Manufacturing is the making of goods by hand or by machine that upon completion the business sells to a customer. Items used in manufacture may be raw materials or component parts of a larger product. The manufacturing usually happens on a large-scale production line of machinery and skilled labor.
A factory operates one of three types of manufacturing production:
- Make-To-Stock (MTS) – A factory produces goods to stock stores and showrooms. By predicting the market for their goods, the manufacturer will plan production activity in advance. If they produce too much they may need to sell surplus at a loss and in producing too little they may miss the market and not sell enough to cover costs.
- Make-To-Order (MTO) – The producer waits for orders before manufacturing stock. Inventory is easier to control and the owner does not need to rely as much on market demand. Customer waiting time is longer though and the manufacturer needs a constant stream of orders to keep the factory in production.
- Make-To-Assemble (MTA) – The factory produces component parts in anticipation of orders for assembly. By doing this, the manufacturer is ready to fulfil customer orders but if orders do not materialize, the producer will have a stock of unwanted parts.
With all three types of manufacturing there are risks. By not meeting demand, the customer may go elsewhere with a drop in sales for the manufacturer. Quality control is also a big factor in successful manufacturing, hence it is a task that should be done with proper care and attention.