COLLEGE OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS ACADEMIC YEAR:2010-2011SEMESTER :2 COURSE TITLE: Office Organization & Management -II COURSE CODE :MGMT INSTRUCTOR: PRABHA DUDDLEY CREDIT HOURS :45 OBJECTIVE: TO HELP THE STUDENTS TO UNDERSTAND THE DETAILS OF OFFICE MANAGEMENT Chapter 1. ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENT AND FACILITIES 1. Special features of office work 2. Centralization of office services Centralization Decentralization Advantages and Disadvantages of Centralization Advantages and Disadvantages of decentralization 3. Job sub division and specialization 4. Basic Patterns of Job sub division: ) Serial plan ii) Parallel Plan 5. Principal departments of modern office 6. Office supervisors Functions of Supervisors Responsibilities of a Supervisor: 7. Standardization and standards: 8. Control of office production: 9. Aid to Management Planning and Control: 10. Process of Production Control: Problems in Production control: Advantages of Production control: 11. Quality Control: Methods of Quality Control Chapter 2. OFFICE SUPERVISION 1. What is supervision General principles of Supervisopn Office Supervisor 2. Supervisor’s Committee- Objective 3. Levels of Supervisory Authority 4.
Place of Supervisor in Office Organization 5. Role of Office Supervision 6. Qualification of Supervisor 7. Supervisory Training Essentials of Supervisory Training Methods of Training 8. Duties of Supervisor 9. Factors Essential for Effective Suopervisoun 10. Factors Essential iNHuman Relations Chapter 3. WORK SIMPLIFICATION, MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDIZATION A. Work Simplification 1. Objectives of Work Simplification 2. Advantages of Work Simplification 3. Organizing Work Simplification 4. Principles of Work Simplification 5. Steps in Work Simplification B. Work Measurement 6. Objectives of Work Measurement . Importance of Work Measurement 8. Techniques of Work Measurement C. Standards of Performance . Chapter 4. COST REDUCTION AND CONTROL 1. Areas of Cost Control in Office 2. Programmes and Techniques of Cost reduction and saving 3. Cost Control 4. Budgetary Control 5. Office Budget 6. Limitations of Budgetary Control 7. Principles of Budgeting 8. Paper Work Simplification through Action Research 9. Supervisory Control 10. Organisation and Methods- Steps , Advantages, Limitations and Principles Chapter 5. MANAGEMENT OF OFFICE PERSONNEL 1. Functions of Personnel Management 2.
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Training of Office Staff 3. Methods and Types of Training 4. Salary Administration 5. Job Evaluation 6. Merit Rating- Methods , Advantages and Limitations Chapter 6. PERSONNEL RELATIONS IN OFFICE 1. Morale – Moral and Productivity, Factors Determining Morale Measures for Improving Morale 2. Incentives 3. Labour Turnover 4. Employee Welfare- Types 5. Office Unions 6. Handling Grievances-Steps and suggestion system References: 1) N Kumar and R. Mittal Office Management 2) Arora, S. P, Office Organization and Management. Vices publishing house,Put Ltd. ,India, Latest edition/ 3) Quible, K. Administrative office management. Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 1992. 4)Ghosh, prasanta k. , Office management. 12th ed. Sultan chand and sons company Ltd, New Delhi, 2003 OFFICE ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT Unit I ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENT AND FACILITIES Certain principles have to be followed in planning and setting up the administrative organisation of any office. They are discussed in detail in this chapter Special features of office work While analyzing the special problems involved in organizing office work. One should recognize the fact that compared to other types of activities.
Office work has some peculiarities of its own. They are 1. The office is not located in one place. That is, office activities are not performed in one location. Since all the primary functions of an organization requires some office activities, office work is found to be carried out in all the functional departments, and not in one particular location. Even when some office services are centralized in the general office still there will be some activities located in the departments. 2. The office activities, strictly speaking, do not constitute a separate function; they are parts of all the primary functions.
