skilling helps as an alternative to hiring employees.
5. Subcontracting: During peak periods, hire the capacity of other firms temporarily to make the component parts or products.
6. Process design: Change job contents by redesigning the job.
Strategy Formulation With respect to Capacity Planning
1. Capacity strategy for long-term demand which focus on demand patterns and takes into account growth rate and variability
2. Facilities that focus on cost of building and operating
3. Technological changes relate to rate and direction of technology changes
4. Behavior of competitors
5. Availability of capital and other inputs
Key Decisions of Capacity Planning
It is important to identify the key decisions in order to carry out a correct capacity planning decision.
Some of the common key decisions are
1. Amount of capacity needed
2. Timing of changes
3. Need to maintain balance
4. Extent of flexibility of facilities
Steps for Capacity Planning Strategy
It is important to understand how to formulate a capacity planning strategy
1. Estimate future capacity requirements
2. Evaluate existing capacity
3. Identify alternatives
4. Conduct financial analysis
5. Assess key qualitative issues
6. Select one alternative
7. Implement alternative chosen
8. Monitor results
Routing may be defined as the selection of path which each part of the product will follow while being transformed from raw materials to finished products. Path of the product will also give sequence of operation to be adopted while being manufactured.
In other way, routing means determination of most advantageous path to be followed from department to department and machine to machine till raw material gets its final shape, which involves the following steps:
(a) Type of work to be done on product or its parts.
(b) Operation required to do the work.
(c) Sequence of operation required.
(d) Where the work will be done.
(e) A proper classification about the personnel required and the machine for doing the work.
For effective production control of a well-managed industry with standard conditions, the routing plays an important role, i.e., to have the best results obtained from available plant capacity. Thus routing provides the basis for scheduling, dispatching and follow-up.
Techniques of Routing While converting raw material into required goods different operations are to be performed and the selection of a particular path of operations for each piece is termed as ‘Routing’. This selection of a particular path, i.e. sequence of operations must be the best and cheapest to have the lowest cost of the final product. The various routing techniques are:
1. Route card: This card always accompanies with the job throughout all operations. This indicates the material used during manufacturing and their progress from one operation to another. In addition to this the details of scrap and good work produced are also recorded.
2. Work sheet: It contains
(a) Specifications to be followed while manufacturing.
(b) Instructions regarding routing of every part with identification number of machines and work
place of operation.
This sheet is made for manufacturing as well as for maintenance.
3. Route sheet: It deals with specific production order. Generally made from operation sheets.
One sheet is required for each part or component of the order. These includes the following:
(a) Number and other identification of order.
(b) Symbol and identification of part.
(c) Number of pieces to be made.
(d) Number of pieces in each lot—if put through in lots.
(e) Operation data which includes:
(i) List of operation on the part.
(ii) Department in which operations are to be performed.
(iii) Machine to be used for each operation.
(iv) Fixed sequence of operation, if any.
(f) Rate at which job must be completed, determined from the operation sheet.
4. Move order: Though this is document needed for production control, it is never used for routing system. Move order is prepared for each operation as per operation sheet. On this the quantity passed forward, scrapped and to be rectified are recorded. It is returned to planning office when the operation is completed.
i. How do you measure capacity?
ii. Discuss the importance of Capacity Decisions.
iii. Explain the techniques of routing.
iv. What are the key decision of capacity planning
v. Briefly discuss the short-term

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Operations planning and scheduling systems concern with the volume and timing of outputs, the utilization of operations capacity at desired levels for competitive effectiveness. These systems must fit together activities at various levels, form top to bottom, in support of one another, as shown in Fig. 5.3. Note that the time orientation ranges from long to short as we progress from top to bottom in the hierarchy. Also, the level of detail in the planning process ranges from broad at the top to detail at the bottom.
1. The Business Plan
The business plan is a statement of the organization’s overall level of business activity for the coming six to eighteen months, usually expressed in terms of outputs (in volume of sales) for its various product groups, a set of individual products that share or consume common blocks of capacity in the manufacturing process. It also specifies the overall inventory and backlog levels that will be maintained during the planning period. The business plan is an agreement between all functional areas—finance, production, marketing, engineering, R & D—about the level of activity and the products they are committed to support. The business plan is not concerned with all the details and specific timing of the actions for executing the plan. Instead, it determines a feasible general posture for competing to achieve its major goals. The resulting plan guides the lower-level, more details decisions.
a) Student should know the components of operation planning
b) The student should know aggregate planning strategies and guideline
c) Master Production Schedule(MPS) and Material Requirement Planning(MRP)
2. Aggregate Production (Output) Planning
The process of determining output levels of product groups over the coming six to eighteen months on a weekly or monthly basis. It identifies the overall level of outputs in support of the business plan. The plan recognizes the division’s existing fixed capacity and the company’s overall policies for maintaining inventories and backlogs, employment stability and subcontracting.
3. Aggregate Capacity Planning
It is the process of testing the feasibility of aggregate output plans and evaluating overall capacity utilization. A statement of desired output is useful only if it is feasible. Thus, it addresses the supply side of the firm’s ability to meet the demand. As for aggregate output plans, each plant, facility, or division requires its own aggregate capacity plan.
Capacity and output must be in balance, as indicated by the arrow between them in Fig. 1.5. A capacity plan translates an output plan into input terms, approximating how much of the division’s capacity will be consumed. Although these basic capacities are fixed, management can manipulate the short-term capacities by the ways they deploy their work force, by subcontracting, or by using multiple work shifts to
adjust the timing of overall outputs. As a result, the aggregate planning process balances output levels, capacity constraints, and temporary capacity adjustments to meet demand and utilize capacity at desired levels during the coming months. The resulting plan sets limits on the master production schedule.
4. Master Production Scheduling (Mps)
MPS is a schedule showing week by week how many of each product must be produced according to customer orders and demand forecasts. Its purpose is to meet the demand for individual products in the product group. This more detailed level of planning disaggregates the product groups into individual products and indicates when they will be produced. The MPS is an important link between marketing and production. It shows when incoming sales orders can be scheduled into production, and when each shipment can be scheduled for delivery. It also takes into account current backlogs so that production and delivery schedules are realistic.

