Production/operations management is the process, which combines and transforms various
resources used in the production/operations subsystem of the organization into value added
product/services in a controlled manner as per the policies of the organization. Therefore, it is
that part of an organization, which is concerned with the transformation of a range of inputs into
the required (products/services) having the requisite quality level.
The set of interrelated management activities, which are involved in manufacturing certain
products, is called as production management. If the same concept is extended to services
management, then the corresponding set of management activities is called as operations
1.2 HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF PRODUCTION AND OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
For over two centuries operations and production management has been recognised as an
important factor in a countrys economic growth.
The traditional view of manufacturing management began in eighteenth century when Adam
Smith recognised the economic benefits of specialisation of labour. He recommended breaking
of jobs down into subtasks and recognises workers to specialised tasks in which they would
become highly skilled and efficient. In the early twentieth century, F.W. Taylor implemented
Smiths theories and developed scientific management. From then till 1930, many techniques
were developed prevailing the traditional view. Brief information about the contributions to
manufacturing management is shown in the Table 1.1.
TABLE 1.1 Historical summary of operations management
Date Contribution Contributor
1776 Specialization of labour in manufacturing Adam Smith
1799 Interchangeable parts, cost accounting Eli Whitney and others
1832 Division of labour by skill; assignment of jobs by skill;
basics of time study Charles Babbage
1900 Scientific management time study and work study
developed; dividing planning and doing of work Frederick W. Taylor
1900 Motion of study of jobs Frank B. Gilbreth
1901 Scheduling techniques for employees, machines jobs in
manufacturing Henry L. Gantt
1915 Economic lot sizes for inventory control F.W. Harris
1927 Human relations; the Hawthorne studies Elton Mayo
1931 Statistical inference applied to product quality: quality
control charts W.A. Shewart
1935 Statistical sampling applied to quality control: inspection
sampling plans H.F. Dodge H.G. Roming
1940 Operations research applications in World War II P.M. Blacker and others.
1946 Digital computer John Mauchlly and
1947 Linear programming G.B. Dantzig, Williams
1950 Mathematical programming, on-linear and stochastic A. Charnes, W.W. Cooper
1951 Commercial digital computer: large-scale computations
available. Sperry Univac
1960 Organizational behaviour: continued study of people
at work L. Cummings, L. Porter
1970 Integrating operations into overall strategy and policy, W. Skinner J. Orlicky and
Computer applications to manufacturing, Scheduling G. Wright
and control, Material requirement planning (MRP)
1980 Quality and productivity applications from Japan: W.E. Deming and
robotics, CAD-CAM J. Juran.
Production management becomes the acceptable term from 1930s to 1950s. As
F.W. Taylors works become more widely known, managers developed techniques that focussed
on economic efficiency in manufacturing. Workers were studied in great detail to eliminate
wasteful efforts and achieve greater efficiency. At the same time, psychologists, socialists and
other social scientists began to study people and human behaviour in the working environment.
In addition, economists, mathematicians, and computer socialists contributed newer, more
sophisticated analytical approaches.
With the 1970s emerges two distinct changes in our views. The most obvious of these,
reflected in the new name operations management was a shift in the service and manufacturing
sectors of the economy. As service sector became more prominent, the change from production
to operations emphasized the broadening of our field to service organizations. The second, more
suitable change was the beginning of an emphasis on synthesis, rather than just analysis, in
1.3 CONCEPT OF PRODUCTION
Production function is that part of an organization, which is concerned with the transformation
of a range of inputs into the required outputs (products) having the requisite quality level.
Production is defined as the step-by-step conversion of one form of material into
another form through chemical or mechanical process to create or enhance the utility of
the product to the user. Thus production is a value addition process. At each stage of
processing, there will be value addition.
Edwood Buffa defines production as a process by which goods and services are created.
Some examples of production are: manufacturing custom-made products like, boilers with a
specific capacity, constructing flats, some structural fabrication works for selected customers,
etc., and manufacturing standardized products like, car, bus, motor cycle, radio, television, etc.
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