In fact, when compared to the primary functions like production, sales, purchase etc. it cannot be termed a function at all. Rather, it is a process or group of processes necessary for carrying out he primary functions. 3. Office services are not homogeneous, there being differences in the nature of different services like mailing, duplicating, filing, etc. CENTRALIZATION OF OFFICE SERVICES A large business is usually divided into a number of sectional offices, and each sectional office provides the required clerical service to the corresponding functional departments.
Thus, the usual departments found in modern office a large size are: production, purchase, sales, marketing, accounts, personnel etc. Some of the office services performed in these sectional offices, viz. , correspondence, typing and duplication, filing and indexing, etc. , being common to all the sections, are centralized in a separate sectional office known as the general office. An office manager is to decide whether these common office functions should be performed in the separate sectional offices or they should be centralized in a separate department.
Centralization of Office Services means that the office functions common to all sectional offices (e. g. correspondence, typing and duplication, filing and indexing, etc) are physically concentrated in one department known as the general office under the control and supervision of an office manger. Whenever such office services are required for any departments, it will be duty of the general office to provide such service. Decentralization of Office Services means that the each sectional office will have its own employees to perform these activities within the department itself and there will be no general office to provide these services.
Whether centralization of office services is possible and desirable and, if so, to what extend has to be decided by the office manager by taking into account the nature of business functions in that particular organization and by comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the two arrangements. In a modern business office, complete physical centralization or decentralization is neither feasible nor desirable. A combination of two arrangements will give the best possible result is adopted. This is known as functional centralization.
Under this arrangement separate staff is allocated to each department office for performing those activities which a cannot be centralized, whereas all routine office activities like correspondence, typing and duplication, filing and indexing which are common to all department office are centralized in the general office. The general office, which is controlled and supervised by the Secretary or General Manager, also undertakes the function of co-coordinating the activities of functional departments and sectional offices. Advantages of Centralization a) Equitable distribution of workload is possible.
Under the decentralized set-up, the volume of work in different departments may be uneven, leading to unequal distribution of workload among the workers. Under the centralized set-up, the total volume of work can be distributed evenly among the central staff so that none will be overloaded, nor will anyone sit idle. b) It helps specialization. Under the centralized set-up each worker performs the same type of function throughout. Constant dealing with the same type of work makes the worker specialized which, in turn, increases his efficiency and output and reduces the cost of office management. ) It leads to saving in office cost. Under this arrangement, specialization and full employment of each worker results in greater efficiency and output of work. As a result the same volume of work can be turned out by lesser number of workers. This leads to great saving in cost of office management. d) Duplication of work can be avoided. Under the decentralized arrangement, same types of functions are performed by all the departments separately. This requires separate sets of workers and equipment for each department leading to duplication of work and equipment. This can be avoided under the centralized set-up.
This also indirectly leads to saving in cost. e) Standardization of methods and equipment is possible. As all the workers under the centralized set-up are located in the same department and controlled by the same set of executives, the same method and the same type of machines and equipment can be used for all the workers. This will facilitate he recruitment and training of personnel as well as the selection and servicing of machines and equipments. f) Supervision of work can be improved. Under the decentralized arrangement, all the office staff will be concentrated in the same department.
This will make supervision work easier and less costly as lesser number of expert supervisors are required under the departmental set-up. They will be able to supervise the work of the centralized staff in a better way. Disadvantages of Centralization He centralized arrangement has more advantages than drawbacks. They are summarized as follows a) Departmental Work May be delayed: Under the centralized set up, the technicalities and peculiarities in the functions of operating departments may not always be properly understood by the centralized staff.
While writing correspondence or doing other work for the departments, the centralized staff may have to frequently refer the papers back to the operating departments for information and clarification. This will naturally lead to delay and loss of valuable time. b) It does not foster departmental loyalty. Centralized workers have to handle the work of all the functional departments. Consequently they do not form any attachments or loyalty for any particular department and hence they lack personal interest in work which is normally found in departmental workers.
