What are process flow structures? What structure does your organization rely on the most? How effective has the structure been in achieving organizational goals?
The process flow consists of a series of steps which determine how a product is manufactured or a service provided. As such, the process flow structure determines how facilities will be laid out, the working methods used, the resources needed, the technology used, and how efficient the process is. As such, the process flow structure represents an important factor driving the competitiveness of a firm’s operations, and hence its overall level of competitive advantage.
A process flow structure generally falls into two categories: it can be either a job shop or a flow shop. The job shop process flow structure represents a fairly general structure, which is highly flexible and can use general purpose resources. In contrast, a flow shop process flow structure can only use certain specialized resources, with a fixed path for the work. As a result of this, flow shop processes tend to be less flexible than job shop ones.
These generic process flow structure can be further broken down into five distinct structures:
· Project structure, where a single project is planned with a fixed end date, such as building a house