Learningconsists of a process through which people acquire knowledge,ability, and skill. When a new process or product is commissioned tobe undertaken, often the worker’s performance is not optimum, sotraining of the employees is done to ensure that their performanceand experience improve over the time as this will impactproductivity. Therefore, learning curve theory comprises of a conceptwhich graphically represents the relationship between the cost andoutput measured over a given time (Jaber, 2016). It usually accountsfor a similar function carried out over and over by an employee. Thistheory is used to estimate production efficiency and to prognosticatecosts.
DetailedDescription of the Curve
Itcan also be referred to as the productivity or efficiency curve. Thelearning curve gives insight and measurement into various aspectsthat affect the company. This theory argues that any employee takesthe time to master the art of performing certain duties perfectly(Jaber, 2016). It takes longer to produce the desired outcome. Then,after the learning process is complete, the employee can completethat task in time thus reducing the time required to generate a unitof the same. The cost explains the reason why the curve slopesdownward in the beginning and then assumes a flat shape towards theend. X-axis represents the total output while the Y-axis representsthe cost per unit (Jaber, 2016). An increase in the learning processleads to the reduction of the cost per unit initially before itflattens out.
Applicationof the in a Manufacturing Company
Thistheory is a vital concept in the manufacturing business. It may beused as a management consulting framework that provides assistance inthe practical aspects of the business. Calculations obtained from thelearning curve are a vital part of operation management. Inmanufacturing, the learning curve proves crucial by depicting thecost incurred in the production of a single unit of output in a giventime (Jaber, 2016). It enables the company to know how much eachworker obtains per hour. From this information, the company canderive the cost incurred in the production of a unit of outputdepending on the number of hours required. Workers who have undergonetraining help in bringing down the cost per unit of production overtime. Manufacturing companies can utilize this learning curve toforecast costs, carry out production planning, and conduct logisticschedules (Jaber, 2016).
Theslope of the curve amounts to the rate at which the learning processtranslates into cost cuts for the company (Jaber, 2016). Many factorsdetermine the curve’s slope. They include corporate culture,capital investment, management actions, styles, and technology. Also,cost improvement depends on many sources that include:
Productdesign.Products can be redesigned to reduce the cost of production incurredper unit. Workers have to be familiar with these designs formanufacturability. Improved communication and coordination betweenthe designers and the manufacturing units also helps.
Planlayout.An efficient and effective production unit design makes workfloweasier improves coordination, and reduces handling costs.
Laborefficiency.Improved workplace arrangement, work balancing, equipment andbalancing of work directly contribute to the learning process.Handling of raw materials, scheduling, coordination and other relatedactivities incur more labor compared to the actual production.Improvements on this part can play a crucial role in reducing theoverall cost (Jaber, 2016).
Optimizationof profits in manufacturing companies can be achieved through thestrategic application of the learning curve theory. Other factorsthat directly affect the cost of production have to be considered soas to achieve the desired outcome.
Jaber,M. Y. (2016). Learningcurves: theory, models, and applications.Boca Raton: CRC Press.