Advantages of decentralization Certain types of office functions can be better performed departmentally because of the various advantages of the decentralized arrangement. They are a) It leads to saving of time: All paper work relating to the basic operations of the business originate in the departmental office. Since the detailed information regarding the operations relating to that department is intimately known to the departmental staff they can perform the work quickly than the centralized staff. ) It leads to greater efficiency and output: Since the workers of a particular department are better conversant with the technicalities of the work of that department than centralized workers, they can work more efficiently. Greater efficiency leads to more output of work and ultimately in saving of cost. c) Secrecy of business affairs is maintained: Some of the departments deal with business secrets which, if disclosed may lead lo loss to the organization as a whole. If such work is performed departmentally, there will be greater chance of maintaining secrecy than in the case of centralized arrangement. ) It fosters departmental loyalty: The staff attached to a particular department for a number of years develops a sense of loyalty to the department. They develop a personal interest in the reputation and performance of the department as a whole and consequently endeavor to improve their individual output and performance in the interest of department. Disadvantages of decentralization a) Under the decentralized arrangement, the total workload of the office cannot be evenly distributed among the workers of the different departments. ) Moreover there is bond to be duplication of work, machine and equipment under this arrangement. c) Standardization of methods, machines and equipments is not possible under this arrangement, leading to difficulties in selection and training of staff and purchase and servicing of equipment and machines. d) A large number of staff and supervisors are required under this arrangement leading to increase in cost of office management. JOB SUB DIVISION AND SPECIALIZATION
For the efficient functioning of an office , there are 2 main objectives, which are sub-division of work and specialization Sub-division denotes organizing and co-coordinating the operations more effectively By specialization, the performance of individuals and their jobs may be increased Basic Patterns of Job sub division: There are two basic patterns of Job sub division which may be followed, with or without modifications to secure the optimum degree of specialization. These are a) Serial plan: Under this plan, each major office job is broken down into small and simple operations.
Each unit of work moves progressively from one routine operation to another step-by-step. All work of the same type follows the same channel. Each operation is performed by a worker who is a specialist in his line, and after performing that operation, he passes on the work to the next worker in the sequence of operations. The same plan is followed in mass production lines in factories. A high degree of specialization is achieved under the serial plan as each worker performs only one small operations and repeated performance of the same task makes him proficient in that operations.
Serial plan is adopted under any one or more of the following conditions: i) Where skill in operation (as in typing, billing etc. ) is more important and specialization is necessary for acquiring the necessary skills. ii) Where training has to be kept simple for reasons of economy or because of scarcity of high grade employees. iii) Where the job is so complex that it discourage the worker and reduces his self confidence. iv) Where mechanization is desirable, but the machine must be used constantly to justify its installation. ) Where there may be greater loss of time if the individual worker has frequently to change over from one operation to another vi) Where uniformity of production is more important. vii) Where volume of each operation is such that it can keep individual workers fully employed. b) Parallel Plan: Under this plan, the total work load of the same general type is divided into several parts, and each part entrusted to an individual or a group of workers. Each worker or group performs all the operations involved in respect the part of total work entrusted to him or them.
The division of the total work may be done on the basis of geographical areas or class of product or alphabetical groups, etc. the degree of specialization achieved under the parallel plan is much less than the serial plan, as each worker or group has to perform a wider range of operations. That is, the parallel plan involves job-enlargement of individual workers to a great extent. For instance, under the parallel plan, the total work of handling incoming mail will perhaps be divided into several classes of mail (viz. correspondence, bills, orders, invoices etc. ). hen one or more workers will be placed in charge of handling each class of mail. The worker or group of workers entrusted with handling incoming bills will have to perform all operations (scrutiny, recording, sorting and distribution etc. ). In respect of all bills received. The conditions under which the parallel plan is considered desirable are as i) Where greater variety of work is necessary to relieve monotony and increase job interest of workers. ii) Where the job requires overall knowledge of all the operations involved rather than skill in one operation. ii) Where compartmentalize attitude of workers and supervisors, usually the result of over specialization, has to be avoided to improve inter-departmental relationship. iv) Where needless duplication of checking work in between steps has to be eliminated. v) Where increasing the job-satisfaction of individual workers and fostering of team spirit are more important. vi) Where friendly competitions between parallel units are groups is likely to improve motivation of workers. PRINCIPAL DEPARTMENTS OF MODERN OFFICE The principal departments of a modern office and their functions are described below. ) Purchase department: The main function of this department is to deal with clerical work in connection with purchase of materials and stores, plant and machinery, fuel, stationery etc. The usual work of this department includes preparation of supplier’s orders; receipt, checking and recording of supplier’s invoices and delivery notes; maintenance of purchase journal and ledger; checking and certification for payment of supplier’s bills; etc. b) Sales department: The main function of this department is to deal with forms and records relating to sale of finished goods, marketing, and advertisement, etc.