5. Resource Requirement Planning
Resource requirement planning (rough-cut capacity planning) is the process of testing the feasibility of master production schedule in terms of capacity. This step ensures that a proposed MPS does not inadvertently overload any key department, work centre, or machine, making the MPS unworkable.
6. Material Requirement Planning
Material requirement planning (MRP) is a system of planning and scheduling the time phased material requirements for releasing materials and receiving materials that enable the master production schedule to be implemented. Thus, the master production schedule is the driving force for material requirements planning. MRP provides information such as due dates for components that are subsequently used for shop floor control. Once this information is available, it enables managers to estimate the detailed requirements for each work centres.
7. Capacity Requirement Planning
Capacity requirement planning (CRP) is an iterative process of modifying the MPS or planned resources to make capacity consistent with the production schedule. CRP is a companion process used with MRP to identify in detail the capacity required to execute the material requirement planning. At this level, more accurate comparisons of available and needed capacity for scheduled workloads are possible.
8. Shop Floor Control
Shop floor control involves the activities that execute and control shop operations namely loading, sequencing, detailed scheduling and expediting jobs in production. It coordinates the weekly and daily activities that get jobs done. Individual jobs are assigned to machines and work centres (loading), the sequence of processing the jobs for priority control is determined, start times and job assignments for each stage of processing are decided (detailed scheduling ) and materials and work flows from station to station are monitored and adjusted (expediting).
9. Loading
Each job (customer order) may have its unique product specification and, hence, it is unique through various work centres in the facility. As new job orders are released, they are assigned or allocated among the work centres, thus establishing how much of a load each work centre must carry during the coming planning period. This assignment is known as loading (sometimes called shop loading as machine loading).
10. Sequencing
This stage establishes the priorities for jobs in the queues (waiting lines) at the work centres. Priority sequencing specifies the order in which the waiting jobs are processed; it requires the adoption of a priority sequencing rule.
11. Detailed Scheduling
Detailed scheduling determines start times, finish times and work assignments for all jobs at each work centre. Calendar times are specified when job orders, employees, and materials (inputs), as well as job completion (outputs), should occur at each work centre. By estimating how long each job will take to complete and when it is due, schedulers can establish start and finish dates and develop the detailed schedule.
12. Expediting
Expediting is a process of tracking a job’s progress and taking special actions to move it through the facility. In tracking a job’s progress, special action may be needed to keep the job moving through the facility on time. Manufacturing or service operations disruptions-equipments breakdowns, unavailable materials, last-minute priority changes, require managers to deviate
from plans and schedules and expedite an important job on a special handling basis.
13. Input/Output Control
Input/output control related to the activities to monitor actual versus planned utilization of a work centre’s capacity. Output plans and schedules call for certain levels of capacity at a work centre, but actual utilization may differ from what was planned. Actual versus planned utilization of the work centre’s capacity can be monitored by using input-output reports and, when discrepancies exist, adjustments can be made. The important components of operations planning and scheduling system has been explained in detail in the following paragraphs.
Aggregate planning is an intermediate term planning decision. It is the process of planning the quantity and timing of output over the intermediate time horizon (3 months to one year). Within this range, the physical facilities are assumed to –10 be fixed for the planning period. Therefore, fluctuations in demand must be met by varying labour and inventory schedule. Aggregate planning seeks the best combination to minimise costs. Aggregate Planning Strategies The variables of the production system are labour, materials and capital. More labour effort is required to generate higher volume of output. Hence, the employment and use of overtime (OT) are the two relevant variables. Materials help to regulate output. The alternatives available to the company are inventories, back ordering or subcontracting of items. These controllable variables constitute pure strategies by which fluctuations in demand and uncertainties in production activities can be accommodated by using the following steps:
1. Vary the size or the workforce: Output is controlled by hiring or laying off workers in proportion to changes in demand.
2. Vary the hours worked: Maintain the stable workforce, but permit idle time when there is a slack and permit overtime (OT) when demand is peak.
3. Vary inventory levels: Demand fluctuations can be met by large amount of inventory.
4. Subcontract: Upward shift in demand from low level. Constant production rates can be met by using subcontractors to provide extra capacity.
Aggregate Planning Guidelines
The following are the guidelines for aggregate planning:
1. Determine corporate policy regarding controllable variables.
2. Use a good forecast as a basis for planning.
3. Plan in proper units of capacity.
4. Maintain the stable workforce.
5. Maintain needed control over inventories.
6. Maintain flexibility to change.
7. Respond to demand in a controlled manner.
8. Evaluate planning on a regular base.
Master scheduling follows aggregate planning. It expresses the overall plans in terms of specific end items or models that can be assigned priorities. It is useful to plan for the material and capacity requirements. Flowchart of aggregate plan and master production schedule is shown in Fig. 5.4 Time interval used in master scheduling depends upon the type, volume, and component lead times of the products being produced. Normally weekly time intervals are used. The time horizon covered by the master schedule also depends upon product characteristics and lead times. Some master schedules cover a period as short as few weeks and for some products it is more than a year.
Functions of MPS
Master Production Schedule (MPS) gives a formal details of the production plan and converts this plan into specific material and capacity requirements. The requirements with respect to labour, material and equipment is then assessed.
The main functions of MPS are:
1. To translate aggregate plans into specific end items: Aggregate plan determines level of operations that tentatively balances the market demands with the material, labour and equipment capabilities of the company. A master schedule translates this plan into specific number of end items to be produced in specific time period

Fig. 1.4 Flowchart of aggregate plan and master schedule
2. Evaluate alternative schedules: Master schedule is prepared by trial and error. Manycomputermsimulation models are available to evaluate the alternate schedules.
3. Generate material requirement: It forms the basic input for material requirement planning
4. Generate capacity requirements: Capacity requirements are directly derived from MPS.
Master scheduling is thus a prerequisite for capacity planning.
5. Facilitate information processing: By controlling the load on the plant. Master schedule determines when the delivery should be made. It coordinates with other management information systems such as, marketing, finance and personnel.
6. Effective utilization of capacity: By specifying end item requirements schedule establishes the
load and utilization requirements for machines and equipment.
MRP refers to the basic calculations used to determine components required from end item requirements. It also refers to a broader information system that uses the dependence relationship to plan and control manufacturing operations.
“Materials Requirement Planning (MRP) is a technique for determining the quantity and timing for the acquisition of dependent demand items needed to satisfy master production schedule requirements.”
Objectives of MRP
1. Inventory reduction: MRP determines how many components are required when they are required in order to meet the master schedule. It helps to procure the materials/ components as and when needed and thus avoid excessive build up of inventory.
2. Reduction in the manufacturing and delivery lead times: MRP identifies materials and component quantities, timings when they are needed, availabilities and procurements and actions required to meet delivery deadlines. MRP helps to avoid delays in production and priorities production activities by putting due dates on customer job order.
3. Realistic delivery commitments: By using MRP, production can give marketing timely information about likely delivery times to prospective customers.
4. Increased efficiency: MRP provides a close coordination among various work centres and hence help to achieve uninterrupted flow of materials through the production line. This increases the efficiency of production system.
MRP System
The inputs to the MRP system are: (1) A master production schedule, (2) An inventory status file and (3) Bill of materials (BOM).
Using these three information sources, the MRP processing logic (computer programme) provides three kinds of information (output) for each product component: order release requirements, order rescheduling and planned orders.

