Comparison of process structures and characteristics
Different types of Process:Project:In a project, the inputs are brought to the project location as they are needed; there is no flow inthe process.The firm brings together the resources as needed, coordinating them using projectmanagement techniques.Since there is no flow of product - the quantity produced usually isequal to one.Example: building constructionJob Shop:Companies choosing a job process often bid for work. Typically, they make products to orderand dont produce them ahead of time. The specific needs of the next customer are unknown, andthe timing of repeat orders from the same customer is unpredictable. Each new order is handledas a single unit--as a job.Batch Process:Products are produced in batches, for example, to fill specific customer orders. A batch process executesdifferent production runs for different products. The disadvantage is the setup time required to changefrom one product to the other, but the advantage is that some flexibility in product mix can be achievedAssembly Line Process:An assembly line processes work in fixed sequence. However, the assembly line connects the activitiesand paces them, for example, with a conveyor belt. A good example of an assembly line is anautomobile plant.Continuous Process:Like the assembly line, a continuous flow process has a fixed pace and fixed sequence of activities.Rather than being processed in discrete steps, the product is processed in a continuous flow; its quantitytends to be measured in weight or volume. The direct labor content and associated skill is low, but theskill level required to oversee the sophisticated equipment in the process may be high. Petroleumrefineries and sugar processing facilities use a continuous flow process.
Comparison of Process Structures and Characteristics Job Batch Assembly Continuous Project Shop Process Line Flow Flow None Continuous Flexibility High Low No. of Products High LowCapital Investment Low High Variable Cost High Low Labor Content High Low Labor Skill High Low Volume Low HighProject • Flow - no flow • Flexibility - very high • Products - unique • Capital investment - very low • Variable cost - very high • Labor content and skill - very high • Volume - oneJob Shop • Flow - jumbled flow • Flexibility - high • Products - many • Capital investment - low • Variable cost - high • Labor content and skill - high • Volume - low
Batch Process • Flow - disconnected, with some dominant flows • Flexibility - moderate • Products - several • Capital investment - moderate • Variable cost - moderate • Labor content and skill - moderate • Volume - moderateAssembly Line Process • Flow - connected line • Flexibility - low • Products - a few • Capital investment - high • Variable cost - low • Labor content and skill - low • Volume - highContinuous Flow Process • Flow - continuous • Flexibility - very low • Products - one • Capital investment - very high • Variable cost - very low • Labor content and skill - very low, but with skilled overseers • Volume - very high.