The work of the sales department includes: receipt, checking and recording of customers’ orders: preparation of outward invoices, delivery notes, etc. : maintenance of sales journal and Ledger; preparation, submission and follow-up of bills and statements of customers; collection of outstanding bills; preparation of sales statistics, etc. c) Production or Works department: The main function of this department is to deal with clerical work concerning production control and other activities relating to production of finished products.
However, as work calls for some technical knowledge of the process of production and the information provided must be immediately available to the factory manager and executives, the office work of this department is usually carried out in the factory itself. The factory office is usually staffed by persons having technical knowledge. The office work usually includes preparation of materials; schedule and operations schedule; preparation of checking and recording of materials requisition; maintenance of stock records and job records; preparation of wage bills; preparation and maintenance of costing records, etc. ) Accounts department: The main function of this department is maintenance of books of accounts, preparation of final accounts, financial statements and budget papers, bills, statements of wages and salaries, etc. ; maintenance of investment records; and supplying management with all other information and statistics relating to the financial position of the business for control purposes. Where there is no separate cash department, the maintenance of the cash and petty cash books, records in connection with banking transactions, etc. , are also included in the functions of Accounts Department.
Sometimes, the accounts department also undertakes the function of maintaining the cost records and preparing the cost accounts. e) Cash Department: Sometimes, when the volume of cash transactions is large, there is a separate department to deal with all records relating to the receipts and payments of cash. The usual functions of this department are maintenance of the cash book and petty cash book; preparation and maintenance of cash vouchers and other cash records, etc. f) General Office: The general office deals with those office activities which are common to all the departments, viz. correspondence, typing and duplicating filing, mailing, etc. i) Correspondence Section: The main function of this department is to deal with all correspondence of the office, both on the behalf of other functional departments as well as its own. Correspondence maybe internal or external. The main activities of the department include: receiving incoming mail from other departments or outside sources with instructions for dealing with them, gathering information on the cases from relevant files and draft replies, enquires tc. where there is no separate typing and duplicating sections, its functions also include arrangement for getting the drafted letters, circulars etc. typed or duplicated. ii) Typing and Duplicating Section: When the volume of typing and duplicating work is large, a separate section is set-up for looking after the work. This section deals with the typing and duplicating of all materials coming from all departments, including the general office. ii) Filing Section: This department deals with the systematic preservation of all files and records of the business which concern all the departments. Its activities include receiving papers and documents for filing, their classification, indexing and cross referencing, filing of papers, issuing the files to departments against requisition for reference purposes, follow-up of files issued to other departments etc. iv) Mailing Section: The main function of this section is to deal with the operations involved in handling incoming and outgoing mail.
Its activities include receipt and registration of incoming mail, sorting and distribution of the mail to different departments, folding and inserting of outgoing mail into envelopes, stamping the envelopes, Despatching the mail by post or through couriers and maintaining the post book/dispatch register. v) Secretarial Department: This is the secretary’s own department. The main function of this department is to deal with general administration and coordination of the activities of the other departments. Besides, it also deals with records, documents and papers relating to capital, finance and control of the business.
Sometimes instead of having a separate general office, the functions of the general office are also included in the secretarial department. The office manager then supervises the general office under the direct control of the secretary. OFFICE SUPERVISORS A supervisor is one who carries out lower level responsibilities for higher level management and has direct control over personnel. Thus an individual who gets work done through subordinate clerical staff in an office and has direct control over them may be called office supervisors.
