Manufacturing Organization Structure
Revised Oct 1999
ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE FOR MANUFACTURING
Figure 18.1 in unit 18 showed an organization structure diagram for a manufacturing organization. It is not possible to show the structure of all the functions within an organization in a single diagram. It is relevant now to consider specifically how the manufacturing function could be organized. The principles would be the same for the primary function in non-manufacturing organization and for other functions in an organization. Figure 52.1 therefore expands the lower half of figure 18.1.
The manufacturing function of management comprises the four roles referred to in unit 50 and these are reflected in the organization structure. Manufacturing has to interact with all of the other functions in the organization, receiving and providing data, taking decisions and developing strategies together. It also manages the day-to-day manufacturing operations. A possible organization structure for manufacturing is shown in Figure 52.1.
The primary or line management function manages the supervisors and operators doing the manufacturing. The term 'line' does not relate to a production line but to the conceptual vertical line of responsibility and accountability in an organization structure which links the managing director at the top of the organization structure to the operators at the bottom. All managers on this line are referred to as line managers.
In an organization of any size the total set of manufacturing activities will be split into several departments or sections. The different ways of doing this are considered in unit 57. The organization structure must match the physical split of the manufacturing activities. Each section will have a supervisor. In the old days this person would be called a foreman. In a modern factory the title may be supervisor or group leader. This person is the first level line manager, directly managing the operators and the work they do.
The data handling, analytical, planning and maintenance functions are support functions, that is they support the primary function - the manufacturing itself.
As well as the organization being designed to manage the day-to-day activities, provision must be made for handling change. This could be done using project teams, people who plan and manage the introduction of new products, processes or a re-organization of manufacturing. Managing the introduction of change is considered in part 7 of this website.
Task sheet - Unit 52
52.1 Suggest an organization structure for a small new manufacturing business making a single product.