Production Control

What is Production Control ?

The concept of production control refers to implementing the production plans and the schedules by aligning varied activities. It emphasizes on the fact that the actual performance and the budgeted performance are as per the underlying plans. To get the maximum benefit, the production control and the techniques involved under this are continuously evaluated and deviations are corrected timely. By adopting production control techniques, optimum utilization of the resources can be made and the machine capacity is utilized to the maximum extent with the least cost. 

Definition of Production Control

According to William Voris :
"Production control is defined as the task of coordinating manufacturing activities in accordance with manufacturing plans so that pre-conceived schedules can be attained with minimum economy and efficiency."

According to Bethed, Walter, Smith and Stackman :
"Production control is essentially the control of quantity in manufacturing".

Methods of Production Control

Following are the methods to carry out the production control :

Production control methods

1) Routing : 
Routing refers to the path or the route through which the manufacturing operations will carry out. Operational sequence for manufacturing a particular product is established and efforts are made to follow the established path.

2) Scheduling : 
Involvement of different jobs leads to fixation of the priorities by allocating the start and the end time to each of the job. So, for all the processes in the production, a start date and an end date is set.

3) Dispatching : 
Routing and scheduling are theoretical concept only and merely constitute written documents. Till now, the actual production has not taken place. While under the concept of dispatching, the paper work is transformed into the actual work as per scheme laid down in routing and scheduling. Under the concept of dispatching, various production activities are aligned and the orders are released to execute the plans.
According to James L. Landy, "The dispatching function involves the actual granting of permission to proceed according to plans already laid down. This is similar, in the case of traveler to his employer finally approving his vacation leave".

Functions of Dispatching

Dispatching includes the following functions : 

i) Issue of Move Orders : 
Under move orders, instructions are directed to the movement personnel to move the materials from stores to the manufacturing area or may be from one machine to the other.

ii) Issue of Tool Orders : 
Such orders are directed for the tool department to ensure the readiness of the tools, fixtures and jigs beforehand to avoid any loss of time when the operations commence.

iii) Issue of Job Orders (Job Tickets) : 
These orders carry instructions for the job foreman initiate the proceedings. They carry specific dates and the time for the completion of the work.

iv) Issue of Inspection Orders : 
As the name suggests, these orders are given to the inspection team to inspect various centres where production activities are carried out. Inspection may vary from one centre to another and for this reason specific instructions are given for the same.

v) Issue of Drawings :
Time Tickets, Instruction Cards and other Necessary Information: Under this, the operators are at the receiving end. The purpose is smooth and uninterrupted production while maintaining quality standards.

vi) Issue of Stare Orders : 
The stores are issued such orders to supply the material to the requisitionist only after proper authorization.

4) Expediting Follow-Up : 
This stage ensures that work is carried out as per the timing schedules and the delivery targets will be duly met. This function follows after the function of dispatching. It is closely related to the function of scheduling so as to give timely feedback and the targets and schedules are constantly reviewed.
Certain activities like status reporting, paying attention to certain bottlenecks in the process of production and removal of the same, controlling and detecting the deviations as per the plans, feedback and follow up of the tasks and regular monitoring of the progress throughout the production process, establishing co-ordination between the stores, purchase and the maintenance department and modification of the production plan as per the requirement.

Need of Expediting

Following may be the main reasons for expediting the process : 
  • Delay caused in the supply of materials.
  • Regular absenteeism. 
  • Modifications in the designing specifications.
  • Changes caused in the delivery schedule as a result of change in customer preferences.
  • Equipment and parts break downs like machinery breakdowns.
  • Errors that arise in the drawing and the process planning.

Benefits of Production Control

Following are the benefits of production control : 

1) Better Service to Customers: 
Delivery of goods is made to the customers as per the commitments. For that, the production also takes place as per the schedule. This gives confidence to the salesman in canvassing the customers and allocating the delivery dates. If the same is delivered in time, the customer confidence is gained and assists in building cordial relations with the customer.

2) Less Overtime Work : 
The production and the delivery dates are matched with each other and proper scheduling is maintained. This enables to conduct the activities within the respective time frame thereby causing fewer requirements for the overtime.

3) Need of Smaller Inventories of Work-in Process and Finished Goods : 
Those organizations that adopt production control. model face lesser Inventory levels and the investment in the inventory is also substantially reduced. Thus, there is lesser pressure on the monetary resources and they can have utilized elsewhere. The various customers' requirements are duly met as per the committed delivery dates. Moreover, one may also notice that the logistics cost is also reduced to an extent as the delivery can be better planned.

4) More Effective Purchasing : 
Under this approach, the material is more effectively handled, and thus the inventory is more efficiently and accurately managed.

5) Less Loss of Time : 
The flow of material should be as per the schedule prepared. The timing of the flow is evenly matched so that the workers don't have to wait and no idle time occurs. This will ultimately reduce the labour hours required. In the following manner, time of executives can be also saved :
  • They are required to attend and visit the site only when there is some serious error.
  • Time required for research purpose is saved.