The first line supervisor is one who is directly in-charge of the operating staff. The second line supervisor had one or two first line supervisors under him. The Office Manager may be regarded as a top level supervisor. In a small office, the Office manager may be the first line supervisor, while in a large office he may be second line or third line supervisor. Functions of Supervisors It would be right to say that all office activities revolve around the supervisor. Indeed, “he is the key figure on whose efficiency depends the efficiency of the office. His primary responsibility is to carry out the policies and assignments which have been decide at the higher management level. His tasks are similar to those of management, viz. , planning, organizing, directing and controlling day-to-day work of the office, besides maintaining proper work conditions, training the operatives and maintaining harmonious relation with his subordinates on the one hand and his superiors on the other. Supervisory planning is concerned with the plan of work in the department and allocation of duties among men under him to secure orderly performance of all activities.
Organization of activities by the supervisor refers to his task of establishing proper relationships between men and making available the necessary materials and equipments for efficient operations of the tasks. The executing phase of supervisor’s job is called supervising. The supervisor initiates the action and follows up to see that the work he has organized and delegated to his subordinates is carried out according to plans in time and in the proper manner. Coordination and control are two other functions of the supervisor.
Coordination is of special significance where several men are at work because individuals have a natural tendency to be free from regulations, they wish to be isolated from each other and show unreasonable antagonism to other individuals and units of activity. Control refers to the task of checking continuously whether the task assigned are being performed according to plans, whether quality of performance is maintained as desired and whether work is completed in time. If not, where and how achievement has fallen short of expectation and what remedies should be adopted to correct the situation.
In a large office, the control function is generally carried out with the help of specialized departments like those of Const accounting and personnel. But the first- line supervisor may also arrange internal checks, standardize operations and undertake close inspection of office procedures to control the office activities. Responsibilities of a Supervisor: i) The supervisor must communicate the managerial policies to his subordinates as well as conveys the latter’s (subordinates) desires and expectations to the management. i) He should secure efficient performance of work as well as prepare plans for improvement of methods to increase efficiency, reduce wastage and improve quality of work. iii) He has to take decisions on behalf of management in matters of remuneration, assignment of specific tasks, promotion, instruction on the job, working conditions, merit-rating etc. all are within the broad policies laid down by the higher management. iv) He should maintain record of activities for guidance in future and also submit such reports to management as may be required. ) Finally, the supervisor is to provide inspirational leadership to his men. Supervisory leadership calls for the building up of morale, development of a co-operative team, use of proper instruction methods, ability to maintain discipline and above all sound knowledge of human nature. STANDARDISATION AND STANDARDS: The word standardization is generally used to mean uniformity in the designation, definition, description of specific things, actions or concepts.
When used in context of office management, standardization means lying down of uniform definitions or specifications in respect of policies, procedures, and methods to be followed and material, equipment, operations and personnel to be used in the performance of office work. Therefore the Office Manager is to standardize the factors (policies, methods, materials, equipment and personnel) which affect performance of office work, and then the standards of performance in respect of each of these factors are to be set up.
The importance of standardization in office equipment lies in the fact that it simplifies the task of administration by providing information necessary for taking management decisions, enables management to establish closer control on materials, procedures and cost, ensures greater productivity of workers and minimize waste by allowing management to control men , materials and equipments in a better way. CONTROL OF OFFICE PRODUCTION:
Planning the objective, laying down of policies and procedures, setting up of the organization and provision of proper accommodation and working environment for the staff, equipment and machinery are not sufficient by themselves to ensure that office work will actually be performed in the desired way. Attainment of the planned objective requires that the work be of right quantity and quality, that the work be performed within the required time and that the cost of performing the work be kept within the limits of economy.
Production control refers to that part of the management task which involves control of the quantity of work performed, the quality of work done and the time spent on doing it. Before the actual process of control can be put into effect, it is necessary to determine how the performance of work is to be measured. It means devising units of measurement for different kinds of work. Measurement of work can be carried out with regard to quantity of work, quality of work or time of work.
