Back in the day, companies would mostly build their goods depending on the number of orders they had from customers. This meant that if a customer wanted any good from a store, he or she would go to the store to look for the product, and if the store did not have one ready, the customer would be given a certain amount of time he or she would have to wait while they worked on producing the good he or she was looking for. This was a tedious process for a customer and even the store to go through. Both the company and the customer would have to wait a long time before making the exchange of goods. The way employees would work in factories was not as effective as it should be. Employees would do a product from scratch, from the beginning to the end, all by themselves or in a team. It was a big load of work for the employee or a small team to do alone. This was not working smoothly as the company, and even the customers would expect. The cost of products was high because of how hard it was for them to be done. There was a high probability of mistakes or defects in the products because of how the work on it was done. Also, products that were supposed to be exactly the same were difficult to get standardized and identical to each other. In order to find better ways of production Adam Smith, a developer of political economy, came up with the specialization theory first recognized in his book “Wealth of the Nations” in 1776. The specialization theory is also known as the division of labor. This came to change how labor was used in the manufacturing of products. This method specialized labor, saved labor time, increased productivity and helped the market grow between countries. This theory helped to establish assembly lines in the manufacturing industry. An example of how the assembly lines came to innovate the production of goods is Ford’s assembly Line. “…Henry Ford came along and started to build cars using an assembly line process” (Price, 2004). Prior to the incorporation of the assembly line in Ford’s Company, automobiles were built by a team of craftsmen that were highly knowledgeable on how to build an automobile from beginning to end. This limited the men that could work in this field because each of the men parts of the team needed to know how to do everything that involved the structure of the automobile. They had to be very skilled men in this area if not, the team would not be successful in creating a good product. Besides this, the time that it took a team to build an automobile was extensive.
To make the production of goods run better, assembly lines were used in the factory. With the use of assembly lines, the team of people working in the manufacturing of automobiles became larger, and they did not require that much knowledge of everything about the production of automobiles. Each individual would have a specific task, and that was all of what they had to worry about. This created more job opportunities as the men did not have to be so knowledgeable about automobiles, only about their specific tasks. They just had to be trained on whatever they were required to do in the assembly line, and that would be more than enough. “It was found that this process was faster, cheaper, and more efficient” (Price, 2004). There were great improvements with the use of assembly lines in the process of producing goods. Moreover, this method came to increase the production of goods and make them better.
With the use of assembly lines, companies were able to increase their productivity. Mass production came along with the method of assembly lines. This new method enabled companies to produce larger quantities of products at a lower cost. This does not mean that the finished product will be of low quality necessarily. The products could still be of great quality in the process of mass production. For this concern, the materials used had to be of very good quality to have that reflected in the finished goods.
The finished goods were very much alike to each other, if not identical to each other. Products of very good quality can be made using this method and producing a large amount of them. There is very little opportunity for variables in the products. It is hard to produce a mass amount of products and all different from each other. Although there are coming up with ways to still create a large number of products without all of them being the same, having variety among the products is still something that needs work. As a result of mass production, overproduction, and consumerism have impacted the economy. The large amounts of products made and the low consumption of them led to an overproduction of those products because there were several left out because there was not enough demand for the products. Market studies have to be implemented before deciding how much of a product has to be made. The higher the demand, the higher the production should be, and vice versa. Consumerism was stimulated by the low prices of the products and their availability of them. The lower the prices, the more consumers were able to purchase. This stimulated the spending of the consumers and the flow of money as well.
The assembly lines used in mass production have certain disadvantages too. Having specialized skills meant having workers do the same thing over and over, which could turn to be dreary after some time. The repetition involved for each of the workers in the process of the assembly line could make them tired over a long time of work. As technology advanced, machinery created to take place in assembly lines took over peoples’ jobs. This made the workers’ skills obsolete but made the process of manufacturing even faster. As there are many advantages to this process, there are disadvantages as well. Overall, the assembly lines and mass production increased economic efficiency in capitalism.
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