Providing a quality product to the market or customer is a big challenge. The output control technique helps to prevent errors or problems in the process.
The article helps you to know absolutely about output control systems.
Output control is a technique for controlling output where actual output is compared to planned output to identify problems at the work center.
An organization must be aware of the products it is putting out into the market. It must be mindful of the condition of the finished goods and also how people are accepting them.
It must then analyze all this information to predict any mismanagement within the production line or processing and implement any preventive measure to overcome it, if necessary.
Output control is the technique that analyses the output, which is the finished product or the services that a firm is providing.
One thing must be made clear that the output or the end product is the only thing that the customer gets to analyze.
As a customer is neither accustomed to the high-end production facility, a company might provide, nor even if the employees function in a highly organized manner, or even if the machines and implements used by the company are first quality products, none of it is witnessed by the customer.
The only thing a customer gets his hands upon is the finished goods or the service’s quality.
Thus, he tends to judge with and compare two companies; the one with a lesser impressive performance falls short.
Hence, a company needs to devise a method to keep up the standards of its finished goods. For this, a firm generally appoints a manager to look into the quality of the products being delivered to the customers.
A company needs to perform up to its mark and reputation in the market to keep its good name going.
You cannot expect a quality product every time without enforcing system control. Establishing a controlling system in a company will keep up the standards by maintaining the quality of the product, looking out for any discrepancies, and implementing methods to correct them.
The system output control might also suggest a noticeable change in the manufacturing process or production lineup; it might also be a problem with late deliveries and improper packaging, causing a company to lose customers.
If no immediate step is taken to remedy these, it may result in a long-term setback.
Features of output control system
- Output control is an active process
- It includes continuous evaluation of the products and services
- It is follow up action of the functional management
- It is a forward-looking process
- Output control is a preventive action
- Reduces losses, wastage, and deviation from standards
- Takes the corrective actions based on feedbacks
Objectives of output control
- To make sure that the production process is going as per the predetermined standards to attain the desired output
- To know the activities of the organization
- To find out the corrective action with minimum effort, cost, and time
- To synchronize efforts and mixed activities
Steps to keep up the standards of output product or service
Here I am discussing five main steps to keep up the standards of your products or services. In short, you can call it steps of the control process.
1. Formation of standards
This is the first step to maintain the standards. It is the criteria against this the actual output is measured. Next, these standards review the desired result. These standards may be of two types.
- Quantitative standards: These standards are the standards that can be measured in terms of quantity, such as production, sales.
- Qualitative standards: These standards are the standards that can not be measured in terms of quality, such as employee motivation, industrial relations.
2. Evaluation of performance
This step includes the measurement of performance concerning work in terms of control standards. Then, based on the established standards and goals, the evaluation becomes easy.
If the evaluation finds any deviations, then immediately, you can take corrective actions.
3. Compare standard performance and actual performance
The third step is comparing actual performance with standard performance. This process gives you the deviations between standard and actual performance.
If standards are in terms of quantity, the comparison is easy. However, when the standards are in terms of quality, the knee observation is necessary to find out the deviation.
4. Anatomy of deviations
This fourth step is about the analysis of the deviation. When the deviation exceeds the limit, you need to analyze the deviation thoroughly to determine the cause of that deviation.
Then report to the manager or top management about the deviation’s cause and take the necessary action to correct it.
5. Take corrective actions
In this last step, the manager takes required corrective procedures to reduce the deviation. For example, corrective actions will be the review of standards, employee training, technical improvement, etc.
Examples of output control
A famous airline company once found itself losing out on shares and falling far behind its competitors on the trusted list of airlines over some time.
The managers stepped into the matter and soon it was discovered that not more than 77% of the flights actually reached their destination on time. That was a significant issue and had to be solved quickly.
The airlines started organizing elaborate periods of employee training and hired only experienced pilots for a while. Then, they introduced strict policies and penalties for breaking them.
All this had a positive effect, and soon within five years, the airlines found themselves back into the game and had also made a profit of a few million dollars.
A company producing and selling electronics goods must be sure of the standard of the products and longevity.
The finish must be high-end to attract the rich and funky and at the same time interest the ones after quality products.
One such mobile phone company made a market survey after its brand value started going down.
It was found that despite starting at the top of the chart, mobile phones had fallen out of the competition.
It was found that while all its contemporaries had a massive battery capacity, this mobile phone had minimal capacity.
