- Describe batch production
Batch production is a method used to produce similar items in groups, stage by stage. In batch production, the product goes through each stage of the process together before moving on to the next stage. The degree to which workers are involved in this type of production depends on the type of product. It is common for machinery to be used for the actual production and workers participate only at the beginning and end of the process.
Examples of batch production include the following:
American Leather, a Dallas-based furniture manufacturer, uses mass customization to produce couches and chairs to customer specifications within 30 days. The basic frames in the furniture are the same, but automated cutting machinery precuts the color and type of leather ordered by each customer. Using mass-production techniques, they are then added to each frame.
- Unit costs are lower since larger numbers are made.
- Customers are offered some variety and choice.
- Materials can be bought in bulk, so they are less expensive.
- Production is flexible since different batches are made.
- Workers specialize in one process.
- Workers are often less motivated because the work becomes repetitive.
- Set-up costs are initially high.
- Products are expensive to move around the workplace.
- Storage space will be needed to store raw materials.