Production Management : Definition, Function and Scope

Production Management : Definition, Function and Scope

Meaning of Production Management:
Production Management refers to the application of management principles to the production function in a factory. In other words, production management involves application of planning, organizing, directing and controlling the production process.

The application of management to the field of production has been the result of at least three developments:

(i) First is the development of factory system of production. Until the emergence of the concept of manufacturing, there was no such thing as management as we know it. It is true that people operated business of one type or another, but for the most part, these people were owners of business and did not regard themselves as managers as well,

(ii) Essentially stems from the first, namely, the development of the large corporation with many owners and the necessity to hire people to operate the business,

(iii) Stems from the work of many of the pioneers of scientific management who were able to demonstrate the value, from a performance and profit point of view, of some of the techniques they were developing.

Definition of Production Management :

It is observed that one cannot demarcate the beginning and end points of Production Management in an establishment. The reason is that it is interrelated with many other functional areas of business, viz., marketing, finance, industrial relation policies etc.

Alternately, Production Management is not independent of marketing, financial and personnel management due to which it is very difficult to formulate some single appropriate definition of Production Management.

In short, the main activities of production management can be listed as:

(i) Specification and procurement of input resources namely management, material, and land, labour, equipment and capital.

(ii) Product design and development to determine the production process for transforming the input factors into output of goods and services.

(iii) Supervision and control of transformation process for efficient production of goods and services.

Functions of Production Management:

The definitions discussed above clearly shows that the concept of production management is related mainly to the organizations engaged in production of goods and services. Earlier these organizations were mostly in the form of one man shops having insignificant problems of managing the productions.

But with development and expansion of production organizations in the shape of factories more complicated problems like location and lay out, inventory control, quality control, routing and scheduling of the production process etc. came into existence which required more detailed analysis and study of the whole phenomenon.

This resulted in the development of production management in the area of factory management. In the beginning the main function of production management was to control labour costs which at that time constituted the major proportion of costs associated with production.

But with development of factory system towards mechanization and automation the indirect labour costs increased tremendously in comparison to direct labour costs, e.g., designing and packing of the products, production and inventory control, plant layout and location, transportation of raw materials and finished products etc. The planning and control of all these activities required more expertise and special techniques.

In modern times production management has to perform a variety of functions, namely:

(i) Design and development of production process.

(ii) Production planning and control.

(iii) Implementation of the plan and related activities to produce the desired output.

(iv) Administration and co-ordination of the activities of various components and departments responsible for producing the necessary goods and services.

However, the responsibility of determining the output characteristics and the distribution strategy followed by an organization including pricing and selling policies are normally outside the scope of Production Management.

Scope of Production Management:

The scope of production management is indeed vast. Commencing with the selection of location, production management covers such activities as acquisition of land, constructing building, procuring and installing machinery, purchasing and storing raw materials and converting them into saleable products. Added to the above are other related topics such as quality management, maintenance management, production planning and control, methods improvement and work simplification and other related areas.

production management cycle
production management cycle

Factors related to design in PM cycle are:
1. Product design
2. Job and process design
3. Labour skills and training programs
4. Equipment selection
5. Material selection input
6. Plant selection and layout
7. Scheduling steps of the plan
8. Implementing and controlling the schedule
9. Operating the production system

Factors related to control systems in PM cycle are:
1. Inventory control policies
2. Quality control policies
3. Production schedule control policies
4. Productivity and cost control policies
5. Constructing control systems
6. Implementing and operating control systems
7. Modifying policies and designs

Sachin Thorat

Sachin is a B-TECH graduate in Mechanical Engineering from a reputed Engineering college. Currently, he is working in the sheet metal industry as a designer. Additionally, he has interested in Product Design, Animation, and Project design. He also likes to write articles related to the mechanical engineering field and tries to motivate other mechanical engineering students by his innovative project ideas, design, models and videos.

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