Production workflow is a method of designing a plan geared toward efficiently creating and producing a product. In most companies, production workflow includes all aspects of production, from the conception of the product to delivering the finished product units to a satisfied customer. Common tasks incorporated into production include creating and designing the content, building the product, and ensuring that it is delivered to the customer as ordered. As it is a comprehensive, all-encompassing means of planning a project, this system has many aspects that may change based on the customer's order requirements and the needs and restrictions of the business. On the Internet, production workflow can mean the method an online content producer like a writer, artist, or musician uses to create content.
The first step in any effective production workflow is to create and design the new product. The person who creates and designs a product is often a product design professional called an industrial engineer, who specializes in designing things for production. In a small operation, this may be the production workflow manager, while a larger operation will often have a dedicated industrial designer.
Usually, an industrial engineer designs a product with certain goals in mind, which can include usability, visual appeal, and marketability. These goals can vary based on specific goals and specifications assigned to the final product. It is at this point in the production workflow process that designers create a brand and marketing materials for the coming product.
After a product is designed, the design goes into the factory for production. Since materials are needed to produce a product, determining the necessary materials and acquiring the materials needed for the product is another responsibility of a production workflow manager. If a manager is engaged in planning the amounts and types of materials needed for the project, the manager is using materials requirements planning. This step in the process is necessary in avoiding materials shortages or overages, which can affect production progress and costs.
When production is complete, a product is usually subjected to quality control procedures that ensure that the product meets the customer's expectations before leaving the factory. Quality control is usually conducted by a supervising production worker, but some companies have important clients' orders double checked by an official at the company. With the completed product checked to ensure that it has met specifications, the production workflow manager must coordinate delivery of the finished and quality control–verified product to the customer.