1. Assumptions Made During Production
- The labour resource output is constant throughout the production process.
- When calculating the cost, we assume that the amount of work put in by the human resource is consistent with the projections.
- That the workers never miss work during the project.
- We assume that such challenges never face the workers as a sickness that would make them miss a day of work.
- That workers work a standard 8 hours daily with no overtime.
- We have not created a provision for working overtime or given any rates for calculating overtime wages.
- That there is no labour turnover.
- The process only uses the workforce present at the start of production up to the end. I.e. there is no exit or recruitment.
- That there is no other factor affecting production other than the size of the workforce.
- That the production engineer will be involved in every step of production
2. Steps Were Taken by the Production Manager to Reduce Risk
Risk is any incident that can happen in the place of work when least expected and usually results in losses or injury to workers (Michel & Galai, 2000). It is always prudent that the manager assesses the working environment and identify the risks most likely to be faced. Risk management is the scientific approach involved with quantifying the probability of an event occurring and the effects of the occurrence (Andreas, 2006). Risk is an essential part of every venture, and an entry would gain no benefits does not take risks. Some practical approaches to alleviating the possibility of a risk happening and mitigation measures if and when a threat occurs are (Andreas, 2006);
- Making sure all the workers use proper equipment and wear protective gear.
- Making sure that the place of work has a strategic exit point in case a risk occurs, e.g. fire.
- Installing fire fighting equipment and making sure they are well maintained.
- Properly securing the production plant to prevent the risk of theft.
- Taking the relevant insurance cover to acquire the assets.
This measures, coupled by creating awareness amongst the workers, rehearsing evacuation and first aid drills, would go a long way in ensuring safety in the workplace is guaranteed. The manager should employ risk management strategies most relevant to his company.
3. Reduction of the Budget (Cost-Cutting Measures)
Budgeting is the process through which an entity formulates a plan to utilise his/her monetary resources by allocating them amongst the various tasks depending on a variety of factors (Alan & Gilberti, 2003). Many business enterprises, due to market dynamics, have been forced to look for cost-cutting measures to increase the profitability of a firm and to maintain its competitiveness. The production manager can use a variety of approaches to cut on the cost. Such steps include;
- Recruiting skilled interns- the manager could use the help of interns to supplement the effort of his current workforce. This would help reduce the time frame of the project and resolving over allocation issues effectively cutting down on cost.
- Automation of processes where possible- the production manager could advocate for the mechanization of some methods. This would help in increasing the effectiveness of the workers, reducing the time taken.
- Outsourcing- outsourcing involves identifying non-core operations in business and contracting them to an outside firm which has more significant expertise in carrying out that operation at lower costs (Greaver & F, 1999). the project manager would recommend outsourcing some non-core production functions to specialists companies. This would substantially reduce the cost of production and ensure effective use of time.
- Economies of scale- the manager, could work on ways of increasing the output significantly so that the amount of profits earned supersedes the cost.
- HR initiative- the manager, would let each member participate in giving ideas and raising suggestions on ways in which the production process would be made more effective. Human resource forms an integral part of every production process, and HR initiative is one of the best methods of bringing out the best in the workers (Noe & Raymond, 2006).
This is some of the ways the manager would use in cost reduction.
4. The Smooth Running of the Product Development Process
The project manager’s most important responsibility is ensuring that the production goes on as planned. Some of the prudent steps the manager would take to make sure that all goes well during the whole process include;
- Have a deep and detailed understanding of the production process- the manager should make sure he equips himself with all the requisite knowledge about the product.
- Teamwork- the manager, should make sure that all the processes are harmonised and that all workers are in sync. This would help in ensuring all the employees pull towards the same goal.
- Setting objectives- the manager would set objectives which would act as a guideline and reference point during the whole process. Objectives are critical if the desired target is to be achieved.
- Creating a schedule- the time is one of the essential resources. A work schedule would ensure that time is used correctly hence avoiding any delays during production.
- Leading frequent team meetings- the manager should conduct regular meetings with his staff to get updates and to solve any challenges that have come up in the course of a production.
- Conducting random inspections- the manager should carry out random checks throughout the production period to keep the staff on their toes. In essence, this would help reduce complacency amongst the workers.
- Budgeting- a budget is an essential tool in today’s business world. A manager should ensure that all production activities are carried out within the confines of the stipulated budget.
- Motivating workers- the manager should keep on driving the workers since they would be faced with numerous challenges all through the production period.
5. Project-Related Supporting Activities, Plans, Events or Tasks that you Might Have Overlooked
- We are conducting a consumer survey.
The company, before undertaking to produce, should have conducted an opinion poll to have the consumers say on the intended product. Consumers are one of the essential parts of a firm’s success. Factors affecting the consumer’s demand for a product vary a lot. Nowadays, the market survey is a critical method in identifying the needs of the market and identifying market gaps to be exploited. The firm should have used the various statistical purposes of collecting data from the masses; then the data would be analysed. The results of the analysis would provide a clear picture of the market needs.
- We are assessing environmental impact.
The company should have formed a team to conduct a study on the environmental impacts that would result from production. An environmental assessment report would help in deciding whether it was wise to go ahead with the planned output and would also help in devising proper ways of handling and dumping wastes after production
6. Ensuring Product Quality is Maintained
The quality of a product is what a company prides itself in. Faulty products have been associated with repair costs and at times, cost of replacement. Many firms have been affected by this as defective products jeopardise the reputation of a producer. The two main methods used in ensuring the product is of the right quality are;
- Quality assurance- it involves checking the product at every stage of production. As the product passes through different departments, it is checked to ensure that it is of the right quality. At times tests are carried out to help out in gauging the quality. Usually, samples are picked during production, and in some big companies, the condition is checked in computerised systems reducing the possibility of having a product. It ensures that the right raw material is used during production and that each product is produced within a specified time. Maintenance of equipment is an essential part of ensuring quality is maintained.
- Quality control- it’s conducted by quality control inspectors. The inspectors set the threshold to be exceeded by the goods. Quality control is quite an old fashioned method of guaranteeing quality. Raw materials are sampled and analysed, and if they are of the required quality production is allowed to start. During production samples of the unfinished product are collected and tested. This helps in ensuring the production process is devoid of ant defects. Once production is complete, the products are again checked before being dispatched to the consumers. However, this practice is quite expensive and wasteful; thus, many companies have embraced quality assurance rather than quality control.