For optimized results and resources utilization, companies must select suitable processes and methods to carry out the tasks in the workflow, successfully. To meet this challenge Management Professors Robert H. Hayes and Steven C. Wheelwright designed the Product Process Matrix in 1979.
It is a model to understand the various combinations of products and process structures. It has two dimensions, one is product structure/product life cycle, which is about nature of the product, and the other is process structure/process life cycle that is about the way in which production is carried out.
Using these two factors, we are left with few important scenarios like Job shop, batch, assembly-line and continuous flows. A company/ working unit/ organization will occupy a region in the matrix from ‘low volume - one/few products’ to ‘high volume - many products’ in different processes from job shop to continuous flow.
Product Process Matrix - Use
- First, plot two axes with the various stages in product structure/product life cycle on one and process structure/life cycle on other. Next, write down the combinations.
- Now, understand your production nature whether it is of low volume or high volume and how many products i.e. single product are different products are manufactured. Now mark it.
- Next, understand your process nature