Process Design

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Lesson Two


Process design

Process design
Supply network design Layout and flow Process technology Job design Operations strategy Operations management



Product/service design

Planning and control

Nature and purpose of the design activity

Products, services and the processes which produce them all have to be designed Decisions taken during the design of a product or service will have an impact on the decisions taken during the design of the process which produces those products or services, and vice versa

Design of products / services and design of processes are interrelated and should be treated together Designing the product or service Designing the process

Products and services should be designed in such a way that they can be created effectively

Product / service design has an impact on the process design and vice versa

Processes should be designed so they can create all products and services which the operation is likely to introduce

Design of the Product

Design of the Process

Design of the Service

Design of the Process

In manufacturing operations overlapping the activities of product and process design is beneficial

In most service operations the overlap between service and process design is implicit in the nature of service

Process mapping symbols derived from ‘Scientific Management’ Operation (an activity that directly adds value) Inspection (a check of some sort) Transport (a movement of something) Delay (a wait, e.g. for materials)

Process mapping symbols derived from Systems Analysis
Beginning or end of the process Activity

Input or output from the process

Direction of flow

Storage (deliberate storage, as opposed to a delay)

Decision (exercising discretion)

Manufacturing process types
Process tasks
Diverse/ complex

Process flow High

Project Jobbing



Mass Continuous Low Volume High

Repeated/ divided



Project processes One-off, complex, large-scale ‘products’ with high work content Specially made, every one ‘customized’ Defined start and finish: time, quality and cost objectives

Many different skills have to be coordinated

A project process with a small part of the process map that would describe the whole process

Jobbing processes Very small quantities: ‘one-offs’, or only a few required

Specially made: high variety, low repetition, ‘strangers’, every one ‘customized’ Skill requirements are usually very broad Skilled jobber, or team, completes whole product

Batch processes Higher volumes and lower variety than for jobbing

Standard products, repeating demand. But can make specials Specialized, narrower skills Set-ups (changeovers) at each stage of production

Mass (line) processes

Higher volumes than batch Standard, repeat products (‘runners’) Low and/or narrow skills No set-ups, or almost instantaneous ones

A mass process – a packing process

Continuous processes Extremely high volumes and low variety: often single product Standard, repeat products (‘runners’) Highly capital-intensive and automated Few changeovers required Difficult and expensive to start and stop the process

A service shop – This health club offers some variety within a standard set of facilities and processes

A service shop – This health club offers some variety within a standard set of facilities and processes

A mass service – This call centre can handle a very high volume of customer enquiries because it standardizes its process

Source: Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Deviating from the ‘natural’ diagonal on the product–process matrix has consequences for cost and flexibility Manufacturing operations process types
Volume Variety

Service operations process types None
More process flexibility than is needed so high cost

Project Jobbing Batch Mass Continuous
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