1. Master Production Schedule (Mps)
MPS is a series of time phased quantities for each item that a company produces, indicating how many are to be produced and when. MPS is initially developed from firm customer orders or from forecasts of demand before MRP system begins to operate. The MRP system whatever the master schedule demands and translates MPS end items into specific component requirements. Many systems make a simulated trial run to determine whether the proposed master can be satisfied.
2. Inventory Status File
Every inventory item being planned must have an inventory status file which gives complete and up to date information on the on-hand quantities, gross requirements, scheduled receipts and planned order releases for an item. It also includes planning information such as lot sizes, lead times, safety stock levels and scrap allowances.
3. Bill Of Materials (Bom)
BOM identifies how each end product is manufactured, specifying all subcomponents items, their sequence of build up, their quantity in each finished unit and the work centres performing the build up sequence. This information is obtained from product design documents, workflow analysis and other standard manufacturing information
i. What do you mean by aggregate planning?
ii. Discuss the operations planning and scheduling systems.
iii. Discuss the aggregate plan and master schedule.
iv. Discuss the MRP system and explain the objective of MRP.
v. Explain the functions of master production schedule

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Decisions regarding the product, price, promotion and distribution channels are decisions on the elements of the “marketing mix”. It can be argued that product decisions are probably the most crucial as the product is the very epitome of marketing planning. Errors in product decisions are legion. These can include the imposition of a global standardized product where it is inapplicable, for example large horsepower tractors may be totally unsuitable for areas where small scale farming exists and where incomes are low; devolving decisions to affiliated countries which may let quality slip; and the attempt to sell products into a country without cognizance of cultural adaptation needs. The decision whether to sell globally standardized or adapted products is too simplistic for today’s market place. Many product decisions lie between these two extremes. Cognizance has also to be taken of the stage in the international life cycle, the organization’s own product portfolio, its strengths and weaknesses and its global objectives. Unfortunately, most developing countries are in no position to compete on the world stage with many manufactured value-added products. Quality, or lack of it, is often the major letdown. As
indicated earlier, most developing countries are likely to be exporting raw materials or basic and high value agricultural produce for some time to come.
a) To examine the basic concepts of “the product” and the importance of this concept in marketing.
b) To give an understanding of the features of product design and the factors which shape the “standardization” versus “adaptation” decisions.
c) To describe the production process and how value can be added in the process
d) To describe the major product strategies.
A product can be defined as a collection of physical, service and symbolic attributes which yield satisfaction or benefits to a user or buyer. A product is a combination of physical attributes say, size and shape; and subjective attributes say image or “quality”. A customer purchases on both dimensions. As cited earlier, an avocado pear is similar the world over in terms of physical characteristics, but once the label CARMEL, for example, is put on it, the product’s physical properties are enhanced by the image CARMEL creates. In “post-modernization” it is increasingly important that the product fulfills the image which the producer is wishing to project. This may involve organizations producing symbolic offerings represented by meaning laden products that chase stimulation-loving consumers who seek experience – producing situations. So, for example, selling mineral water may not be enough. It may have to be “Antarctic” in source, and flavoured. This opens up a wealth of new marketing opportunities for producers.
A product’s physical properties are characterized the same the world over. They can be convenience or shopping goods or durables and nondurables; however, one can classify products according to their degree of potential for global marketing:
i) Local products – seen as only suitable in one single market.
ii) International products – seen as having extension potential into other markets.
iii) Multinational products – products adapted to the perceived unique characteristics of national markets.
iv) Global products – products designed to meet global segments.
Quality, method of operation or use and maintenance (if necessary) are catchwords in international marketing. A failure to maintain these will lead to consumer dissatisfaction. This is typified by agricultural machinery where the lack of spares and/or foreign exchange can lead to lengthy downtimes. It is becoming increasingly important to maintain quality products based on the ISO 9000 standard, as a prerequisite to export marketing. Consumer beliefs or perceptions also affect the “world brand” concept. World brands are based
on the same strategic principles, same positioning and same marketing mix but there may be changes in message or other image. World brands in agriculture are legion. For example , in fertilizers, brands like Norsk Hydro are universal; in tractors, Massey Ferguson;
in soups, Heinz; in tobacco, BAT; in chemicals, Bayer. These world brand names have been built up over the years with great investments in marketing and production. Few world brands, however, have originated from developing countries. This is hardly surprising given the lack of resources. In some markets product saturation has been reached, yet surprisingly the same product may not have reached saturation in other similar markets. Whilst France has long been saturated by avocadoes, the UK market is not yet, hence raising the opportunity to enter deeper into this market.
Changes in design are largely dictated by whether they would improve the prospects of greater sales, and this, over the accompanying costs. Changes in design are also subject to cultural pressures. The more culture-bound the product is, for example food, the more adaptation is necessary. Most products fall in between the spectrum of “standardization” to “adaptation” extremes. The application the product is put to also affects the design. In the UK, railway engines were designed from the outset to be sophisticated because of the degree of competition, but in the US this was not the case. In order to burn the abundant wood and move the prairie debris, large smoke stacks and cowcatchers were necessary. In agricultural implements a mechanized cultivator may be a convenience item in a UK garden, but in India and Africa it may be essential equipment. As stated earlier “perceptions” of the product’s benefits may also dictate
the design. A refrigerator in Africa is a very necessary and functional item, kept in the kitchen or the bar. In Mexico, the same item is a status symbol and, therefore, kept in the living room.
Factors encouraging standardization are:
i) Economies of scale in production and marketing
ii) Consumer mobility – the more consumers travel the more is the demand
iii) Technology
iv) Image, for example “Japanese”, “made in”.
The latter can be a factor both to aid or to hinder global marketing development. Nagashima1 (1977) found the “made in USA” image has lost ground to the “made in Japan” image. In some cases “foreign made” gives advantage over domestic products. In Zimbabwe one sees many advertisements for “imported”, which gives the product advertised a perceived advantage over domestic products. Often a price premium is charged to reinforce the “imported means quality” image. If the foreign source is negative in effect, attempts are made to disguise or hide the fact through, say, packaging or labelling. Mexicans are loathe to take products from Brazil. By
putting a “made in elsewhere” label on the product this can be overcome, provided the products are manufactured elsewhere even though its company maybe Brazilian.
Factors encouraging adaptation are:
i. Differing usage conditions. These may be due to climate, skills, level of literacy, culture or physical conditions. Maize, for example, would never sell in Europe rolled and milled as in Africa. It is only eaten whole, on or off the cob. In Zimbabwe, kapenta
fish can be used as a relish, but wilt always be eaten as a “starter” to a meal in the developed countries.
ii. General market factors – incomes, tastes etc. Canned asparagus may be very affordable
in the developed world, but may not sell well in the developing world.
iii. Government – taxation, import quotas, non tariff barriers, labelling, health requirements.
Non tariff barriers are an attempt, despite their supposed impartiality, at restricting or eliminating competition. A good example of this is the Florida tomato growers, cited earlier, who successfully got the US Department of Agriculture to issue regulations establishing a minimum size of tomatoes marketed in the United States. The effect of this was to eliminate the Mexican tomato industry which grew a tomato that fell under the minimum size specified. Some non-tariff barriers may be legitimate attempts to protect the consumer, for example the ever stricter restrictions on horticultural produce insecticides and pesticides use may cause African growers a headache, but they are deemed to be for the public good.
iv. History. Sometimes, as a result of colonialism, production facilities have been established overseas. Eastern and Southern Africa is littered with examples. In Kenya, the tea industry is a colonial legacy, as is the sugar industry of Zimbabwe and the coffee industry of Malawi. These facilities have long been adapted to local conditions.
v. Financial considerations. In order to maximize sales or profits the organisation may have no choice but to adapt its products to local conditions.
vi. Pressure. Sometimes, as in the case of the EU, suppliers are forced to adapt to the rules and regulations imposed on them if they wish to enter into the market.
In decisions on producing or providing products and services in the international market it is essential that the production of the product or service is well planned and coordinated, both within and with other functional area of the firm, particularly marketing. For example, in
horticulture, it is essential that any supplier or any of his “outgrower” (sub-contractor) can supply what he says he can. This is especially vital when contracts for supply are finalised, as failure to supply could incur large penalties.
The main elements to consider are; the production process itself, specifications, culture, the physical product, packaging, labelling, branding, warranty and service.
Production process
The key question is, can we ensure continuity of supply? In manufactured products this may include decisions on the type of manufacturing process – artisanal, job, batch, flow line or group technology. However in many agricultural commodities factors like seasonality, perishability and supply and demand have to be taken into consideration. Table .1 gives a checklist of questions on product requirements for horticultural products as an example
Table .1 Checklists of questions on product requirements by market ‘

