Operations theory

Operations illustration

Methods of production

Two major processes should come together in the preparation of a product or service for market:

1. Market research to find out what people want to buy, and how they want it

2. Product design and development to look at different ways of producing a good or service.

There are several different methods of producing goods and services.

Job production

Involves the production of single, individual items. For example, a boat-builder might get an order to produce a one-off yacht, or a hairdresser may be asked to create a style for one person for a special occasion.

Firms might specialise in producing one-off jobs such as customised motor bikes.

Batch production

Means the production of batches of similar products. For example, a baker might produce batches of jam doughnuts, cream buns, eccles cakes and so on.

Flow production

Involves passing sub-assemblies/parts from one stage of production to another in a regular flow. Each stage adds to the products. For example a modern bottling plant used by Coca-Cola or Cadbury Schweppes would use this approach.

Mass production

nvolves the production of products on a large scale. This sometimes involves flow production, but there may be only one stage in the production process.

Of mass produced products using continuous flow techniques include:

  • bottling plant e.g. Coca-Cola
  • car manufacturing e.g. Audi
  • printing e.g. Polestar
  • construction e.g. Portakabin.