Push and Pull Systems in Product Manufacturing

Subject: Management
Pages: 2
Words: 575
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Undergraduate

Incorporating a range of elements and influenced by a variety of factors, the process of product manufacturing can be carried out in several ways. The push and pull systems are traditionally mentioned as two key principles, according to which the process can be conducted. The push system is typically defined as the system, in which the information flow starts with the company’s management and is afterwards introduced into the target market, whereas the pull system represents the exact opposite (Simch-Levi, Kaminsky & Simch-Levi, 2008). Although both systems have their problems, each of them allows for improving the quality of the manufacturing system of a specific organization, which makes the strategies in question essential tools for enhancement of the manufacturing process.

Among the key benefits of the pull system the fact that it allows for managing an admittedly limited amount of inventory in an adequate manner should be mentioned. Indeed, while a range of organizations find a comparatively humble amount of inventory a major impediment to their operations, the pull system sets the premises for an efficient allocation of the existing resources. Another doubtless advantage of the approach in question concerns its focus on the customer and the opportunities for increasing customer satisfaction rates that it provides (Simch-Levi et al., 2008). Finally, the pull system contributes to a major stock improvement, since it helps approach complex issues gradually and, therefore, view specific problems from an objective standpoint.

The disadvantages of the specified strategy, however, are also quite numerous. For example, the given approach requires that the company’s systems and departments should be in complete balance; as long as there is the slightest disruption between the departments, the pull system is not going to work. For example, inconsistent communication processes caused by the improper use of the data processing tools available is likely to become a major impediment in the company’s development.

The push system, in its turn, also has a range of aspects that allow one to view it as beneficial to the manufacturing process. First and most obvious, the specified approach presupposes that the company is capable of incorporating a variety of inventory types in the course of the production process (Simch-Levi et al., 2008). Additionally, the fact that the approach in question helps make forecasts regarding the demand rates and tendencies in the target market (Simch-Levi et al., 2008) should be brought to attention.

Unfortunately, much like the pull system, the push framework also has its problems. Particularly, low chances for detecting mistakes in the production process at the earliest stages can be viewed as a major disadvantage of the strategy under analysis. The aforementioned flaw may become a crucial factor in determining the failure of an organization; for example, in a company dealing with pharmaceutical orders, miscalculations at the production process will have dire consequences, threatening the lives of thousands of people.

Despite having certain issues in their implementation in specific settings, as well as being the exact opposite of each other in terms of the production process implementation, the push and pull systems can be considered essential tools in managing the above-mentioned process within the company setting. It should be noted, though, that preference should be given to the pull system, which presupposes that the company’s focus should lie on customers as its key stakeholders (Simch-Levi et al., 2008). Nevertheless, the inverse approach can also be viewed as an option in the cases when an organization has an unlimited amount of inventory.


Simch-Levi, D. , Kaminsky, P. and Simchi-Levi, E. ( 2008). Designing and Managing the Supply Chain: Concepts, Strategies and Case Studies, (3rd edn). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.