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A business must decide on the most suitable method to manufacture its goods or to provide services.
When deciding how to produce, the objective of the firm will be to minimise the cost per unit of

Production is sometimes divided into three methods, namely,

• Job production
• Batch production
• Flow production

Job production

Job production - this is a method of production where companies use all their factors of production
to complete one job at a time. This will usually happen where products are all unique or they are
being produced on a very small scale.

An example of job production is making wedding cakes. Each cake will be produced just for that
customer and will have specific details, although the base of the cake may be produced via batch
production. Batch production and mass production, also known as flow production, are common
alternatives to job production. In the case of building construction, elements produced by mass
production are assembled in batch processes for implementation into the final specific job.

Benefits and disadvantages

Key benefits of job production include enhanced quality and customization to the customers
specifications. There is also significant flexibility available, especially compared to mass

Some liabilities are higher cost and time of production.

Allows for flexibility of the workforce
Quick response to changes in the market place

More training required for workers to be mutli-skilled


Job Production is the process by which a one-off product is created to the specifications of an
individual customer. Most of this is undertaken by smaller firms which are able to satisfy the niche
markets not filled by larger businesses.

Batch production

Batch production is used to produce or process any product in groups that are called batches , as
opposed to a continuous production process, or a one-time production. An example of batch
production can be found in a bakery. The products, for example bread, are made in batches of
however many will fit in the baker's oven at a time. When that batch is made the baker will start the
process again with a new batch. Batch production techniques are used in the manufacture of
specialty chemicals such as active pharmaceutical ingredients, inks, paints and adhesives.

This type of production is used when a number of identical items are produced by a team. It is cost
effective because it takes less time for the team to make a garment than it would for one person
working alone. The team share the responsibility of the different tasks and equipment. The members
of the team are usually skilled in more than one particular task. This flexibility allows the team to be
able to respond quickly to changes in market demand by being able to switch from one design to
another. For instance they may be making a batch of 1,000 sweatshirts of one design one week and
be able to switch to another design making 2,000 items the next.
• A production line is set up.
• Each worker completes one task and passing
down the production line to the next worker.
• The workers are semi skilled or unskilled.
• The workers must be able to switch from
one part of the production line to another.
• They are called a flexible workforce
• The production line can be changed
quickly, so that different products can be made.
• Often individual parts of the product are
bought from other companies and assembled
on the production line.

• The production lines run for a certain amount

of time and then the product is changed.

Time between batches is known as 'Down Time' where the factory would make seasonal items or
consumables such as toasters where no one can predict the quantity needed.

The example production line (shown below) is that of an engineering company, manufacturing
small steel products such as hinges and locks. They manufacture batches of five hundred at a time.
The workers are unskilled and semi skilled. As each task is completed the item being manufactured
is passed down the production line to the next worker, until it is complete.


There are several advantages of batch production; it can reduce initial capital outlay because a
single production line can be used to produce several products. As shown in the example, batch
production can be useful for small businesses who cannot afford to run continuous production lines.
Also, companies can use batch production as a trial run. If a retailer buys a batch of a product and
people do not buy them then the producer can cease production without having to sustain huge


There are inefficiencies associated with batch production. The production equipment must be
stopped, re-configured, and its output tested before the next batch can be produced.


Batch production - this is a method of production where one operation is completed on a number
of units of the product, before they are then passed on to the next stage of the process.

Flow production

Flow production - this is where production takes place as a continuous process. The product flows
from one process onto the next. This will usually happen where the product is standardised, and can
be made using a production line method.


If you would like to see the production process in more detail you can do a virtual tour and see all
the different areas of the factory.

The process of producing the balloons has a number of stages. Production starts with the design
team passing on the detailed design of all the panels. This will often be in the form of templates that
have been cut on the plotter.

The cutters then cut the cloth according to the templates. This is done on the cutting tables and as
the cutters pull the cloth from the reels, it is drawn in front of large lights. This is to try to spot any
imperfections in the cloth. It is much cheaper to correct these at this early stage, than to re-build a
finished balloon!

The cut panels are then passed on to a team of sewers. A team is usually made up of around 5
machinists with a team leader. This team will usually follow through the production of the whole
envelope . They sew all the panels together and sew in the tapes that carry the loads of the
balloon down to the stainless steel frame around the basket.

The artwork will be put onto the balloon either before or after this stage. Sometimes the artwork
may be dyed into the fabric before sewing using a dye-sublimation technique (this is done by
outside contractors), though more often it is done by the artwork department at Cameron's.

Sometimes it is airbrushed on

and sometimes it is stuck on.

Meanwhile, all the rest of the balloon has to be produced as well. There is the basket , the
burners and all the rigging to be done, as well as many of the ancillary items. The baskets
are made by an outside contractor but finished by Cameron's. This means putting on the padding
and fitting all the internal pieces.

Finally it is all put together by the engineering department, and passed over to the lucky customer.


Flow production is organised so that different operations can be carried out, one after the other, in a
continuous sequence.

Other types of production include: assembly line, continuous, flexible cell, and project.

1 What are the features of flow production?
2. Provide examples of flow productions.
3. Give three advantages of flow production.
4. Give three disadvantages of flow production
5. Draw a flowchart to represent the production line shown in
Batch and flow production.