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Microsoft® Access® Small Business Solutions: State-of-the-Art Database Models for Sales, Marketing, Customer Management, and More Key Business Activities by Brent Spaulding, Leigh Purvis, Larry Linson, Truitt Bradly, Teresa Hennig

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Chapter 8. Production and Manufacturing

Manufacturing and production are complex operations, so you may find it challenging to properly represent them in a database. To be a useful tool for both management and production, the database must be able to capture and report a high-level overview of information that is important to the decision makers, and the very detailed, process-specific information important to the people managing production operations on the shop floor, as well as several other levels in between.

Moving past the various levels of detail required by management, you will find there are even greater variations in data requirements based on the actual production operations. For example, you might compare a company making paper plates to a company producing orthopedic implants. The paper plate manufacturer produces thousands of similar, but not necessarily identical, paper plates each day. The orthopedics manufacturer may produce only a few dozen implants in a week or a month, but each implant has to conform to very precise specifications. The processes and controls required by the paper plate manufacturer, obviously, can be quite different from those required by the implant manufacturer.

Fortunately for those tasked with creating the databases, there is a common thread that runs through the operations of both the paper plate manufacturer and the orthopedics manufacturer. That is, the processes used to make their products must consistently and reliably perform the task(s) ...

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