6.6.1 What is a production strategy?

The primary mission of production strategies is planning the production schedule within budgetary limitations and time constraints. They do this by analyzing the plant’s personnel and capital resources to select the best way of meeting the production quota. Production strategies determine (often using mathematical formulas) which machines will be used, whether new machines need to be purchased, whether overtime or extra shifts are necessary, and what the sequence of production will be. They monitor the production run to make sure that it stays on schedule and correct any problems that may arise.

Because the work of many departments is interrelated, production managers work closely with heads of other departments such as sales, procurement, and logistics to plan and implement company goals, policies, and procedures. For example, the production manager works with the procurement department to ensure that plant inventories are maintained at their optimal level. This is vital to a firm’s operation because maintaining the inventory of materials necessary for production ties up the firm’s financial resources, yet insufficient quantities cause delays in production. Therefore a major component of a production strategy is inventory management and control.

1 Edward A. Silver, David F. Pyke, Rein Peterson, 1998