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What is Production Management?

Production management is crucial for business growth as it cuts costs, improves collaboration, streamlines equipment maintenance, and enhances customer satisfaction.

April 17, 2024

Ensuring the continued growth of your business and keeping your customers happy means doing everything you can to protect and optimize your production lines.

If your flow of goods grinds to a halt, you’ll experience customer frustration, leading to reputational damage and, ultimately, significant losses in revenue. Preventing those issues is where production management comes into play, a process that is equal parts art and science.

It’s about ensuring that your activities are well-facilitated and that your staff resources, budget, and materials are all in optimal use to produce finished goods, allowing you to seize emerging growth opportunities.

As you might expect, though, production management workflows that are bumpy or outright inefficient cause every aspect of your operations to suffer.

With that risk in mind, below is a rundown of everything you need to know regarding production management and how to succeed.

What is Production Management?

Production management refers to the governance of all of your company’s production inputs, including capital, labor, and raw materials, in order to develop finished goods.

It involves planning, organizing, directing, and overseeing the production process to ensure it’s as efficient and effective as possible.

Just as a conductor ensures each section of the orchestra works in harmony, production management ensures every part of your production process works seamlessly to produce the best possible product.

What’s Included in Production Management?

Production management involves a minimum of four key processes.

You can divide these processes into smaller steps if necessary, but from a strictly general perspective, production management necessitates the following:

Production Planning

Acting as the blueprint for your manufacturing process, production planning is an initial phase in which you identify the materials, labor resources, machinery, and capital you’ll need to create your products.

As part of these procedures, you’ll need to engage in demand forecasting, using market research and prior sales data to determine which of the items in your production pipeline will likely be the most sought-after.

From there, you’ll need to plan your inventory, determining the amount of raw materials and components to keep on hand to keep up with your forecasted demand while avoiding overstocking or understocking; overstocking drives up costs, while understocking often leads to production delays.

With your inventory plans set, you are ready to schedule production. You’ll determine which items to produce, the quantities of those items, and when to begin based on existing orders, resource availability, and market trends.

Finally, you must allocate other resources, including capital and workers. Not only do you need to determine your overall staffing needs, but you must also decide how many people to assign to each task.

Production Control

Once your production plan is in motion, it’s crucial that you ensure everything remains on track.

Production control is about monitoring and managing the manufacturing process, ensuring that each batch of the items or goods you develop meets your quality standards and is completed on time.

No plan is fool-proof, of course; whether you need to adjust your workflow, reallocate resources, or bring in additional staff to meet production deadlines, adapting once the production process gets underway is inevitable.

Process Improvement

By now, your facility is pumping out quality goods on time, and everything seems to be going according to plan. Though you may think now is the time to put your feet up and relax, that’s not exactly the case.

The underlying goal of the entire production management methodology is to achieve continuous improvement; in other words, you’ll always want to explore ways to improve efficiency and productivity, and there are multiple ways to do so.

When efficiency gains are at the top of your goals list, start by evaluating your technologies. Adopting a production management platform equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and other automation tools, for instance, can boost efficiency.

Alongside your technologies, evaluate your workflows; if a particular step in your process holds up productivity, change it.

Lastly, ensure your current resource allocation strategy is optimized. You don’t want to redline your resources, of course, but you shouldn’t have a bunch of machines sitting idle, either.

Maintenance of Equipment

In between production sprints, focus on equipment maintenance. Unplanned downtime can lead to missed deadlines and lost revenue, so always remain diligent about preventive maintenance (PM).

For starters, perform regular checkups on your equipment by following all manufacturer-recommended PM deadlines. Swap out parts when necessary and apply any software updates as soon as they become available.

The overall scope of your maintenance strategy will vary depending on the size and nature of your operation, but no matter what, proactivity is key. Don’t wait until something fails to worry about upkeep; fix small problems before they snowball into larger concerns.

Benefits of Production Management

Proper production management unlocks all sorts of benefits for your organization, staff, and customers.

For one, tighter management of your manufacturing processes means less waste, be it in the form of materials, time, or labor. That, in turn, frees up your resources, allowing you to pursue more dynamic tasks and further fuel the growth of your company.

Your employees will benefit, too; a well-organized production process means your team will have a clear view of their assigned responsibilities.

Perhaps most notable is that your customers win right alongside you and your staff. Your consistent processes will lead to higher-quality products, fewer errors, and a reduced chance of customers receiving a damaged item.

