Types of Production

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Types of Production

Job Production- is making one thing at a time. Job production is used when a firm manufacturers labour intensive products. Each product has a unique design based upon the customer's specification. These products often require highly skilled labourand have high costs and can be very expensive. They are usually unique and take a long time to make. High levels of supervision, skilled work force and often a tall hierachy may be required.

Mass Production is making lots of things continuously. This is also known as flow production. All products are identical and the aim is to produce at lowest cost. To be efficient, production has to be continuous with no stoppages. Many mass production factories operate 24 hours a day with working rotating in shifts. Mass production is highly competative. It costs a lot to buy captial but it is cheap to run afterwards. Modern mass production techniques use robots not people to do most of the work. Managerial spans of control are wide, structures flat and this links in well with production techniques such as just in time production.

Batch Production is a bath of products which are produced identicially, then machines are retooled an a new, similar, but slightly batch of the product is produced, e,g, different paints.

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Lean Production refers primarily to the Japanese production techniques such as just in time production. These are techniques that attempt to keep production costs to a minimum. It attempts to reduce the total inputs compared to output.

Just In Time Production originated in Japan and was pioneered by firms such as Toyota and is now being adopted by many UK firms. The idea behind JIT is to reduce production costs by always keeping stocks of components, raw materials, work in progress and stocks of the finished product to a minimum.

  • Finished goods are produced just in tme for them to be sold.
  • Components and raw materials arrive just in time to be turned into the finished product. Toyota receive components four hours before use.
  • All sources off uncertainty must be remove from the production process. This includes unreliable suppliers or equipment. Buffer stocks are not kept.
  • Where possible one supplier should be used. A relationship should be built up with the supper and the supplier should be involved in the research and design process from the inception of new products.
  • All bottlenecks must be eliminated from the production process. Continuous improvement may be introduced to improve communication with thr workforce and improve the production process. The firm may move to a flatter organisational structure.
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Organising JIT

JIT is dependant upon the smooth flow of production. Work is usually organised into groups or cells. In practice each team member will be multi-skilled allowing them to perform a number of operations. This should allow the continuous flow of production. The layout o the production line may be organised using CPA. Nissan's factory in Sunderland was built on this basis with groups and just three job specifications in order to overcome demarcation problems.

Benefits of JIT

  • Lower warehouse costs, releasing capital elsewhere
  • It forces firms to address problems, e.g, bottlenecks or poor suppliers
  • Production control is easier- since products are sold immediately any problems such as quality should be quickly identified and rectified.
  • Group work could increase morale and hence productivity.
  • Better components should be produced if a relationship is built up with suppliers.
  • Therefore, both productivity and quality should be increased.
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