But work measurement has very little value unless it can be compared with some preset standards to determine whether the work has been performed in the best possible manner. Thus, setting of standards-standards of quality, quantity and time, must be the next step in production control. Sometimes, I separate planning department to set-up to chalk out plans of production and control. The functions of the planning department would be to consider and decide what work is to be done, how it is to be done, where and by whom it is to be done and when it is to be done.
Aid to Management Planning and Control: Measurement of work involves devising of standard units of measurement and setting up of standard output in a standard time for each type of work. The time standards of different types of work which are established through work measurement, helps the management not only in assessing current results actually achieved and controlling them through corrective actions but also in planning future needs. Therefore the time standards for different types of work can be utilized by the management for the following purpose. ) Determination of Personnel Requirement: Time standards can be used by management for determining the number of staff required for a particular function at the present level of output. Manpower needs for the anticipated volume of work in future also can be assessed in advance. Management ca also find out the amount of overtime work needed and the number of temporary staff to be employed to cope up with seasonal or sudden increase in work. By establishing the time standards established already. i) Effective Scheduling of Work: It enable the management to prepare the schedule (time–table) for the completion of each particular task and to lay down the priorities accordingly. The available staff can then be allocated to different jobs according to the priorities laid down . iii) Even Distribution of Work Load: It also enables the management to distribute the work load evenly among different work centers and among different employees within each work centre.
Thus a situation, where some work centers or employees are overworked while others have less work load can be avoided. iv) Comparison of Performance: By comparing the performance of different work centers on the basis of predetermined performance index/utilization Index. Management can find out which work centers is operation efficiently and which are lagging behind in order to take corrective actions accordingly. v) Determination of costs: Time standards provide the basis for determining the cost per unit of work.
When the time standards for a particular operation have been established, it is possible to find out the unit cost of the entire function. For instance, if the time standard for duplicating letters is established, then it is possible to find out the cost of duplication letter from the entire organization. Again by combining the cost of duplication and printing of letters, circulars, forms etc. , it is possible to calculate the total cost of the entire reproduction services of the organization. Process of Production Control:
Production control is concerned particularly with co-ordination of the current performance of work by the different departments, units and employees by coordinating he activities of different departments, units and individual employees, management seeks to ensure that each type of office work is performed at the righttme and the volume of output is of right amount so that orders or quotas of productiobn are fulfilled . the work of production control involves four primary functions: a) Routing It refers to the task of the determining the route or path to be followed by a particular piece of work.
There is a separate routing for each type of work. Routing involves specifying the routine operations involved in each work and the sequence of the operations, the names of the department or units through which the work has to pass, the names of personnel who are to handle them and the machines and equipments to be used at each stage. The object of routing is to lay down the best and most economical procedure of doing a particular work. A Procedure is a sequence of steps required to be followed in doing a particular type of work.
Excepting for minor variations, the steps required for performing each type of office work are almost the same each time the work is performed. It is therefore, possible to lay down a procedure for each type of office work. Procedures form the basis of office routing. To help in the work of routing all office procedures should be carefully planned and expressed in writing. When the procedures are recorded in a procedure manual, it can serve as a master guide for office routing and may be used for routing of all work of standard type.
If any particular type of work posses special problems and do not conform to the standard procedure, then special routing forms or devices may be used. For work with unusual features or requiring special sequence of steps, it becomes necessary to lay down the successive steps in detail. This is done with the help of Route Sheet. Route sheet helps the employees to understand the route better and avoids wastage of time through misunderstanding or confusion. b) Scheduling
It is the task of preparing a timetable indicating the time required for the different operations required to perform the work and also that total time to be spent on the whole work. A schedule lays down the time at which each phase of the work is to be started and finished, the time to be spent on each process or machine and the time when the work is to be completed. The object of scheduling is to ensure that each work will be completed in the shortest possible time and according to the timing fixed in the schedule.
