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SINGLE ITEM PRODUCTION

V. Ryan © 2005 - 2008

 

This is when only one item is made and is sometimes called ‘one-off production’. Sometimes a company will make one item and test it to see if it works or if it needs to be improved. This is called a prototype. Single item manufacture usually involves skilled people carefully making a special product for a customer, such as a piece of jewellery.

   

CASE STUDY - SPECIALIST GUITAR MANUFACTURERS

   
   

The company described below specialises in manufacturing guitars. These are not mass produced, this means they are made individually by highly skilled people. They are made from top quality materials and are expensive. Consequently, only professionals and those with a great interest in guitars would normally approach a small company like this to manufacture a one for them. The client (customer) expects a personal service in which he/she is interviewed several times before a design is produced and manufactured. A specialist item such as a handmade guitar may take months to complete.

 

 

 

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Question:

In each of the boxes of the flow chart shown below, write the key words representing each stage. Starting with the customer (client) approaching the company about a design to handing the manufactured guitar to the customer.

 

This company is made up of two people. They make guitars for customers who are serious musicians and want an ‘exclusive’ design. When made, the guitar will be expensive because it will be hand made from quality materials and its manufacture will require individual craft skills as well as a long time.

Usually a customer will want an unusual or special item made, in this case a five string bass guitar for a professional musician. An ordinary guitar will not produce the quality of sound that is needed.

A customer who is prepared to spend a lot of money on a specially made product will want individual attention. A professional musician will want to try out a selection of guitars and see examples before deciding on the final design. This will include meeting regularly with the designer.

When the customer has discussed designs, materials and cost with the company he/she has to make the final decision regarding exactly the design they want. The designer often meets the musician to help him/her take important decisions until they are ready to make the bass guitar.

The guitar is made by skilled workers. This takes a long time and may take weeks to complete.

Question:
How does single item production differ from batch production and continuous production?

   

 

   

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