Difference between Production and Operations Management

Production Management

E.S.Buffa defines production management as follows: ‘Production management deals with decision-making related to production processes so that the resulting goods or services are produced according to specifications, in the amount and by the schedule demanded and out of minimum cost’.

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                         FIG: Areas of Production Management

Operations Management

Joseph G .Monks defines Operations Management as the process whereby resources, flowing with in a defined system, are combined and transformed by a controlled manner to add value in accordance with policies communicated by management.

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Key Differences Between Production and Operation Management

  1. Production Management can be defined as the administration of the set of activities concerning the creation of goods or transformation of raw material into finished goods. Conversely, Operations Management is used to mean that branch of management which deals with the administration both production of goods and provision of services to the customers.
  2. In production management, the manager has to make decisions regarding the design, quality, quantity and cost of the product manufactured by the department. On the contrary, the scope of operations management is larger in comparison to the production management wherein the operations manager looks after the product design, quality, quantity, process design, location, manpower required, storing, maintenance, logistics, inventory management, waste management, etc.
  3. Production Management can only be found in the firms where production of goods is undertaken. Unlike, one can find operations management in every organization, i.e. manufacturing concerns, service-oriented firms, banks, hospitals, agencies, etc.
  4. The basic objective of production management is to provide the right quality goods in the right quantity at right time and best price. In contrast, operations management aims at making the best possible use of organization’s resources, in order to fulfill the customer’s wants.


Production and Operations Management are so closely intertwined, that it is quite difficult to differentiate the two. Production management covers administer all the activities which are involved in the process of production. On the other hand, operations management entails all the activities involved in the production of goods and delivery of services such as material management, quality management, maintenance management, process management, process design, product design and so on.

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