Quantity and quality of horticultural crops are affected by a number of things. These include input supplies (or lack of them), finance and credit availability, variety (choice), sowing dates, product range and investment advice. Many of these items will be catered for in the  on tract of supply.
Specification is very important in agricultural products. Some markets will not take produce unless it is within their specification. Specifications are often set by the customer, but agents, standard authorities (like the EU or ITC Geneva) and trade associations can be useful sources.
Quality requirements often vary considerably. In the Middle East, red apples are preferred over green apples. In one example French red apples, well boxed, are sold at 55 dinars per box, whilst not so attractive Iranian greens are sold for 28 dinars per box. In export the quality standards are set by the importer. In Africa, Maritim (1991)2 , found, generally, that there are no consistent standards for product quality and grading, making it difficult to do international trade regionally.
Product packaging, labeling, physical characteristics and marketing have to adapt to the cultural requirements when necessary. Religion, values, aesthetics, language and material culture all affect production decisions. Effects of culture on production decisions have been dealt with already in chapter three.
Physical product
The physical product is made up of a variety of elements. These elements include the physical product and the subjective image of the product. Consumers are looking for benefits and these must be conveyed in the total product package. Physical characteristics include range, shape, size, color, quality, quantity and compatibility. Subjective attributes are determined by advertising, self image, labelling and packaging. In manufacturing or selling produce, cognisance has to be taken of cost and country legal requirements.
Again a number of these characteristics is governed by the customer or agent. For example, in beef products sold to the EU there are very strict quality requirements to be observed. In fish products, the Japanese demand more “exotic” types than, say, would be sold in the UK. None of the dried fish products produced by the Zambians on Lake Kariba, and sold into the Lusaka market, would ever pass the hygiene laws if sold internationally. In sophisticated markets like seeds, the variety and range is so large that constant watch has to be kept on the new strains and varieties in order to be competitive.
Packaging serves many purposes. It protects the product from damage which could be incurred in handling and transportation and also has a promotional aspect. It can be very expensive. Size, unit type, weight and volume are very important in packaging. For aircraft cargo the package needs to be light but strong, for sea cargo containers are often the best form. The customer may also decide the best form of packaging. In horticultural produce, the developed countries often demand blister packs for mangetouts, beans, strawberries and so on, whilst for products like pineapples a sea container may suffice. Costs of packaging have always to be weighed against the advantage gained by it. Increasingly, environmental aspects are coming into play. Packaging which is non-degradable – plastic, for example – is less in demanded. Bio-degradable, recyclable, reusable packaging is now the order of the day. This can be both expensive and demanding for many developing countries.
Labeling not only serves to express the contents of the product, but may be promotional (symbols for example Cashel Valley Zimbabwe; HJ Heinz, Africafe, Tanzania). The EU is now putting very stringent regulations in force on labeling, even to the degree that the pesticides and insecticides used on horticultural produce have to be listed. This could be very demanding for producers, especially small scale, ones where production techniques may not be standardized.
Government labeling regulations vary from country to country. Bar codes are not widespread in Africa, but do assist in stock control. Labels may have to be multilingual, especially if the product is a world brand. Translation could be a problem with many words being translated with difficulty. Again labeling is expensive, and in promotion terms non-standard labels are more expensive than standard ones. Requirements for crate labeling, etc. for international transportation will be dealt with later under documentation.
Branding and trademarks
As mentioned in chapter four, it is difficult to protect a trademark or brand, unless all countries are members of a convention. Brand “piracy” is widespread in many developing countries. Other aspects of branding include the promotional aspects. A family brand of products under the Zeneca (ex ICI) label or Sterling Health are likely to be recognized worldwide, and hence enhance the “subjective” product characteristics.
Many large value agricultural products like machinery require warranties. Unfortunately not everyone upholds them. It is common practice in Africa that if the original equipment has not been bought through an authorized dealer in the country, that dealer refuses to honour the warranty. This is unfortunate, because not only may the equipment have been legitimately bought overseas; it also actually builds up consumer resistance to the dealer. When the consumer is eventually offered a choice, the reticent. dealer will suffer. For example when new dealers spring up.
Case 8.1 Cotton Production/Marketing Interface
Machines are highly flexible, that is they can usually switch to a variety of yarn requirements.
The machines are geared to high production, are automated and are of a precision for constant quality provision. There are strict process controls and built – in quality control. Poor raw material, especially when contaminated with metal particles, damages opening mills, grid knives, fans and card clothing. Previous devices employed to remove these (magnets) are becoming less effective. The consequences are damage in the blowroom and carding and danger of fire. Quality is therefore defined as properties of the end use (clothing etc.), efficiency of weaving and knitting and the efficient running of the spinning plant. Spinners require raw cotton which is free of trash; dust, sugar and honey dew contamination, seed coats, bark and foreign fibres and, will not nep the cloth. Further requirements are a certain length (could be short, medium or long), uniformity of length, strength, fineness, maturity and a certain elongation and colour.
In order to meet these high quality demands, the growers have to ensure that the production, picking and ginning is of a very high standard.
Cotton grading
The Liverpool Cotton exchange, for one, relied on the skills of its experts to manually classify raw fibre purchases for its clients. It still holds the “standards” for length, colour and trash content. As well as the demands of modem machinery, the lack of standardised measuring and cotton classification procedures has resulted in commercial conflict and legal disputes about the true nature of traded cotton. Now, computer based high volume instrument listing systems of raw cotton (HVI systems) are available. The system can handle large numbers of bales, reduce variation in classification and the need for highly trained bate classifiers.
For cotton exporters the system offers the following advantages:
 enhanced objectivity in classification
 improve communication if similar systems are used by sellers or buyers
 reduced conflict and need for arbitration
 enhanced competitiveness against synthetic fibres
 improved integration with modern spinning machines
 reduced costs on training of experts and in measuring time.
The system can process 2000 bales per day and give a printout on the seven parameters of grading. These include length and length uniformity, strength and elongation, micronaire or fineness, leaf and colour. Manufacturers include SPINLAR INC. of Knoxville, USA.
Service In agricultural machinery, processing equipment and other items which are of substantial value and technology, service is a prerequisite. In selling to many developing countries, manufacturers have found their negotiations at stake due to the poor back-up service. Often, this is no fault of the agent, distributor or dealer in the foreign country, but due to exchange regulations, which make obtaining spare parts difficult. Many organisations attempt to get around this by insisting that a Third World buyer purchases a percentage of parts on order with the original items. Allied to this problem is the poor quality of service due to insufficient training. Good original equipment manufacturers will insist on training and updating as part of the agency agreement. In order to illustrate the above points, cotton can be used as an example. Cotton is a major foreign exchange earner for Zimbabwe. In 1990/91, 52,000 tonnes were sold overseas at a value of Zim$ 238 million. As the spinners, particularly those in the export market, are in a highly competitive
industry, it is essential that the raw material is as clean as possible. Also today’s spinning equipment is highly technical and the spinner wishes to avoid costly breakdowns by all means.
There are five major product strategies in international marketing.
Product communications extension
This strategy is very low cost and merely takes the same product and communication strategy into other markets. However it can be risky if misjudgments are made. For example CPC International believed the US consumer would take to dry soups, which dominate the European market. It did not work.
Extended product – communications adaptation
If the product basically fits the different needs or segments of a market it may need an adjustment in marketing communications only. Again this is a low cost strategy, but different product functions have to be identified and a suitable communications mix developed.
Product adaptation – communications extension
The product is adapted to fit usage conditions but the communication stays the same. The assumption is that the product will serve the same function in foreign markets under different usage conditions.
Product adaptation – communications adaptation
Both product and communication strategies need attention to fit the peculiar need of the market.
Product invention
This needs a totally new idea to fit the exclusive conditions of the market. This is very much a strategy which could be ideal in a Third World situation. The development costs may be high, but the advantages are also very high.
Table 2 summarizes the strategic alternatives with examples.
The choice of strategy will depend on the most appropriate product/market analysis and is a function of the product itself defined in terms of the function or need it serves, the market defined in terms of the conditions under which the product is used, the preferences of the potential customers and the ability to buy the product in question, and the costs of adaptation and manufacture to the company considering these product – communications approaches.

