S-Cool Revision Summary

S-Cool Revision Summary


This is the replacement of workers with machinery. Machines have several advantages over workers, such as zero rates of absenteeism and sickness, and a constant productivity rate which can be used for 24 hours a day.


This refers to a business finding the best methods and processes that are used by other businesses, and then trying to emulate these in order to become more efficient in its operations.

British Standard 5750 (ISO 9000)

BS 5750 was the most common quality certification in the UK - it is now known as ISO 9000, which is an international standard which tells customers that a business has reached a required level of quality in its products and processes.

British Standards Institution (BSI)

This is the body that is responsible for setting quality and performance standards in industry. The BSI 'kitemark' on a product implies to customers that it has been manufactured and produced to a high level of quality.

Buffer stock

This is the minimum stock level which will be held by a business to meet any unexpected occurrences (e.g. a sudden large order from a customer or, deliveries of raw materials not arriving on time).

Cell production

This method of manufacturing an item organises workers into 'cells' within the factory, with each cell comprising several workers who each possess different skills. Each cell is independent of the other cells and will usually produce a complete item.

Computer aided design (CAD)

This is the use of sophisticated computer software to design 3-dimensional images of products quickly and relatively cheaply.

Computer aided manufacture (CAM)

This is the use of computers for a wide variety of production tasks, including automated production lines and stock control systems.

Just-in-time (JIT)

This is a method of manufacturing products which aims to minimise the production time, the production costs and the amount of stock held in the factory. Raw materials and supplies arrive at the factory as they are required, and consequently there is very little stock sitting idle at any one time. Each stage of the production process finishes just before the next stage is due to commence and therefore the lead-time is significantly reduced.


This is a Japanese word which means 'continuous improvement'. It is widely held that any aspect of the business can be improved - not just the production processes.


This is the amount of time between a business receiving an order from a customer and the delivery of the finished product to the customer.

Lean production

This term refers to a range of cost, time and waste-saving measures used by Japanese manufacturing firms. These include just in time, shorter lead-times, Kaizen, benchmarking and cell production

Quality assurance

This term refers to the attempt to achieve customer satisfaction, by ensuring that the business sets certain quality standards and publicises the fact that these standards are met throughout the business.

Quality circle

This is a group of workers that meets at regular intervals in order to identify any problems with quality within production, consider alternative solutions to these problems, and then recommend to management the solution that they believe will be the most successful.

Quality control

This is the process of checking the quality and the accuracy of raw materials and the finished products. This is usually carried out either by quality inspectors or by the employees themselves.

Reorder level

This is the minimum amount of stock that a business will hold before it re-orders some from its suppliers.

Stock control

This is the system used to ensure that the business always has sufficient stock available to meet customer requirements - it focuses on four key variables : re-order levels, re-order quantities, buffer stocks and lead times.

Stock rotation

This is the process of ensuring that the older batches of stock are used first.

Total Quality Management (TQM)

This is the attempt by a business to stop errors occurring at all levels within the organisation, and to try to encourage all employees to make 'quality' paramount within their daily activities (whether in production, marketing, personnel, etc).

Zero defects

This is the ultimate objective for a business - producing every product with no defects, therefore eliminating waste and the time taken to correct mistakes. Zero defects can lead to an improved reputation and increasing levels of both sales and profitability.