Manufacturing and Service Technologies

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Manufacturing and Service Technologies technology refers to the work processes, techniques, machines, and actions used to transform organizational inputs into outputs. One important theme in this chapter is how core technology influences organization structure. Understanding core technology provides insight into how an organization can be structured for efficient performance. Core technology is the work process that is directly related to the organization’s mission. A non-core technology is a department work process that is important to the organization but is not directly related to its primary mission.

Woodward developed a scale and organized the firms according to technical complexity of the manufacturing process. Technical complexity represents the extent of mechanization of the manufacturing process. High technical complexity means most of the work is performed by machines. Woodward’s scale consists of ten categories and these categories were further consolidated into three basic technology groups: The groups are consisted of small-batch and unit production, large-batch and mass production, and continuous-process production. Small-batch production relies heavily on the human operator; it is thus not highly mechanized. The large-batch is manufacturing process characterized by long production runs of standardized parts. In continuous-process production, the entire process is mechanized. Overall, the management systems in both unit-production and continuous -process technology are characterized as organic, as defined in Chapter 4. Mass production, however, is mechanistic, with standardized jobs and formalized procedures. When adopting a new technology, realign strategy, structure, and management process to achieve top performance.

Lean manufacturing uses highly trained employees at every stage of the production process, who take a painstaking approach to details and problem solving to cut waste and improve quality. Lean manufacturing techniques have been...
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