Production control is one of the most important and fundamental functions of an enterprise. It ensures the desired output of specified quality at the prescribed time in the most economical way to meet an approved sales programme. Production planning only prescribes and outlines the objectives and provides guidelines for various activities involved in the transformation process of inputs into output. But it is production control which directs and regulates all the activities of a production process. It verifies whether the activities are going in accordance with production plant or not.
Definition of Production Control
There is lot of disagreement between different experts of management regarding the meaning of production control. The term itself appears to be quite confusing and misleading. In literary sense control means action to check/regulate. In the opinion of Mary Cushing Niles, “Control is the maintaining of a balance in activities towards a goal or set of goals evolved during production planning.” Planning only outlines some course of action whereas control is an execution process involving standardization, evaluation and corrective functions.
Necessity of Production Control
Production process of an enterprise is a system consisting of material, labor and equipment joined together by some dependence imposed by operations. Input factors in the process are always uncontrollable. The controller of a production process tries to control the output so that it is in conformity with the target set by the marketing department. Production control tries to channelize the manufacturing process in such a manner that goods and services are produced according to the requirements of the consumer i.e. of right quality, shape and quantity at the desired time.
In the present era of cut- throat competition, production control is a boon for an enterprise. It tries to take corrective measures whenever there is some deviation from the planned strategy. Billy E. Goetz has rightly said that “Management planning seeks consistent, integrated and articulated programmes.
” Production control aims to fulfill these needs. In the report on the elimination of waste in industry, President Hoover’s committee states that “Production control is the half mark of production efficiency, it is the pivot around which the success of production revolves and is a necessity and not a luxury; a profitable investment and not an expense.”
Roles of Production Planning and Control in Organization
The success of an enterprise greatly depends on the performance of its production control department. The production control department generally has to perform the following functions
(i) provision of raw material, equipment, machines and labor.
(ii) to organize production schedule in conformity with the demand forecasts.
(iii) the resources are used in the best possible manner in such a way that the cost of production is minimized and delivery date is maintained.
(iv) determination of economic production runs with a view to reduce setup costs.
(v) proper co-ordination of the operations of various sections/departments responsible for production.
(vi) to ensure regular and timely supply of raw material at the desired place and of prescribed quality and quantity to avoid delays in production.
(vii) to perform inspection of semi-finished and finished goods and use quality control techniques to ascertain that the produced items are of required specifications.
(viii) it is also responsible for product design and development.
Thus the fundamental objective of production control is to regulate and control the various operations of production process in such a way that orderly flow of material is ensured at different stages of the production and the items are produced of right quality at the right time with minimum efforts and cost.