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Summer 2012 MB0044 –Q1. What is meant by productivity? Write a brief note on capital productivity.

Answer : Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of the system and looks at the economies achieved during the processes. Every process will have a number of contributors which help in achieving maximum productivity. The processes are: People, Machines, Facilitating goods, Ancillary equipments, and Technology. Each of these elements attempts to enhance the contribution of other elements.

Opportunities exist at all stages of the workflow in the entire system to introduce measures for
increasing productivity. However in actual manufacturing situations, the inefficiencies will have cascading effect in hampering productivity. Communication, effective review processes and innovative methods will ensure optimisation of resources. Building up reliability into the equipments, managing the supply chain to economise on the cost factors improves productivity.

Quality circles are very efficient in incorporating low cost and non-intrusive methods of improving productivity and quality throughout the organisation.

Quality circles:
·         Involve all persons who are actually involved in the production system and the information they elicit and bring about improvements that are highly cost effective
·         Unveil creativity and encourage team work and bring about improvements almost on a day to day basis
·         Bring continuous incremental changes in a harmonious way instead of dramatic changes
·         Encourage identification of possible failures and seek methods of preventing things going wrong

Capital Productivity
Capital deployed in plant, machinery, buildings and the distribution systems as well as working capital are the components of the cost of manufacturing. Demand fluctuations, uncertainties of production owing to breakdowns, and inventories being created drag the productivity down. Therefore, strategies are needed to maximise the utilisation of the funds allotted towards capital. The strategies included are:
·         Outsourcing strategies
·         Methods improvement
·         Balancing of workstations
·         Quality circles
·         Rationalisation of packaging methods


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