Link Manufacturing and Product Cycle


LinkManufacturing and Product Cycle

LinkManufacturing and Product Cycle

Inthe article “LinkManufacturing and Product Cycle” Hayesand Wheelwright underline the importance of utilization of processlifecycle in selecting marketing and manufacturing options. They notethat the use of the conventional product life cycle indecision-making may place unnecessary emphasis on marketing alone,which would be too simplistic and misleading in strategic planning.In essence, the authors suggest the separation of the concept ofproduct life cycle from process life cycle, which would be helpful inenhancing the comprehension of the strategic options that areavailable to a particular company, particularly with regard tomanufacturing functions. In continuous processes, the product-processmatrix offsets the disadvantages that come with having the operationsas too capital intensive, inflexible and highly specialized throughthe low variable costs emanating from the high volume that passes viastandardized processes (Hayes&amp Wheelwright, 1979).In the case of batches, the product-process matrix allows foreconomies of scale that causes the company to provide variedfundamental models that have varying options. This allows themanufacturing to be moved from job shop to flow patterns wherebatches pertaining to a particular model proceed irregularly viavaried work stations.

Themain hypothesis that the authors make is that the separation ofproduct life cycle from the process life cycle would facilitate thecomprehension of the strategic options that the company has in itsmanufacturing function. In the article, the authors include anillustration of the product-process matrix, which is a representationof the interaction between the process and product lifecycles, withthe rows being the stages in the production process and columns beingthe varying product life cycle phases (Hayes&amp Wheelwright, 1979).


Hayes,R.H &amp Wheelwright, S.C (1979). LinkManufacturing Process and Product Life Cycles. HarvardBusiness Review.

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