Read this essay to learn about how production control in an organisation ensures regular and smooth flow of material and co-ordinates different manufacturing operations through the methods of programming, ordering, dispatching, progressing and inventory control.

1. Essay on Programming:

The first technique of production control is programming. Production programming regulates the supply of finished product in desired amount at the due date in accordance with the production plan. Programming ensures most efficient use of labour, equipment and capital.

In production programming three main decisions are taken:

(i) Nature of the Product to be Manufactured:


Here the affect of different ranges of product on the utilisation of facilities should be considered at the market appreciation stage and the decision made at this stage should not be altered later.

(ii) Amount of Quantities to be Produced:

This is normally determined from the sales programme.

(iii) When to Produce:


This is to decide that when or in which periods the desired output is to be manufactured.

Objectives of Production programming:

(i) Reliable Delivery to the Customer:

This depends on achievement of output target as per production programme and on quoting the customer achievable delivery dates. When delivery times are long, the annual production programme must be used, otherwise short term programme is to be used. To achieve reliable delivery it is essential that delivery promises should only be given if the production programme still contains unallocated products for the period concerned.


(ii) Even loading of plant by ensuring production at an even rate throughout the year.

(iii) Even Loading of labour in total man hours per week.

(iv) Efficient use of Capital:

The production programmes are arranged such that minimum capital is tied up in stocks. It is observed that if any manufacturing system lacks in efficient production programming then it often results in late delivery to customers.


Layout of Production Programme:

The details of the production programme are generally shown in a tabular form, where the first column specifies the nature of the products to be manufactured and the columns of first row specifies the periods which can be days, weeks, quarters or months. The quantity to be produced for each type of product is written at the intersection of various rows and columns.

A specimen of production programming table is given below:

A Specimen of Production Programming Table  

The production of any product is said to be complete:


(i) When the last operation in the sequence is over,

(ii) The product has passed through final inspection and

(iii) It has been dispatched.


Thus production programme is some sort of Gantt chart involving three main factors viz. units of products listed vertically. The units of time shown horizontally and the units of quantities to be produced shown at the appropriate intersection of rows and columns.

In preparation of production programme three main problems can be solved:

(i) Smoothing of seasonal sales demand.

(ii) Choice of batch quantity and batch frequency for products required in small quantities at irregular intervals.


(iii) The constant revision of the production programme to keep it in line with revision of the sales programme.

2. Essay on Ordering:

Ordering is an important aspect that is to be considered for production control. It breaks down the requirements for products to be completed at specific times into orders for materials and processed parts and attempts to do so in such a way that they are available when needed.

It takes into consideration the targets prescribed in a programme by planning the output of the desired components from some external supplier and the processing department of the organisation. It contains the quantities to be produced by the supplier and by different departments as well as the time by which the work should be completed.

In other words it is process of placing orders to the supplier and the processing department for the material and other parts needed to manufacture the product and to arrange the ordering quantity and delivery schedule in such a way that all items are delivered in time to meet the production programme.

The order authorizing production is what has come to be known as works order. Works orders are derived from the master schedule and operation sheets.

The following information is required for each order:


(i) Requirement Quantity:

This information can be gathered from master schedule. An allowance has to be made for scrap, which may be derived from historical records.

(ii) Order Quantity:

Generally it is same as requirement quantity but for some regular usage item one may have bigger lot. In ordering the order date is of great significance. If an order is released too early, it would entail storage costs and if it is too late then the service would be poorer.’

Rules to be observed in an ordering system:

(i) No work can be carried out without an order.


(ii) All orders authorising the manufacture, purchase or any other expenditure should be issued in writing on a standard form.

(iii) All orders should be issued by an authorised authority.

Information required for ordering:

(i) Production Programme,

(ii) Product specification; namely parts list, drawings, materials etc.

(iii) Production planning route cards or operation layouts.


Following are the main decisions in ordering:

(i) The desired total quantity of various components, the delivery date,

(iii) How much to order?

(iv) When to issue the order?

(v) In what quantities the parts are to be procured and the purchases are to be delivered?

(vi) Nature of the components namely products, spares and scrap. There can be three kinds of ordering system namely make to order system, stock controlled system and flow controlled system. The format of order can vary from organisation to organisation.


In general an order form should contain the following details:

Details in an Order Form

3. Essay on Dispatching:

Dispatching is the routine of setting production activities in motion through the release of order and instructions in accordance with previously planned times and sequence embodied in route sheets and schedule charts. It considers each processing department one by one and plans the output from machines, tools and other work centres so as to complete the orders by due date.

After ordering, next step is to bring together the inputs i.e. plant, labour, special tools and material required for each production operation on each part and assembly. The concerned operators are issued necessary instructions.

In other words, once a job is in an area where an operation is to be performed, someone must determine that when and by whom the job will be performed and also the sequence in which the waiting orders are to be processed. The complexity of the system depends on the nature of the system e.g. barber shop, aircraft, hospitals etc.

The decision of assigning various jobs to different machines is known as Dispatching. It is one of the limited areas where the foreman still exercises his discretion within the context of a well-developed production control system.


A schedule usually sets general priorities on jobs and the date by which each job should leave an area but the foreman takes the final dispatching decisions hopefully within the constraints setup by the schedule.

