PRODUCT- PROCESS MIX
Product-process mix helps us understand why and how manufacturing organizations change their production operations. With changes in products, market requirements and competition, the equipments, processes, procedures and human resources skills also will change. If process changes are not carried out to accommodate process life cycles, products and processes become incompatible, resulting in competitive disadvantage.
As the product shifts to a different stage, the manufacturing process structure also shifts and new manufacturing priorities emerge. Manufacturing flexibility and quality are the competitive priorities in start up and rapid growth stages. Priorities shift towards dependable delivery and competitive cost in the later stages, viz., maturity and decline.
Deciding among Processing Alternatives
To summarize, it may be noted that, production systems tend to evolve as products move through their products life cycles. Two principles, fundamental to the concept of process life cycles:
1. Product life cycles and process life cycles are interdependent, and each affects the other. The production processes affect production costs, quality and production volume, which in turn affects the volume of products that can be sold.
Similarly, the volume of products that are sold affects the type of production processes that can be justified.
2. Seldom do production processes move continuously along the ideal diagonal.
Business strategies are developed for each major product line, the determination of the volume of demand that is expected for each product and the number of product models necessary to appeal to the market are important factors in choosing the type of process design.