What does low-volume production mean:
Low-volume production for any product entails manufacturing in smaller or micro quantities. Normally it is ranged as units below 100 but can vary on the nature of the product. For example, 100 units of helicopters might exceed a reasonable amount for small scale production as compared to 100 candies; the candies might fall well below the minimum range of efficient units.
When is low-volume production useful:
1.New Product Launch
When introducing a new product, firms often need to gauge the market response. Therefore, production in small quantities allows for a proper analysis of consumer response and success of the product.
2.High Variety Low Volume Products
Low volume manufacturing allows customization of products which can result in higher responses from customers and reduce storage costs for inventory. This type of approach can offer diversity in the product portfolio without having to change too much about the product under the manufacturer’s belt. There is more flexibility in the design process as well as pricing.
3.Quicker Way to Market
In a highly competitive environment, companies try their best to get their product to the target market first. Time is money and by reducing the time it takes to reach the end of the line, consumers are served quickly and the manufacturer can beat competitors to market reach. This greatly influences the market demand.
Small scale production often means less capital investment. It is also easier to identify and reduce expenses on such a scale often swapping machine for labor intensive manufacturing or vice versa to make production more cost effective.
Unique or tailor-made products from luxury items such as a customized Rolls-Royce to a birthday card require low volume production. As the product is bespoke, it only makes sense to make it on a smaller scale as more units of the same product would not render it exclusive. This also allows for different styles of pricing for selective or limited-edition products.
6.The Bridge to High Scale Production
Before a company can run a full-scale operation on a particular product, it is advisable to run it on a small scale and analyze the costs of production as well as profit margins. Any changes or failures are easier to endure and change before high scale production. Failure to launch a product can also be rectified quickly and efficiently.
In conclusion, low-volume production helps to see if the investment is lucrative before output can be increased. Many companies opt for this style of production as it is easier to set up and more affordable than large scale production. For others there isn’t enough storage space or capacity for manufacturing in bulk. It is always better to test the waters before launching a full-scale operation and that is where low volume production can help produce prototypes and save costs before leading to mass production.
The advancements in capabilities and technology for low-volume production will continue to benefit this fast-paced industry; creating opportunities for new and well-known companies to create a more innovative environment in the market.