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Text 4 Production Management

Production or operations management includes planning, coordination and control of industrial processes. Modern industrial enterprises organise themselves either around different products or along product lines in which each division is responsible for a group of products. In this case the focus is always on the product and how it can be improved. Typical production operations are very complex. There are few number of changes that can be made during production cycle. To solve operations management problems there has been developed a body of quantitative methods. Most of these techniques have come from the fields of industrial engineering, operations research and systems engineering. Specialists in these fields are increasingly using innovative technology, computers and information processing to solve production problems. Now many mass production operations could be run without support of industrial engineers and technical specialists.

To improve productivity managers launch lean manufacturing. Its aim is to eliminate waste in every area of production that leads to less human effort, less inventory, less time to develop products and less factory spare.

The aim of production management is to ensure that goods are produced effectively to the satisfaction of customers. In manufacturing a production manager is responsible for a product, its quality and process design, for planning and control issues as well as for organisation and supervision of workers. In small private companies production managers make many of the decisions themselves while in big and public enterprises there are special planners, controllers, production engineers and supervisors who assist them. Much of the work involves full operational control including engineering, output, personnel, logistics and other activities such as sales and marketing.

Production supervisors known as shift managers or shift masters report to operations managers and are responsible for achieving immediate or short-term objectives such as output, quality, waste, yield, safety and overtime costs. Much of this work requires the ability to make immediate decisions.

To conclude, it is important to mention that production management can be formulated as the concept of the five Ms - men, machines, methods, materials and money.

Answer the questions:

1. How do industrial enterprises organise their work?

2. What stages are included into production management?

3. What fields of science did technological processes usually come from?

4. What innovations do industrial engineers use to solve production problems?

5. What is the aim of production management?

6. What is lean manufacturing?

7. How do production managers organise their work in small private companies?

8. What is a production supervisor?

9. What is a production supervisor responsible for?

10. How can the concept of production management be formulated?


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