Production control is the process of planning production in advance of operations; establishing the exact route of each individual item, part or assembly; setting, starting and finishing dates for each important item, assembly an the finished products; and releasing the necessary orders as well as initiating the required follow-up to effect the smooth functioning of the enterprise.
Thus production control involves the following stages:
(i)Planning â€“ setting targets of production.
(ii) Routing â€“ to decide the route or flow of production activity.
(iii) Dispatching â€“ to issue materials and authorizations for the use of machines and plant services.
(iv) Follow-up â€“ it compares the actual production with the targeted production. Deviations are found out and corrected and reasons are investigated.
Inventory control deals with the control over raw materials, work-in-progress, finished products, stores supplies, tools etc. The management of these items is closely related with the production function and so is included in production management.
The raw materials, supplies etc. should be purchased at right time, of right quality, in right quantity, from right source and at right price. These five â€˜Râ€™s consideration enable the scientific purchases.
Store-keeping is also an important aspect of inventory control. The inventory consists of raw materials, operating supplies, tools, finished goods and work-in-process. Different levels of these as per the inventory policy must be maintained and issued promptly whenever required.
The long-run success of the business largely depends on its ability to maintain the quality standards as acceptable to customer. The quality standards are prescribed in terms of specification like size, color, shape, tastes etc. The quality control is maintained by testing the actual production and by ascertaining whether they conform to the set standards. All the materials inputs for different stages of production are inspected.
Standard methods should be devised for performing the repetitive functions efficiently. Unnecessary movements should be eliminated and suitable positioning of the workers for different processes should be developed. Such methods are devised with the help of time study and motion study. The workers should be trained accordingly.
Maintenance and Replacement
This includes preventive maintenance methods to avoid machine breakdowns, scheduled and breakdown maintenance, policies regarding repair and replacement decisions. Maintenance manpower is to be scheduled and repair jobs are to be sequenced based on priority.
Cost reduction and Control
Cost reduction ultimately improves productivity. The industry becomes competitive. Value engineering, budgetary control, standard costing, cost control of labor and material etc help us to keep our costs optimal.
All production decisions are subject to control measures, after receiving proper feedback. Control function is exercised over the quantity to be produced, quality expected, time needed, inventory consumed and carried and costs incurred. Control system is designed after due cost benefit analysis. Controls can be selective. A self-controlling cybernetic system though preferable is not possible in all complex industries.