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The Benefits And Problems For A Firm Trying To Increase The Flexibility Of Its Operations

756 words - 3 pages

The Benefits and Problems For a Firm Trying to Increase the Flexibility of Its Operations

Flexibility is the ability and the willingness of a firm to change its
operations in response to changing circumstances. In the ever changing
marketplace, a company not able to redevelop a product, department, or
itself "over-night" may miss out in terms of sales to one of its
competitors. Customers demand more and more in terms of different
products, and more styles and companies need to be flexible enough to
adapt production to meet these needs. Fashionable and successful lean
production techniques also require no more resources, such as stock or
even staff than is required at that time and so flexible work forces
may be required to meet seasonal trends.

Mass production techniques have the benefit to the company that they
are cheap to run, quick, and produce consistently high quality
products. They aren't good at adapting to produce different products
however. A firm changing to a more flexible production method such as
cell production would be rewarded with benefits such as been able to
produce a far wider range of products, meeting customer needs, and
being able to produce in products in smaller quantities, reducing
costs in times of lower sales. This is likely to make the firm more
competitive and profitable. Flexible production is likely however, to
prove more costly to the firm, with higher running costs. The staff
benefits of flexible production techniques are likely to outweigh
these. Working in a team, producing a product from start to finish is
likely to be far more motivating than a repetitive, tedious job on a
mass production line. Staff are likely to be needed to be more highly
trained to perform the wider range of jobs flexible production
requires. Although costly for the firm, staff are likely to be more
motivated through their more enriched and more responsibility bearing

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