Level production schedules can be important in the manufacturing industry, especially in industries where sales tend to be cyclical or seasonal in nature. Level production schedules are sometimes referred to as master production schedules. These schedules mandate that the use of labor and resources are spread evenly over a given period of time. This approach to production scheduling can have several advantages.
One of the most important advantages of a level production schedule is that it keeps the finished product rolling off the assembly line at the same rate throughout the production cycle. During periods in which there is a lull in demand for the product, a surplus accumulates, allowing the manufacturer or retailers to store up an overabundance of the product. This surplus can come in helpful in periods when demand once again increases, because the manufacturer does not need to speed up production to keep up with the demand.
Another major advantage to the level production schedule is that it does not put a drain on your financial or material resources. This type of production schedule makes it possible to plan in advance the amount of money or resources you need at any given time during the production process. Being able to plan accordingly helps to avoid some of the chaos sometimes associated with trying to meet production efforts. The constant resource drain is predictable and does not change in a way that puts undue stress on the production effort.
Level production schedules allow workers to learn their specific job with a degree of expertise and standardized practice that makes it simple to predict what the worker will produce at any given point along the way. This can lead to a standardization of production tasks which, over time, can be sped up to increase overall production output when all workers become adept enough at their own tasks to keep up with a faster rate of production.
The level production schedule assumes that workers will keep up with production levels and not vary from their required output level. Industrial production managers are responsible for ensuring that this occurs. As long as the process plays out in this way, the level production schedule lends itself to a certain degree of predictability that allows the manufacturer and its clients to know exactly how much of a given product will be produced and when that production will be finished. It takes much of the guesswork out of the process.
Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.