Operations/Production Management

What is operations/production management?

Effective Operations/Production management should provide a robust production schedule that gets work completed on time without requiring frequent rescheduling of resources/work centers. A production system is analogous to a chain in that just as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, an operations unit can produce only as much as it’s slowest resource—the capacity constraint resource (CCR). Therefore, to schedule or improve a non-CCR resource to produce more than the CCR can process has little global benefit. Such over-activation increases lead times, increases the dollars invested in work-in-process inventory with no corresponding benefit, and usually reduces the firm’s responsiveness to clients by consuming valuable human and material resources doing things that won’t be needed until later—if they’re needed at all. A simple approach to operations management know as "Drum/Buffer/Rope" is taught and implemented.

What are the benefits of operations/production management?

The benefits of an operations management methodology focusing on capacity-constrained resources include:

  • More effective utilization of scarce human and material resources
  • Lower levels of work-in-process inventory
  • Better responsiveness to customer needs
  • The discovery of "hidden" capacity

What can CIRAS do for my company?

CIRAS can provide a productivity team expert to facilitate the entire Drum/Buffer/Rope implementation process from the initial training, to planning the operations changes, to doing an assessment of the changes as they are implemented. This process requires the participation of a cross section of people within the organization, including senior management, financial management, shop floor workers (if it is a manufacturing process) or office workers if it is non-manufacturing process.

What is my next step?

Contact these staff members to see what CIRAS can do for you:

Michael R. O'Donnell515-509-4379  modonnll@iastate.edu
Michael Willett319-240-2488  mwillett@iastate.edu


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Last updated: 8/5/2013