The company soon kicked back with a newer version with upgraded features and huge battery capacity and took over the market.
Hence, system output control is an extremely crucial point and is like a preventive measure guarding an organization against imminent failure.
We can also take university test results as an example of output control. You know test results and grades act as reasonable output measures of students’ performance in academics.
When the students do not perform well in the test, their results will not meet their desired results. At this point, they can take corrective actions by studying harder than earlier.
At some universities, students will be put on probation. If their grades are below the standard grade or their performance has not improved, they may not be promoted to further studies.
Output control advantages
Helps to achieve objectives of the organization
The output control system controls and monitors the organization’s activities and makes sure that all the activities are in the planned way.
If it finds any variations in activities, immediately takes action to correct them and put back the activities in the planned path. This controlled process in the organization helps to achieve the objectives.
Uses the resources effectively
This technique monitor and ensures that all the activities are going according to the planned standards. Hence there is an effective use of resources.
Determines the precision of product standards
With the help of a control system, you can quickly determine the accuracy of the product standards. It also updates the standards as per the environmental changes.
Motivates workers and subordinates
An effective control system shares the objectives and standards of appraisal with employees and subordinates.
It also helps them to overcome their problems. In this way, it motivates them to give their best.
Reduces the errors and maintains the quality of products
The output control system continuously monitors and corrects the errors that occur.
Managers find out the errors immediately and take corrective actions to reduce the effect of errors on the finished product or services.
Limitations of output control
- Hard to set quantitative standards: When the predetermined standards are not set in terms of quantitative, it is difficult to compare actual performance and standard performance in the areas such as employee behavior, job satisfaction.
- Uncontrollable external parameters: You will not be able to control external factors such as changes in technology, government rules and policies, the taste of the customer, etc.
- Workers’ resistance: Sometimes, you may have to face opposition from workers when you started observing them through CCTV because they do not want to lose their freedom while working.
- Expensive: Control system requires little more resources, time, and effort. Hence make sure that your expenses are giving your desired benefits.
Three stages of control
We can divide the output control into three stages.
- Input stage – This is called feed-forward control. In this stage, the control system predicts the problem and takes preventive actions before problems occur. Hence it is a more aggressive and active method to control the output.
- Conversion stage – This is called concurrent control. In this case manager of the organization has to analyze the problem and take immediate action to correct the problems as they arise.
- Output stage– This stage is called feedback control and also history control. In this stage, output control evaluates results or output only after the performance. You can consider the feedback from your client about your product or services and, based on that, take corrective actions.
Three types of control
What are three types of control in an organization?
Three types of control in an organization are 1. output control 2. behavioural control 3. clan control.
One of the control techniques we have already mentioned. That is output control.
The other two are Behavioural control and Clan control.
Behavioural control gives attention to activities carried out by people. It controls the action that leads to the desired result.
Generally, different rules and procedures are used to set standards for behavioural control.
- you can see some signboards on the road while traveling like don’t park the vehicles here, don’t overtake, etc. These are behavioural control systems.
- When you go to a restaurant or in the washroom of a company, you can see some instructions like “don’t waste water”.
- In some industries, you can see no smoking area board, switch off mobile, etc
- Attendance of the students in class.
- Punctuality of the students
All these are the best examples of behavioural control.
Clan control tells about values, traditions, and expectations to give their best to the organization. For example, dress codes in a company or a college campus.
Many organizations use all three types of control to get better output of products or services.
You know that there are many management fads. Here I will brief about the main three fads or trends that have been very firmly binding with an organizational control system.
1. Management by objectives (MBO)
It is a procedure in which both workers/employees and managers work together to generate the organization’s objectives.
They also put efforts together to reach those goals. These objectives help to improve the behavior of employees and enhance their performance.
2. A quality circle
It is a group that contains formal employees. They frequently do meetings and discuss the various solutions for the problems of the organization.
Then find out the solution that helps to improve the quality of the output products or services.
3. Sensitivity training groups (T-groups)
It is an old practice. It was there in the 1960s. This group consists of around 8 to 15 people. These people regularly meet each other and discuss or share their feelings, thoughts, emotions, and believes about workplace issues.
Unlike MBO, these people do free-flow discussions. These conversations help them to nourish their understandings. It improves mutual understanding, and that leads to improving teamwork.
Get more definitions about Output control and other ERP-related terms here.