Production Control: Meaning, Levels, Factors, and Objectives…All organizations irrespective of size, use production control to some degree. In small organizations, the production control may be performed by one person; but in large complex industries, the production control department is normally well-organized and highly specialized.
Production control presupposes the existence of production plans, and it involves the use of various control techniques to ensure product performance as per plans. Coordinating men and materials and machines are the task of production control.
Meaning and Definition of Production Control:
Production control may define as;
“The process of planning production in advance of operations; establishing the exact route of each individual item, part of assembly; setting, starting and finishing dates for each important item, assembly, and the finished products, and releasing the necessary orders as well as initiating the required follow-up to effective the smooth functioning of the enterprise.”
According to Henry Fayol as;
“Production control is the art and science of ensuring that all which occurs is following the rules established and the instructions issued.”
Thus, production control regulates the orderly flow of materials in the manufacturing process from the raw material stage to the finished product.
Production control aims at achieving production targets, optimum use of available resources, increased profits through productivity, better and more economic goods and services, etc. An effective production control system requires reliable information, sound organization structure, a high degree of standardization and trained personnel for its successful operation.
A sound production control system contributes to the efficient operation of a plant. In terms of manufacturing customer’s orders, production control assures a more positive and accurate completion and delivery date. Delivering an order on time is important to the customer and the development of customer goodwill. Production control also brings the plan and order to chaotic and haphazard manufacturing procedures.
This not only increases plant efficiency but also makes it a more pleasant place in which to work. Most people recognize that employees prefer to work and do better work under conditions of obvious control and plan. Morale may be considerably improved.
Effective production control also maintains working inventories at a minimum, making possible a real saving in both labor and material investment. Thus, good production control helps a company operate and produce more efficiently and achieve the lowest possible costs.
Levels of Production Control:
Production control starts with some particular goal and formulation of some general strategy for the accomplishment of desired objectives.
There are three levels of production control namely programming, ordering, and dispatching. They are;
- Programming plans the output of products for the factory as a whole.
- Ordering plans the output of components from the suppliers and processing departments.
- Dispatching considers each processing department in turn and plans the output from the machine, tools and other work centers to complete the orders by the due date.
Factors that determine production control operations:
The kinds of production control operations vary from organization to organization.
The following factors affect the kinds and magnitude of production control methods in an organization:
Kinds of production:
In job-oriented manufacturing, products and operations are designed for some particular order which mayor may not be repeated in the future. Here production usually requires more time, whereas in a continuous manufacturing system inventory problems are more complex but control operations are rather simple due to fixed process. In mixed stock and custom manufacturing systems, the problem of control is further complicated due to the simultaneous scheduling of the combined process.
Kinds of operations/activities:
In intermittent manufacturing system, the operations are markedly varied in terms of their nature, sequence, and duration. Due to this the control procedure requires continuous modifications and adjustments to suit the requirements of each order.
The magnitude of operations:
Centralized control secures the most effective coordination but as an organization grows in size, decentralization of some production control function becomes necessary. The degree to which the performance of an activity should be decentralized depends upon the scope of operations and convenience of their locations.
Objectives of Production Control:
The success of an enterprise greatly depends on the performance of its production control department. The major objective of production control is to gain maximum output from minimum input of resources. Production control regulates the orderly flow of material from the raw stage to finish the stage. It highlights the control mechanism based on the flow of material throughout the organization.
The production control department generally has to perform the following functions:
- Provision of raw material, equipment, machines, and labor.
- The resources are used in the best possible manner in such a way that the cost of production is minimized and the delivery date is maintained.
- To organize production schedules in conformity with the demand forecasts.
- Determination of economic production runs to reduce setup costs.
- Proper coordination of the operations of various sections/ departments responsible for production.
- It is also responsible for product design and development.
- To ensure regular and timely supply of raw material at the desired place and of prescribed quality and quantity to avoid delays in production.
- To perform an inspection of semi-finished and finished goods and use quality control techniques to ascertain that the produced items are of required specifications.
Thus the fundamental objective of production control is to regulate and control the various operations of the production process in such a way that orderly flow of material is ensured at different stages of the production and the items are produced of the right quality in the right quantity at the right time with minimum efforts and cost.
Another objective of Production control is proper tooling and plant layout. A sequential arrangement of plant and machinery leads to minimizing delays and less wastage due to the transfer of material from one place to another. It has an objective of routing a work within the factory. Production control also regulates inventory management and organizes production schedules.
Major functions of production control are to offer assemblies and products of needed quality and quantity at the precise time and harmonize, scrutinize and feedback to manufacturing management, offer maximum uses of resources and accomplish major objective to cut down cost and trustworthy consumer services.