In order to set-up the schedule, it is necessary to know when a particular work has to be completed and the standard time required to perform successive operations needed for the work. Then, keeping the completion time as the deadline, the time within which each earlier phase or operation has to be competed can be worked out. The standard time required for each phase can be determined with the help of time study and other scientific methods. Various devices are utilized for recording schedules and giving effect to it for control purposes.
The simplest device is manual control, wherein the supervisor hands over a batch of work to the employee indicating the time by which it is to be completed. Another device is Route sheet prepared for routing office work. Schedule columns may be provided in the route sheet indicating the starting and finishing time for each successive step routed. The most widely used device is Gantt chart, which shows employee-wise progress of work with the passage of time as well as records the comparison of progress planned and accomplished in relation to time.
Other devices used for scheduling include visible index cards, sliding colored index strips, hook boards, clip boards etc. c) Despatching: It refers to the task of issuing orders and instructions for the actual execution of the work. After the route to be followed by a work has been charted out and the time-table for starting and finishing each operations as well as the total work is set up, the office work must be released to the employees and instructions issued for its execution. The task of releasing work and issuing instructions is usually performed by the immediate supervisors.
It would be advantageous if the work of dispatching is done slightly in advance so that the employees may get sufficient time for making necessary preparations for executing the work. As already indicated earlier, the Route Sheet, Gantt Cart and other devices used for scheduling may also be adopted for depatching d) Flow-up: It is the task of checking the progress of work from stage to stage and from time to time. It involves recording of output at regular intervals, comparing the actual with the planned output and reporting the position of production for the information of executives.
As each successive phase of work is completed, the supervisor records the actual time taken or completing the phase for purpose of comparison with the schedule. Then the status or position of the work at each stage (whether ahead or behind schedule or on schedule) is determined and reported to the higher executives. The report may summarize progress of all work handled by a department or it may be in the form of daily report on work completed and work ahead of schedules at each work-point, or the report may merely indicate the delays and interference occurring in the progress of particular jobs.
Problems in Production control: The problems commonly faced by the offices in production control are two, they are a) Human Relations Problem: It refers to the reactions of the office personnel to the administration of production controls. Controls may be used in such a way as to cause extreme tension and pressure on employees. Since the employees gain no direct personnel benefit from controls, they might not like the tension and pressure involved or may be critical of the fairness of the work standard set-up.
Employee resistance may be high particularly when controls are administered harshly through pressures and threats, rather than trough enlightened cooperation of the staff. The employees are likely to react favorably to controls if they understand their purpose, and if they feel that the work standards set-up is fair and reasonable and their personnel security is not threatened. To attain this, their must be two way communication between the management and the office personnel. The benefits and working of the controls should be explained to the employees clearly.
A better result may follow if the employees are associated with the planning of the controls and the management is ready to take their suggestions based on current experience with the controls. b) Problems of Fluctuating Work-load: This is a common occurrence in modern offices. Workload may fluctuate differently in different types of offices. There may be overload of work at certain hours of the day or certain days of the week or certain times of the month, or it may be seasonal. For instance, an office may have peak load in the early part of the day after which the workload comes down.
Banks usually have peak workload on Monday mornings than on other days. When fluctuations occur irregularly it becomes difficult to anticipate and make arrangements for meeting overload. Over-load of work during certain hours or days often results in accumulation or back -logs of work and poor services to customers, creating heavy pressure on employees during peak hours or days followed by slack time during the rest of the time. It results also in poor use of employees and poor utilization of equipments and space. There are different methods for solving the problem of work fluctuation. Using of part time help from outside. However, it is not always easy to get trained part-time staff whenever necessary. They can be used only for routine work. ? Over time payment to staff can be given to clear the heavy load during overload seasons. This being costly may result in over working the staff which may have and adverse effect on the working efficiency and morale. When the work fluctuation is seasonal some officers give unpaid overtime during peak season in return for compensatory leave in slack seasons. ? Maintenance of reserve staff may be another method.