CASE 8.2. Thailand Tuna
The case of Thai Tuna is a good example of the fifth product strategy alternative. In 1980 world canned tuna imports stood at some 110,000 tons, world consumption was stagnant, prices depressed and rising operating costs were leading to the closure of the tuna processing facilities in the US, Japan and Europe. However, up to 1990, world tuna imports quadrupled to 437,000 tons with large scale canning operations shifting to several lower cost developing countries. No country experienced the dramatic development more than Thailand. In 1980 it did not export one single can. In 1990, Thailand exported 225,000 tons (51% of world market share) with a
gross value in 1989 of US$ 537 million. The Thai industry development was rapid and interesting because it was based on imported raw materials. Tuna landings by Thai vessels rarely exceeded 30,000 tons, whilst its imports of foreign tuna (mostly skipjack) has increased past the 250,000 ton mark. The reason for this was the shift in fishing patterns. Historically the eastern Atlantic and Pacific were the most important areas but in the 1970s, US vessels began to exploit the tuna shoals of the Western Pacific and European vessels the Indian Ocean. The result was the increase of landings from 1,7 million tons in 1980 to 2,5 million tons in 1988, but a significant drop in prices accompanied this increase. Thailand was in a position to capitalise on these new low cost suppliers and in the early to mid 1980s several fruit and vegetable canners and other entrepreneurs invested in large modern processing facilities specially for fish. Their operating
costs were kept low by efficient management, low cost labour, backward integration into production and the efficient use of by products from processing. This was basically an “invention” product strategy. In order to gain access to and capitalise on the expanding markets
in the US and Europe (except France which favoured Francophone African suppliers) Thai canners entered into packaging arrangements with American and European firms. Latter,
Thailand’s largest processor look over the third largest tuna canner in the US, enabling it to take advantage of the llatter’s exclusive distribution network and well-established brand names.
As well as the above, organizations have also to consider the international product life cycle (described in section one) and the “fit” of the strategy into the company’s portfolio, strengths and weaknesses. In launching new products into international markets, the international product life cycle concept is crucial. Comparative analysis is a very useful technique also for new product introduction. The idea behind this concept is that if underlying conditions existing in one country are similar to those in another then there is a likelihood of a product being successfully introduced. On the other hand, again as indicated in chapter one, the international life cycle can work against domestic producers. The introduction of a second country product into a first country which has had a “closed economy” can sometimes kill off local production if that local producer cannot respond to the imported product’s competitiveness. The case of Sunsplash
Zimbabwe is an example.
Product decisions epitomize marketing planning and are the manifestation of marketing strategy.
These decisions are not to be taken lightly. The end consumer and channel considerations have to be taken into account and the product extended or adapted accordingly.
Case 8.3 Imported Juice Helps To Kill Off Sunsplash
A fruit juice processor, Sunsplash, has stopped production of juices following declining business, leaving 15 people without employment. Company director Mr. Michael Willmore said production ceased at the end of last month, adding that the Sunsplash range of fruit juices would be available over the next four months until remaining stocks had been exhausted. The factory had, since its establishment in 1984, processed a variety of fruit juices for the Zimbabwean market. Mr. Willmore said high transport costs as well as competition from imported products had affected the viability of the company, which had been established in Masvingo in response to Government calls for industry to decentralize. “The introduction of (imported) products into the Zimbabwean market rapidly eroded our market share from over 1 million litres to a mere 450 000 litres annually. By simple statement of fact, Sunsplash was not viable on the reduced volume.”
He also criticised the lack of incentives in Masvingo, particularly for new investors. *In my opinion, both central government and local municipal authorities will have to offer industries more attractive incentives to invest En Masvingo”, he said. He said incentives such as lax exemptions offered at growth points and Export Processing Zones (EPZ) would he more ideal for Masvingo because it was well located from the Mozambican port of Beira as well as South Africa.
This made the town an ideal location for EPZs. Mr. Willmore, however, added that the demise of Sunsplash was more complicated than more proximity to major markets. “The company desperately needed to make me transition to aseptic packaging, a technology
which enables fruit juices to be processed without the use of chemical preservatives white providing an unrefrigerated shell life of six months, The innovation would have greatly enhanced the product and provided export potential, but regrettably, cashflow constraints within our holding company (Afdis), combined with high interest rates, made the $5,8 million investment unviable”.
The marketing mix, which is the means by which an organization reaches its target market, is made up of product, pricing, distribution, promotion and people decisions. These are usually shortened to the an acronym “5P’s”. Product decisions revolve around decisions regarding the physical product (size, style, specification, etc.) and product line management. Product decisions are based on how much the organization has to adjust the product on the standardization – adaptation continuum to differing market conditions. This results in the evolution of five basic strategic alternatives – extension; extension, adaptation; adaptation, extension; adaptation and invention. Extension is the nearest to a standardized product, communications strategy and Invention at the other end of the continuum, that is, an adaptation strategy. The more adaptive the policy the more costly it will be for the organization.
1. What factors are important in the standardization versus adaptation product decision process?
2. Describe the principle elements of “the product”. Give examples.
3. Describe, with examples, the five major product strategies available to global marketers

