Job Production

Job production is characterized by the manufacture of one or few numbers of a single product designed and manufactured strictly to customer’s specifications, within, the given period and wit/tin the price fixed prior to tile contract. Some typical examples of industries engaged in jobbing production are: general repair shops; special purpose machine tool manufacturers; workshops to manufacture jigs and fixtures for other units; building contractors; tailoring shops manufacturing made-to-measure suite of clothes; manufacturers of ships, cranes, furnaces, turbo-generators, pressure vessels; and others manufacturing articles made to customers orders.

Characteristics of Job Production

  • Disproportionate manufacturing cycle time: A considerable amount of pre-planning and organization is necessary in such a venture. Relatively long delays occur at the assembly as well as at the materials processing stages due to lack of materials or components, imbalanced work flow, design changes, design errors detected during manufacture, inaccurate work measurements, etc. which tend to lengthen the manufacturing cycle time. At times, tile time needed to design the product exceeds its manufacturing time.
  • Large work-in-progress: The work-in-progress inventory in a jobbing production is generally very large as detailed scheduling and progress control in this type of production is economically infeasible. For various reasons, jobs get delayed causing temporary work shortages. To overcome work shortages and keep men and machines busy, more work is released to the shops which in turn increases work-in-progress.
  • Limited functions of production planning and control: The success of jobbing production mainly depends on the ability of the engineer incharge of the contract.
  • Materials are indented and purchased on receipt of orders unlike in batch or mass production where material requirements are planned well in advance.
  • Process planning activity is almost absent. Drawings and specifications are directly given to the supervisor who is expected to decide work methods, select optimum process, fix up machine tools to be used and estimate time required completing an operation.

Importance of Job production

  • Small production runs: Jobbing production is characterized by the manufacture of one or few pieces of a product at a time under a separate contract, the production is made strictly to customers’ specifications.
  • Discontinuous flow of materials: The flow of materials and components between different stages of manufacture is highly discontinuous due to imbalance in operation wise work content.
  • General purpose machines and process layout: Plant and equipment is designed or procured and arranged to obtain maximum flexibility. General purpose machines and handling equipment’s capable of performing variety of operations with minimum set-tip times are installed in lie of variety in products. Tile machines are arranged to give process layout – layout by function. Similar machines, capable of doing similar type of operations, are grouped together. Presses, for example are kept at one place; milling machines are placed at another place; drilling machines are kept at third place; and so on and so forth. Each group of machines is usually designated as a work center or a section or a shop. The grouping of machines gives a lot of flexibility in loading and scheduling. Temporary machine breakdowns and operator’s absenteeism can be taken care of by shifting jobs to another machine or shifting operators from less important jobs to important jobs.
  • Highly skilled labor: The labor force is usually highly skilled-highly qualified trade apprentices who are expected to work from minimum instructions. Instructions regarding “what to make” are issued in the form of specifications while instructions as to “how to manufacture” are usually oral. The workmen being highly skilled are expected to work independently and display a great deal of initiative and judgment. They are required to set up their own machines and prepare their own special tools or production aids in order to further the manufacture of a part or a assembly.
  • Highly competent knowledgeable supervision: Highly competent general engineers are engaged as foreman in the base workshop and a group of site engineers, practical men, with thorough training, capable of taking independent charge of each contract are employed to work at site. Therefore, these engineers (supervisors) in a jobbing production are the reservoir of job knowledge. The supervisor besides being able administrator is expected to improvise and determine best work methods, determine tool requirements, select the best process and provide management with reliable estimates of labor and materials for specific orders. The span of control – the number of workmen to be supervised by a supervisor – is kept low because of technical nature of the job.
  • Simple Mechanism: Tools control function is simple. Standard tools are stocked while special tools are either made on the shop floor by the operators or purchased on request from supervisor.
  • Decentralized Process: The scheduling activity is more or less decentralized. A schedule is prepared to show the start and completion date of each major component of the product. Job tickets giving completion date of each component are raised and given to the shop. The activity of day to day scheduling is left to the individual shop supervisor.

Examples for Job Production Systems

Job production involves firms producing items that meet the specific requirements of the customer. Often these are one-off, unique items such as those made by an architect or wedding dressmaker. For an architect, each building or structure that he designs will be different and tailored to the needs of each individual client. With job production, a single worker or group of workers handles the complete task. Jobs can be on a small-scale involving little or no technology. However, jobs can also be complex requiring lots of technology. With low technology jobs, production is simple and it is relatively easy to get hold of the skills and equipment required. Good examples of the job method include:

  • Hairdressers
  • Tailoring
  • Painting and decorating
  • Plumbing and heating repairs in the home

High technology jobs are much more complex and difficult. These jobs need to be very well project-managed and require highly qualified and skilled workers. Examples of high technology / complex jobs include:

  • Film production
  • Large construction projects
  • Installing new transport systems

Advantages of Job Production

The advantage of job production is that each item can be altered for the specific customer and this provides genuine marketing benefits. A business is likely to be able to ‘add value’ to the products and possibly create a unique selling point (USP), both of which should enable it to sell at high prices.

Disadvantages of Job Production

Whether it is based on low or high technology, Job production is an expensive process as it is labor intensive (uses more workers compared to machines). This raises costs to firms as the payment of wages and salaries is more expensive than the costs of running machines.

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