What are the different types of models in production and operations management?

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jameadows | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Different models in production and operations management include the following:

  • Fordism: This refers to the system of mass production and consumption developed by the Ford Motor Company and used as the dominant form of production after World War II.
  • Post-Fordism: This is the dominant form of economic production since the late 20th century. It involves a movement away from mass production and toward small-batch production and specialized markets.
  • Flexible accumulation: Flexible accumulation refers to the flexible strategies companies use in an era of globalization, including the innovative use of technology and communication.
  • McDonaldization: This refers to the process by which companies, modeled on fast-food chains, mass produce a product that is efficient and predictable. For example, the fare in McDonald's restaurants around the world is generally standard and predictable.
  • Nikefication: This refers to the process of outsourcing production and distribution to other companies.
  • Siliconism: Referring to the process of production and organization of technology firms, this process involves the production of not only physical products such as phones, but also the production of processes and applications. The process involves outsourcing production to companies, often in other countries, while people in Silicon Valley, California carry out the intellectual aspects of the work. 
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thetall | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In addition to what has already been mentioned, other popular models associated with production and operations management include Total Quality Management (TQM) and Just-in-Time (JIT).

Total Quality Management refers to a management model focused on providing superior quality products and services to satisfy the customer’s needs. The model does not allow room for compromise with regard to quality of the product or service, and quality remains the main focus of the entire operation. Defects and wastage within the operations are swiftly eradicated. The model supports continuous improvement and development in production and operation practices within the system.

Just-in-Time refers to a production model or system aimed at optimizing and improving the supply chain within a system’s operations. The model ensures wastage is minimized and efficiency increased by making certain that materials are only received when they are needed during production. The workability of the system is achieved through accurate forecasting.

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krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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In production and operations management, models refer to any simple representation of reality in different forms such as mathematical equations, graphical representation, pictorial representation, and physical models. Thus a model could be the well known economic order quantity (EOQ) formula, a PERT network chart, a motion picture of an operation, or pieces of strings stretched on a drawing of a plant layout to study the movement of material. The models help us to analyze and understand the reality. These also help us to work determine optimal conditions to for decision making. For example, the EOQ formula helps us to determine the optimum replenishment quantities that minimize the cost of storing plus replenishing.

The number of different models we use in production and operations management run into hundreds, or even more than a thousand. These are really too many to enumerate in a place like these. I am listing below a random list of broad categories of models used in production and operations model.

  • Operations research models. This is actually a very broad classification and covers many of the other categories in the list given here.
  • Inventory models
  • Forecasting models
  • Network models
  • Linear programming models
  • Queuing models
  • Production planning and control models
  • Engineering drawings
  • Photographs and motion pictures used in time and motion studies.
  • Material movement charts
  • Process flow diagrams
  • Systems charts
  • Statistical process control charts.
  • Variance analysis
  • Regression analysis
  • Organization chart
  • Fishbone chart