Functions of Dispatching:

i. To check the immediate availability of materials.

ii. Ensuring that all production and inspection aids are available for use.

iii. To obtain the appropriate drawing, specification or material list.

iv. To collate jobs, operation layouts, routine etc. with the design.

v. Processing information or inspection schedule.

vi. Assign the work to definite machine, work place and men.

vii. To issue necessary materials, tools etc. to correct points for use.

viii. To issue production order note stating the start and finish- times.

ix. To inform the progress section about the start of the work.

x. Instruction to start the production.

xi. To return the acquired material and other aids to the correct location.

xii. Maintain all production records viz. time lost in production and the causes for delay; incidence of machine breakdown; change in capacity etc.

The dispatching function is greatly affected by machine breakdowns, tooling breakdowns, material delays and absentism.

Following are the important documents that are required in production control through dispatching:

(i) Job Order:

It is issued to authorise the commencement of production on a batch in accordance with previously planned dates and times entered on machine loading charts, route sheets and control devices. The time taken to perform ah operation is recorded on the job order.

(ii) A store requisition authorising the stores keeper to issue materials to departments for performing operations.

(iii) Issue of tool orders to the tool department to keep ready the tools, jigs, fixtures etc.

(iv) Issue of time tickets, drawings, instruction cards etc. to the workers to commence manufacturing operations.

(v) Issue of inspection orders.

(vi) Collection of time tickets, drawings and instruction cards at the end of each operation.

(vii) Recording idle times of machines and operators and reporting them to appropriate authorities for necessary action or delays.

(viii) Internal delivery note for delivering finished products, finished components or even excess materials into stores.

4. Essay on Progressing or Follow-Up:

Follow-up or expediting is checking production activities systematically so that production may be carried out according to plan. It is the measurement of output against plan, analysis of performance for short falls and following up the line management to apply corrective action for excessive shortfall. Progressing is the function by which one can give an early warning when actual production deviates from planned production and thus makes it possible to take corrective action.

Follow -up is a most important step of production control. This step is to ascertain from time to time that the production operations are progressing according to the plan. The chaser is responsible for observing that any-detail which is overlooked or not properly executed is set right. This ensures proper coordination of production plan and to take corrective measures if necessary. Follow-up can be done at three stages, for materials, work in progress and stage during assembly and execution.

It discovers causes of delay which may be uneconomic lot sizes; schedule beyond the capacity of the machine, underestimation of material, tools and manpower, errors in processing and inspection etc. Progressing is the function by which one can give an early warning when actual production deviates from planned production and thus makes it possible to take corrective action.

The necessity of progressing arises due to:

(i) Failure to deliver materials on time.

(ii) Machines/power breaks down.

(iii) Employees absentism.

(iv) Errors of design, planning or human activity.

(v) Unnecessary delays/bottlenecks.

Generally specialists known as progress chasers act as watch-dogs of progress.

They are charged with the responsibilities of:

(i) Checking the progress continuously.

(ii) Causes of discrepancy, if any, in programmed and actual performance.

(iii) Authorising and signing requisitions.

(iv) Liason with other departments supplying materials and components to the particular department of the progress chaser.

The following are the steps in Progressing or Follow-Up:

(i) Flow charts indicating the planned sequence of operations.

(ii) Production schedules to compare targets with performances.

(iii) Machine loading charts indicating different operations performed by each machine.

(iv) Inspection schedules to establish a programme for inspection.

Progressing can do following tasks:

(i) Recording actual production.

(ii) Compare it with planned production.

(iii) Measure the variability in production.

(iv) Reporting the excessive variance to the authority responsible for execution of the production plan.

Progressing can be in the form of:

(i) Programme control,

(ii) Order progressing,

(iii) Progressing of shortages,

(iv) Daily plan progress and

(v) Departmental progressing.

5. Essay on Inventory Control:

Another important technique of production control is the control of inventory. Inventory is an important part of any organisation.

The constituents of an inventory can be:

(i) All materials, parts and in process or finished goods recorded on the books by the organisation and kept in stores, warehouses and plants.

(ii) A list of names, quantities/or monetary values of all or any group or classification of items.

Inventory for any organisation is a necessary evil and requires careful planning. Control of the quantities of these items at predetermined level or within safe limits is the object of Inventory Control.

Objectives of Inventory Control:

(i) Protection against Fluctuations in Demand:

If sufficient items are available in the inventory then the fluctuations in demand can be easily adjusted.

(ii) Better use of Men, Machine and Materials:

In manufacturing for stock the production planning can be done to have optimum utilisation of resources.

(iii) Protection against Fluctuation in Output:

Inventory reduces gap between actual and scheduled production. Inventory can also be used for production economies, control of stock volume, control of stock distribution etc. The control of inventory is regarded as critical to the functions of production control.

Inventory control procedure sorts out three major issues viz.:

(i) The optimum amount of inventory to be carried.

(ii) The economic lot size.

(iii) Choice of an ideal system of inventory control.

The size of an inventory depends on:

(i) Nature of the material flow system

(ii) Amount of protection against shortages.

(iii) Difference between input and-output.