The Practice of Management

By Peter F. Drucker | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9
THE PRINCIPLES OF PRODUCTION

Ability to produce always a determining and a limiting factor-- Production is not the application of tools to materials but the application of logic to work--Each system of production has its own logic and makes its own demands on business and management--The three systems of production--Is mass production "new style" a fourth?--Unique-product production--Mass production, "old style" and "new style"--Process production--What management should demand of its production people--What production systems demand of management--"Automation"; revolution or gradual change?--Understanding the principles of production required of every manager in the decades ahead.

MANUFACTURING management, as the term is commonly understood, is not the concern of this book any more than the management of selling, finance, engineering or insurance-company investments. But the principles of production must be a serious concern of top management in any business that produces or distributes physical goods. For in every such business the ability to attain performance goals depends on the ability of production to supply the goods in the required volume, at the required price, at the required quality, at the required time or with the required flexibility. In any manu facturing enterprise, ability to produce physically has to be taken into account when setting business objectives. Management's job is always to push back the limitations set by the hard reality of physical production facts. It must so manage its business as to convert these physical limitations into opportunities.

There is, of course, nothing new in this. But traditionally manage

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