Writing a Business Plan
How to Write the Operations and Production Chapter of a Business Plan
Written by Samuel Muriithi for Gaebler Ventures
This chapter of the business plan details how the production of a given product or service will be done and the operations that must be accomplished for this to happen. It is a narrative describing what and who is required for production, how and how much of this will be achieved, and what measures will be implemented after production.
In writing the operations and production chapter of a business plan several fundamental issues have to be highlighted.
It is quite in order to sequence these fundamentals in terms of what the production involves, the resources available to accomplish this, the actual process, and finally the activities that will ensue after production is done.
Begin by describing the production process in detail. Here you should provide information on the various stages of production and how materials will be moved from one stage to the next. Describe the different technologies that will be employed in this process and what the various inherent advantages and disadvantages are. Indicate all the production ingredients that will be outsourced, from whom they will be outsourced and at what cost. Finally you should indicate what the other production costs are.
Next, the operations and production chapter of a business plan should provide details about the equipment to be used. After listing all the equipment you should describe its condition and ownership status i.e. is it wholly owned or partially owed. Describe the unavailable equipment you'll need to purchase, the source and the anticipated cost.
Move on to the aspects of labor where you should start by describing the quantity and nature of employees at your disposal i.e. are they permanent or casual workers and do they earn salaries or wages etc. Describe the desired qualifications for each aspect of production. Give details on how these employees will be organized as they work and who will supervise them. It is also appropriate to indicate how long each shift will be and the number of these per week.
A description of the capacity should also feature in the operations and production chapter of a business plan. Here you are meant to describe the quantity of production that your current/planned facilities can churn out in a given timeframe and the amount of labor that is required to meet this output. Make suggestions as to how capacity can be increased and on how excess capacity can be utilized.
Issues of quality control should also be addressed in this chapter. You should indicate who will be in charge of quality control and what the defined standards of quality are. Details about every quality control check performed from the start to the end of the production process should be provided. You should also describe how the employees will be motivated to ensure that quality is upheld and how feedback on the quality of the product will be collected from the end-users or consumers.
In the operations and production chapter of a business plan details about inventory control measures to be employed should be provided. The person responsible should be identified as should the maximum and minimum levels of inventory. Further, the minimum and maximum times for inventory receipt from suppliers, goods/service production, and delivery to consumers should be indicated. A description of the information system to be used for inventory management is required. Equally important are descriptions of the procedures that will be implemented to address inventory issues like storage requirements, damage and theft.
Samuel Muriithi is a business owner in Nairobi, Kenya. He has extensive international business experience in the United States and India.
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