The Production Process: How Do We Make It?

The Production Process: How Do We Make It?

  1. What types of production processes do manufacturers and service firms use?

In production planning, the first decision involves which type of production process—the way a good or service is created—best fits with company goals and customer demand. An important consideration is the type of good or service being produced, because different goods may require different production processes. In general, there are three types of production: mass production, mass customization, and customization. In addition to production type, operations managers also classify production processes in two ways: (1) how inputs are converted into outputs and (2) the timing of the process.

One for All: Mass Production

Mass production, manufacturing many identical goods at once, was a product of the Industrial Revolution. Henry Ford’s Model-T automobile is a good example of early mass production. Each car turned out by Ford’s factory was identical, right down to its color. If you wanted a car in any color except black, you were out of luck. Canned goods, over-the-counter drugs, and household appliances are other examples of goods that are mass-produced.

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