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Managing operations can be enclosed in a frame of general management function as shown below in Fig. 2.1. Operation managers are concerned with planning, organizing, and controlling the activities which affect human behavior through models.
Activities that establishes a course of action and guide future decision-making is planning. The operations manager defines the objectives for the operations subsystem of the organization, and the policies, and procedures for achieving the objectives. This stage includes clarifying the role and focus of operations in the organization’s overall strategy. It also involves product planning, facility designing and using the conversion process.
Activities that establishes a structure of tasks and authority. Operation managers establish a structure of roles and the flow of information within the operations subsystem. They determine the activities required to achieve the goals and assign authority and responsibility for carrying them out.
a) Framework for operation management.
b) The meaning and objectives of production and operation management.
c) The scope of production and operation management.
Activities that assure the actual performance in accordance with planned performance. To ensure that the plans for the operations subsystems are accomplished, the operations manager must exercise control by measuring actual outputs and comparing them to planned operations management. Controlling costs, quality, and schedules are the important functions here.
Operation managers are concerned with how their efforts to plan, organize, and control affect human behavior. They also want to know how the behavior of subordinates can affect management’s planning, organizing, and controlling actions. Their interest lies in decision making behavior.
As operation managers plan, organize, and control the conversion process, they encounter many problems and must make many decisions. They can simplify their difficulties using models like aggregate planning models for examining how best to use existing capacity in short-term, break even analysis to identify break even volumes, linear programming and computer simulation for capacity utilizations, decision tree analysis for long-term capacity problem of facility expansion, simple median model for determining best locations of facilities etc

Fig 2.1 General model for managing operations
Objectives of operations management can be categorized into customer service and resource utilization.
Customer Service
The first objective of operating systems is the customer service to the satisfaction of customer wants. Therefore, customer service is a key objective of operations management. The operating system must provide something to a specification which can satisfy the customer in terms of cost and timing. Thus, primary objective can be satisfied by providing the ‘right thing at a right price at the right time’.
These aspects of customer service—specification, cost and timing—are described for four functions in Table 2.1. They are the principal sources of customer satisfaction and must, therefore, be the principal dimension of the customer service objective for operations managers.
Table2.1 Aspects of customer service

Generally an organization will aim reliably and consistently to achieve certain standards and operations manager will be influential in attempting to achieve these standards. Hence, this objective will influence the operations manager’s decisions to achieve the required customer service.
Resource Utilisation
Another major objective of operating systems is to utilize resources for the satisfaction of customer wants effectively, i.e., customer service must be provided with the achievement of effective operations through efficient use of resources. Inefficient use of resources or inadequate customer service leads to commercial failure of an operating system.
Operations management is concerned essentially with the utilization of resources, i.e., obtaining maximum effect from resources or minimizing their loss, under utilization or waste. The extent of the utilizations of the resources’ potential might be expressed in terms of the proportion of available time used or occupied, space utilization, levels of activity, etc. Each measure indicates the extent to which the potential or capacity of such resources is utilized. This is referred as the objective of resource utilization.
Operations management is also concerned with the achievement of both satisfactory customer service and resource utilizations. An improvement in one will often give rise to deterioration in the other. Often both cannot be maximized, and hence a satisfactory performance must be achieved on both objectives.
Table 2.2 summarizes the twin objectives of operations management. The type of balance established both between and within these basic objectives will be influenced by market considerations, competitions, the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, etc. Hence, the operations managers should make a contribution when these objectives are set.
TABLE 2.2 The twin objectives of operations management

The term ‘globalization’ describes businesses’ deployment of facilities and operations around the world. Globalization can be defined as a process in which geographic distance becomes a factor of diminishing importance in the establishment and maintenance of cross border economic, political and socio-cultural relations. It can also be defined as worldwide drive toward a globalize economic system dominated by supranational corporate trade and banking institutions that are not accountable to democratic processes or national governments.
There are four developments, which have spurred the trend toward globalization. These are:
1. Improved transportation and communication technologies;
2. Opened financial systems;
3. Increased demand for imports; and
4. Reduced import quotas and other trade barriers.
When a firm sets up facilities abroad it involves some added complexities in its operation. Global markets impose new standards on quality and time. Managers should not think about domestic markets first and then global markets later, rather it could be think globally and act locally. Also, they must have a good understanding of their competitors.
Some other important challenges of managing multinational operations include other languages and customs, different management style, unfamiliar laws and regulations, and different costs.
Managing global operations would focus on the following key issues:
 To acquire and properly utilize the following concepts and those related to global operations, supply chain, logistics, etc.
 To associate global historical events to key drivers in global operations from different
 To develop criteria for conceptualization and evaluation of different global operations.
 To associate success and failure cases of global operations to political, social, economical and technological environments.
 To envision trends in global operations.
 To develop an understanding of the world vision regardless of their country of origin, residence or studies in a respectful way of perspectives of people from different races, studies, preferences, religion, politic affiliation, place of origin, etc.
Production and operation management are concerned with the conversion of inputs into outputs, using physical resources, so as to provide the desired utilities to the customer while meeting the other organizational objectives of effectiveness, efficiency and adoptability. It distinguishes itself from other functions such as personnel, marketing, finance, etc., by its primary concern for
‘conversion by using physical resources.’ Following are the activities which are listed under production and operations management functions:
1. Location of facilities
2. Plant layouts and material handling
3. Product design
4. Process design
5. Production and planning control
6. Quality control
7. Materials management
8. Maintenance management.
Location of Facilities
Location of facilities for operations is a long-term capacity decision which involves a long term commitment about the geographically static factors that affect a business organization. It is an important strategic level decision-making for an organization. It deals with the questions such as ‘where our main operations should be based?’
The selection of location is a key-decision as large investment is made in building plant and machinery. An improper location of plant may lead to waste of all the investments made in plant and machinery equipments. Hence, location of plant should be based on the company’s
expansion plan and policy, diversification plan for the products, changing sources of raw materials and many other factors. The purpose of the location study is to find the optimal location that will results in the greatest advantage to the organization.
Plant Layout and Material Handling
Plant layout refers to the physical arrangement of facilities. It is the configuration of departments, work centres and equipment in the conversion process. The overall objective of the plant layout is to design a physical arrangement that meets the required output quality and quantity most economically.
According to James Moore, “Plant layout is a plan of an optimum arrangement of facilities including personnel, operating equipment, storage space, material handling equipments and all other supporting services along with the design of best structure to contain all these facilities”. ‘Material Handling’ refers to the ‘moving of materials from the store room to the machine and from one machine to the next during the process of manufacture’. It is also defined as the ‘art and science of moving, packing and storing of products in any form’.
It is a specialized activity for a modern manufacturing concern, with 50 to 75% of the cost of production. This cost can be reduced by proper section, operation and maintenance of material handling devices.
Material handling devices increases the output, improves quality, speeds up the deliveries and decreases the cost of production. Hence, material handling is a prime consideration in the designing new plant and several existing plants.
Product Design
Product design deals with conversion of ideas into reality. Every business organization have to design, develop and introduce new products as a survival and growth strategy. Developing the new products and launching them in the market is the biggest challenge faced by the organizations.
The entire process of need identification to physical manufactures of product involves three functions: marketing, product development, and manufacturing. Product development translates the needs of customers given by marketing into technical specifications and designing the various features into the product to these specifications. Manufacturing has the responsibility of selecting the processes by which the product can be manufactured. Product design and development provides link between marketing, customer needs and expectations and the activities required to manufacture the product.
Process Design
Process design is a macroscopic decision-making of an overall process route for converting the raw material into finished goods. These decisions encompass the selection of a process, choice of technology, process flow analysis and layout of the facilities. Hence, the important decisions in process design are to analyze the workflow for converting raw material into finished product and
to select the workstation for each included in the workflow. Production Planning and Control Production planning and control can be defined as the process of planning the production in advance, setting the exact route of each item, fixing the starting and finishing dates for each item, to give production orders to shops and to follow up the progress of products according to orders.
The principle of production planning and control lies in the statement ‘First Plan Your Work and then Work on Your Plan’. Main functions of production planning and control includes planning, routing, scheduling, dispatching and follow-up.
Planning is deciding in advance what to do, how to do it, when to do it and who is to do it. Planning bridges the gap from where we are, to where we want to go. It makes it possible for things to occur which would not otherwise happen. Routing may be defined as the selection of path which each part of the product will follow, which being transformed from raw material to finished products. Routing determines the most advantageous path to be followed from department to department and machine to machine till raw material gets its final shape.
Scheduling determines the programme for the operations. Scheduling may be defined as ‘the fixation of time and date for each operation’ as well as it determines the sequence of operations to be followed.