It is the job of the reserve staff to move about and help in meeting peak workload whenever it across. ? Interchange of staff between departments may be another method of meeting overload of work. Staff of one department with less workload at that time may be lent to another department to meet periodic overloads. ? Rearrangement of work like cycle-billing (as done in Electric supply or telephone under takings) is another way of reducing the problem of over-load at particular times. Whenever possible, work may be spread out between different periods in such a way that there may not be excessive load during any particular period.
Advantages of Production control: i) Better Co-ordination: Production Control ensures better co-ordination between different departments, units and employees in current performance of work ii) Increased Efficiency and Output: Since the quantity, quality and time of work performance by each employee and department are planned beforehand, and performance is checked at every stage through controls, it ensures timely performance of work of the right quality and volume. Goals or targets of the enterprise can be achieved more efficiently and speedily. ii) Bottle necks and back logs avoided: Bottle necks in production and accumulation of back-logs can be avoided, since all stages of production are controlled according to plan and work proceeds smoothly. iv) Better utilization of personnel and equipments: Production control ensures better utilization of working time of employees and office equipment. Since work proceeds at even pace according to plan, personnel and equipment are neither overworked nor remain idle. v) Better inventory control: Inventory of stationery and stores can be controlled more effectively since requirements of different operations are planned before hand. i) Better employee morale: If controls are administered fairly and reasonably with the willing cooperation of the employees, it results in greater employee satisfaction in the performance of work. Consequently, employee morale gets enhanced. vii) Secures customer good will: With completion of work of right quality and quantity within the planned time, customer orders can be fulfilled on schedule. This improves the image of the enterprise and secures the goodwill of customers. Quality Control The task of ensuring that the work performed in the office is of the planned quality is also of highest importance.
It is through quality control that management seeks to ensure that the quality of office work would conform to a pre-set standard. The importance of quality control in office production arises from the fact that poor quality of work often results in loss of reputation and business. Besides it leads to wastage in time and cost and affects morale and confidence of employees. A badly drafted or typed letter, or a mistake in an invoice, or wrong posting in the ledger may make all the difference between retaining and losing a customer.
On the other hand, neat and accurate quality of work may enhance the good will and reputation of the firm and lead to more business. Moreover, it gives the employees pride in their work and helps in the improvement of their morale. The two most important elements of quality in office work are accuracy and effectiveness. Accuracy or absence of errors and mistakes is of great importance, since errors and mistake s may result in serious consequences, affection tat success of the business.
Effectiveness of office work depends on a number of factors like neatness of output, timely performance, tact, courtesy etc. It reflects that manner in which the work is performed and has much importance in creating satisfaction and good will. Methods of Quality Control: There are three methods of quality control i) Hundred Percent Check: Here every operation relating to all types of work is checked. All work done, without exception is checked thoroughly for errors, neatness, time of performance etc. This system of foolproof as it eliminates all chances of inaccuracies and errors.
But it is a costly and time-consuming method as it amounts to doing the same work twice. ii) Random Sample Checking: Under this method, some of the work performed by an employee during the day is selected at random for checking without prior notice. These are then thoroughly checked for quality and the results recorded in suitable form. When this method of checking is carried on for the work of each employee over a time, it gives a good idea about the quality of work of each employee. This method is effective as well as economical.
Random checking without prior notice keeps all employees alert and careful as to quality of work. Moreover , there is no duplication of work as in a hundred percent check. iii) Statistical Quality Control: This method involves determination of the quality level and limits of control. Samples of work are collected and statistical data regarding accuracy and quality are analyzed and plotted on statistical charts or graphs. To be effective, this method must cover a large number of samples over a fairly long period.
When the errors plotted on the chart are found to be more than a certain percentage above the average level of quality, then the management feel it necessary to investigate and take remedial action. A quality control chart can be prepared which shows the upper and lower limits of errors. This method is effective and economical as it ensures greater accuracy and lowers the cost of inspection . It keeps the management informed of the overall quality of work of each employee and department and facilities timely remedial action. This leads to improvement in performance of office services and employee morale.