Additionally, from a broader viewpoint, successful production management begets enhanced flexibility. Adapting quickly to changes in the market or customer demands is a huge advantage.

Furthermore, when you’re more efficient and flexible, you inevitably cut costs, and you can pass some of those cost-savings onto your customers, nurturing feelings of loyalty and promoting repeat business.

Why Is Production Management Important for Businesses?

Sound production management processes allow you to keep up with shifting market demands.

Whether you need to retool your machinery to adapt to a new trend or revamp your budget due to material cost increases, production management helps you pivot when needed.

When you are adept at production management, you’ll also be more capable of staying on budget. A comprehensive production management strategy will help you pinpoint unexpected costs, reduce waste, and address bottlenecks holding up output.

Remember, though, that production management isn’t solely about tech and processes; it’s about people, too. Your improvement efforts might involve upskilling or training your workforce on innovative production techniques or teaching them how to use new equipment.

When your people, processes, and production technologies are all in alignment, efficiency is an inevitable byproduct.

Best Production Management Software Solutions

Production management is an understandably complicated concept, which means you need a dynamic software solution to support your efforts.

However, standalone solutions that only address one or two processes of production management create data silos, meaning you’ll never have a holistic view of your operations.

Instead, you should invest in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform that includes production management functionality. That said, the market is flooded with production management tech, making it hard to cut through the noise.

Below, we’ve outlined what to look for in leading ERP production management modules. The best solutions are as follows:


On-premise ERP technologies are a thing of the past, in large part due to the fact that implementing them is a resource-heavy and labor-intensive process. You’ll have to invest in servers and other hardware to support the software, hire IT personnel to maintain it, and purchase even more hardware as you outgrow your existing infrastructure — a never-ending money pit.

Cloud-based ERP systems, on the other hand, shift much of the burden of software upkeep to the original developer. Moreover, you’ll pay for your resources on a subscription basis, minimizing your upfront costs and keeping your monthly expenses relatively predictable.

As your company’s needs grow, all you need to do is simply requisition more resources from your cloud provider. Since you are billed based on the number of users you enroll in and the number of resources you consume, you’ll only pay for what you use, nothing more.

Additionally, cloud-based platforms are easier to upgrade and modify. Developers routinely push out updates to keep your software at the bleeding edge of innovation. As new technologies hit the production management scene, you can add them to your workflows.


Adopting a production management platform is a major investment, and it is one that you need to achieve a strong return on. Nevertheless, if you want your team to embrace your new technology, it has to be user-friendly. The best tools are intuitive, meaning all members of your staff will be able to adapt to them, even if they aren’t tech-savvy.

That said, the easiest way to gauge the user-friendliness of a tool is to try it for yourself. Book a demo and see whether the platform is a good fit for your business. Include line-level staff and mid-level managers in the demo experience so they can learn more about the tool they’ll be using every day.


A great production management solution will simplify your daily duties and give you better control over your workflows, but you also need a way to glimpse into the big picture. That’s where analytics tools come into play.

Leading ERPs are laden with analytics capabilities that will allow you to run detailed reports about your production management processes, inventory, and more. Get granular and explore the efficiency of specific workflows or examine overall productivity to identify room for improvement.


While every manufacturing operation faces similar challenges, there are undoubtedly aspects of each that make them distinct, and yours is no exception to that rule. You need an ERP solution that can adapt to your unique needs.

The best platforms offer plenty in the way of customizability, giving you the freedom to prioritize data points, processes, and workflows that are most relevant to your success.

When exploring potential solutions, consider whether you can set up custom reporting dashboards. These will be your tools for gathering performance insights at a glance.

Ideally, business leaders, production shift managers, sales teams, and other members of your staff will be able to tailor their dashboards to align with their individual responsibilities.

Lastly, ensure that the platform you adopt integrates with your existing software tools. When your solution can fit in and communicate with your other software, you’ll obtain more complete insights about your operations.

Get Advice on Production Management

Production management is a foundational element of business operations, and companies that navigate its intricacies with success enjoy less resource waste, better efficiency, and consistent outputs.

Whether your production management processes are due for a top-to-bottom overhaul or you simply want to be better than you are right now, the right tools are the keys to victory. Enter Epicor ERP, the all-in-one production and distribution management solution.

Contact us today to learn how you can win at production management.