Fig.2.2 Scope of production and operations management
Dispatching is concerned with the starting the processes. It gives necessary authority so as to start a particular work, which has already been planned under ‘Routing’ and ‘Scheduling’. Therefore, dispatching is ‘release of orders and instruction for the starting of production for any item in acceptance with the route sheet and schedule charts’.
The function of follow-up is to report daily the progress of work in each shop in a prescribed proforma and to investigate the causes of deviations from the planned performance.
Quality Control
Quality Control (QC) may be defined as ‘a system that is used to maintain a desired level of quality in a product or service’. It is a systematic control of various factors that affect the quality of the product. Quality control aims at prevention of defects at the source, relies on effective feed back system and corrective action procedure.
Quality control can also be defined as ‘that industrial management technique by means of which product of uniform acceptable quality is manufactured’. It is the entire collection of activities which ensures that the operation will produce the optimum quality products at minimum cost.
The main objectives of quality control are:
 To improve the companies income by making the production more acceptable to the customers i.e., by providing long life, greater usefulness, maintainability, etc.
 To reduce companies cost through reduction of losses due to defects.
 To achieve interchangeability of manufacture in large scale production.
 To produce optimal quality at reduced price.
 To ensure satisfaction of customers with productions or services or high quality level, to
build customer goodwill, confidence and reputation of manufacturer.
 To make inspection prompt to ensure quality control.
 To check the variation during manufacturing.
Materials Management
Materials management is that aspect of management function which is primarily concerned with the acquisition, control and use of materials needed and flow of goods and services connected with the production process having some predetermined objectives in view.
The main objectives of materials management are:
 To minimize material cost.
 To purchase, receive, transport and store materials efficiently and to reduce the related cost.
 To cut down costs through simplification, standardization, value analysis, import substitution, etc.
 To trace new sources of supply and to develop cordial relations with them in order to ensure continuous supply at reasonable rates.
 To reduce investment tied in the inventories for use in other productive purposes and to develop high inventory turnover ratios.
Maintenance Management
In modern industry, equipment and machinery are a very important part of the total productive effort. Therefore, their idleness or downtime becomes are very expensive. Hence, it is very important that the plant machinery should be properly maintained.
The main objectives of maintenance management are:
1. To achieve minimum breakdown and to keep the plant in good working condition at the lowest possible cost.
2. To keep the machines and other facilities in such a condition that permits them to be used at their optimal capacity without interruption.
3. To ensure the availability of the machines, buildings and services required by other sections of the factory for the performance of their functions at optimal return on investment.
1. Explain in brief the objectives of operations management.
2. Distinguish between manufacturing operations and service operations.
3. Explain the key issues to be considered for managing global operations
4. Explain the framework of managing operations.
5. Explain the scope of production and operations management.

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Production/operations management is the process, which combines and transforms various resources used in the production/operations subsystem of the organization into value added product/services in a controlled manner as per the policies of the organization.
Therefore, it is that part of an organization, which is concerned with the transformation of a range of inputs into the required (products/services) having the requisite quality level.
The set of interrelated management activities, which are involved in manufacturing certain products, is called as production management. If the same concept is extended to services management, then the corresponding set of management activities is called as operations
For over two centuries operations and production management has been recognized as an important factor in a country’s economic growth. The traditional view of manufacturing management began in eighteenth century when Adam Smith recognized the economic benefits of specialization of labour. He recommended breaking of jobs down into subtasks and recognizes workers to specialized tasks in which they would become highly skilled and efficient.
a) Introduction on production and operation management.
b) Key characteristics of production systems and the key classifications of production system.
c) Brief history of operation management
In the early twentieth century, F.W. Taylor implemented Smith’s theories and developed cientific management. From then till 1930, many techniques were developed prevailing the traditional view. Brief information about the contributions to manufacturing management is shown in the Table 1.1.
Production management becomes the acceptable term from 1930s to 1950s. As F.W. Taylor’s works become more widely known, managers developed techniques that focused on economic efficiency in manufacturing. Workers were studied in great detail to eliminate wasteful efforts and achieve greater efficiency. At the same time, psychologists, socialists and other social scientists began to study people and human behavior in the working environment. In addition, economists, mathematicians, and computer socialists contributed newer, more sophisticated analytical approaches. With the 1970s there emerged two distinct changes in our views. The most obvious of these, reflected in the new name operations management was a shift in the service and manufacturing sectors of the economy. As service sector became more prominent, the change from ‘production’ to ‘operations’ emphasized the broadening of our field to service organizations. The second, more suitable change was the beginning of an emphasis on synthesis, rather than just analysis, in management practices.

