Planning and control are interrelated and interdependent. Planning is meaningless unless control action is taken to ensure the success of the plan. Control also provides information feedback which is helpful in modifying the existing plans and in making new plans. Similarly, control is dependent on planning as the standards of performance are laid down under planning. Therefore, production and control should be considered an integrated function of planning to ensure the most efficient production and regulation of operations to execute the plans successfully.
Production planning and control may be defined as the direction and coordination of the firm’s material and physical facilities towards the attainment of pre-specified production goals in the most efficient available way. It is the process of planning production in advance of operations, establishing the exact route of each individual item, part or assembly, setting starting and finishing dates for each important item or assembly and finished products, and releasing the necessary orders as well as initiating the required follow up to effectuate the smooth functioning of the enterprise. Thus, production planning and control involves planning, routing, scheduling, dispatching and expediting to coordinate the movements of materials, machines and manpower as to quantity, quality, time and place. It is based upon the old adage of “first plan your work and then work your plan”.
Objectives of Production Planning and Control
The main objective of production planning and control is to ensure the coordinated flow of work so that the required number of products are manufactured in the required quantity and of required quality at the required time at optimum efficiency. In other words, production planning and control aims at the following purposes:
- Continuous Flow of Production: It tries to achieve as smooth and continuous production by eliminating successfully all sorts of bottlenecks in the process of production through well-planned routing and scheduling requirements relating to production work.
- Planned Requirements of Resources: It seeks to ensure the availability of all the inputs i.e. materials, machines, tools, equipment and manpower in the required quantity, of the required quality and at the required time so that desired targets of production may be achieved.
- Co-ordinated work Schedules: The production activities planned and carried out in a manufacturing organization as per the master schedule. The production planning and control tries to ensure that the schedules to be issued to the various departments/units/supervisors are in co-ordination with the master schedule.
- Optimum Inventory: It aims at minimum investment in inventories consistent with continuous flow of production.
- Increased Productivity: It aims at increased productivity by increasing efficiency and by being economical. This is achieved by optimizing the use of productive resources and eliminating wastage and spoilage.
- Customer Satisfaction : It also aims at satisfying customers requirements by producing the items as per the specifications or desires of the customers. It seeks to ensure delivery of products on time by co-ordinating the production operations with customers’ orders.
- Production and Employment Stabilisation: Production planning and control aims at ensuring production and employment levels that are relatively stable and consistent with the quantity of sales.
- Evaluation of Performance: The process of production planning and control is expected to keep a constant check on operations by judging the performance of various individuals and workshops and taking suitable corrective measures if there is any deviation between planned and actual operations.