Production function is that part of an organization, which is concerned with the transformation of a range of inputs into the required outputs (products) having the requisite quality level. Production is defined as “the step-by-step conversion of one form of material into another form through chemical or mechanical process to create or enhance the utility of the product to the user.” Thus production is a value addition process. At each stage of processing, there will be value addition.
Edwood Buffa defines production as ‘a process by which goods and services are created’. Some examples of production are: manufacturing custom-made products like, boilers with a specific capacity, constructing flats, some structural fabrication works for selected customers, etc., and manufacturing standardized products like, car, bus, motor cycle, radio, television, etc.
Fig. 1.2 Schematic production system

Difference between Operations Management and Research
 OR relies on mathematical modeling and OM relies on practical scenarios/industrial cases.
 OR domain and tool of Engineers while OM is considered to be one of the critical tools of Managers.
 OR considered more powerful to improve the whole system where as OM can be applied to a part of the system.
 OR relies on mathematical modeling while OM relies on practical scenarios/industrial cases.
Key Areas of Responsibility for an Operations Manager
Operations Managers job responsibility includes but is not limited to:
 Forecasting
 Capacity planning
 Scheduling
 Inventory Management
 Quality Assurance and Control
 Motivating employees
 Deciding where to locate facilities
The production system of an organization is that part, which produces products of an organization.
It is that activity whereby resources, flowing within a defined system, are combined and transformed in a controlled manner to add value in accordance with the policies communicated by management
The production system has the following characteristics:
1. Production is an organized activity, so every production system has an objective.
2. The system transforms the various inputs to useful outputs.
3. It does not operate in isolation from the other organization system.
4. There exists a feedback about the activities, which is essential to control and improve system performance.
Classification of Production System
Production systems can be classified as Job Shop, Batch, Mass and Continuous Production systems.
Fig. 1.3 Classification of production systems

Job Shop Production
Job shop production are characterized by manufacturing of one or few quantity of products designed and produced as per the specification of customers within prefixed time and cost. The distinguishing feature of this is low volume and high variety of products.
A job shop comprises of general purpose machines arranged into different departments. Each job demands unique technological requirements, demands processing on machines in a certain sequence.
The Job-shop production system is followed when there is:
1. High variety of products and low volume.
2. Use of general purpose machines and facilities.
3. Highly skilled operators who can take up each job as a challenge because of uniqueness.
4. Large inventory of materials, tools, parts.
5. Detailed planning is essential for sequencing the requirements of each product, capacities for each work centre and order priorities.
Following are the advantages of job shop production:
a. Because of general purpose machines and facilities variety of products can be produced.
b. Operators will become more skilled and competent, as each job gives them learning opportunities.
c. Full potential of operators can be utilized.
d. Opportunity exists for creative methods and innovative ideas.
Following are the limitations of job shop production:
a. Higher cost due to frequent set up changes.
b. Higher level of inventory at all levels and hence higher inventory cost.
c. Production planning is complicated.
d. Larger space requirements.
Batch Production
Batch production is defined by American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) “as a form of manufacturing in which the job passes through the functional departments in lots or batches and each lot may have a different routing.” It is characterized by the manufacture of limited number of products produced at regular intervals and stocked awaiting sales.
Batch production system is used under the following circumstances:
1. When there is shorter production runs.
2. When plant and machinery are flexible.
3. When plant and machinery set up is used for the production of item in a batch and change
of set up is required for processing the next batch.
4. When manufacturing lead time and cost are lower as compared to job order production.
Following are the advantages of batch production:
a. Better utilization of plant and machinery.
b. Promotes functional specialization.
c. Cost per unit is lower as compared to job order production.
d. Lower investment in plant and machinery.
e. Flexibility to accommodate and process number of products.
f. Job satisfaction exists for operators.
Following are the limitations of batch production:
a. Material handling is complex because of irregular and longer flows.
b. Production planning and control is complex.
c. Work in process inventory is higher compared to continuous production.
d. Higher set up costs due to frequent changes in set up.
Mass Production
Manufacture of discrete parts or assemblies using a continuous process are called mass production.
This production system is justified by very large volume of production. The machines are arranged in a line or product layout. Product and process standardization exists and all outputs follow the same path.
Characteristics of mass production
Mass production is used under the following circumstances:
1. Standardization of product and process sequence.
2. Dedicated special purpose machines having higher production capacities and output rates.
3. Large volume of products.
4. Shorter cycle time of production.
5. Lower in process inventory.
6. Perfectly balanced production lines.
7. Flow of materials, components and parts is continuous and without any back tracking.
8. Production planning and control is easy.
9. Material handling can be completely automatic.
Following are the advantages of mass production:
a. Higher rate of production with reduced cycle time.
b. Higher capacity utilization due to line balancing.
c. Less skilled operators are required.
d. Low process inventory.
e. Manufacturing cost per unit is low.
Following are the limitations of mass production:
a. Breakdown of one machine will stop an entire production line.
b. Line layout needs major change with the changes in the product design.
c. High investment in production facilities.
d. The cycle time is determined by the slowest operation.
Continuous Production
Production facilities are arranged as per the sequence of production operations from the first operations to the finished product. The items are made to flow through the sequence of operations through material handling devices such as conveyors, transfer devices, etc.
Continuous production is used under the following circumstances:
1. Dedicated plant and equipment with zero flexibility.
2. Material handling is fully automated.
3. Process follows a predetermined sequence of operations.
4. Component materials cannot be readily identified with final product.
5. Planning and scheduling is a routine action.
Following are the advantages of continuous production:
a. Standardization of product and process sequence.
b. Higher rate of production with reduced cycle time.
c. Higher capacity utilization due to line balancing.
d. Manpower is not required for material handling as it is completely automatic.
e. Person with limited skills can be used on the production line.
f. Unit cost is lower due to high volume of production.
Following are the limitations of continuous production:
a. Flexibility to accommodate and process number of products does not exist.
b. Very high investment for setting flow lines.
c. Product differentiation is limited
Production management is a process of planning, organizing, directing and controlling the activities of the production function. It combines and transforms various resources used in the production subsystem of the organization into value added product in a controlled manner as per the policies of the organization.
E.S. Buffa defines production management as, “Production management deals with decision making related to production processes so that the resulting goods or services are produced according to specifications, in the amount and by the schedule demanded and out of minimum cost.”
Objectives of Production Management
The objective of the production management is ‘to produce goods services of right quality and quantity at the right time and right manufacturing cost’.
1. RIGHT QUALITY: The quality of product is established based upon the customers needs.
The right quality is not necessarily best quality. It is determined by the cost of the product and the technical characteristics as suited to the specific requirements.
2. RIGHT QUANTITY: The manufacturing organization should produce the products in right number. If they are produced in excess of demand the capital will block up in the form of inventory and if the quantity is produced in short of demand, leads to shortage of products.
3. RIGHT TIME: Timeliness of delivery is one of the important parameter to judge the effectiveness of production department. So, the production department has to make the optimal utilization of input resources to achieve its objective.
4. RIGHT MANUFACTURING COST: Manufacturing costs are established before the product is actually manufactured. Hence, all attempts should be made to produce the products at pre-established cost, so as to reduce the variation between actual and the standard (pre established) cost.
1. What do you mean by ‘Production’?
2. What do you mean by production system?
3. What is batch production? What are its characteristics, advantages and limitations?
4. What is batch production? What are its characteristics, advantages and limitations?
5. What is mass production? What are its characteristics, advantages and limitations?
6. What is continuous production? What are its characteristics, advantages and limitations?
7. Explain in brief the objectives of production management.