Mass Production: Definition, Techniques & Examples

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  • 0:00 What Is Mass Production?
  • 1:42 The American System
  • 2:32 Principles of Mass Production
  • 2:52 Henry Ford and rhe Model T
  • 3:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Kimberly Winston

Kimberly has a MBA in Logistics & Supply Chain Management

Expert Contributor
Steven Scalia

Steven completed a Graduate Degree is Chartered Accountancy at Concordia University. He has performed as Teacher's Assistant and Assistant Lecturer in University.

Thousands of companies use mass production every day to get their products onto store shelves. Learn the definition of mass production and go over some techniques and examples.

What Is Mass Production?

Take a second to look around your home. What do you see? Furniture? Books? Boxes of food? No matter what your eyes fall on, it's more than likely that several things in your home have been mass produced.

Mass production is a method of production that uses a standardized process of creating interchangeable parts in large quantities for a low price. In other words, a standard process for making products is repeated so each time the product is finished it is exactly the same as all the other parts. The parts are then said to be interchangeable. Whether you use the first part created or the millionth part, they should be exactly the same, with no variation in the outcome.

Mass production decreases the amount of time that workers spend on each individual product. This can allow manufacturers to lower the cost per unit--if the production of each unit is cheaper, its price can be as well. With mass production, manufacturers are also able to increase the amount of units produced and are able to control product quality because the process of producing the good does not vary.

To recap, benefits of mass production include:

  • Lower cost per unit
  • Decreased time producing products
  • Increased output
  • Quality control

In this age of mass consumption, many products that we use on a daily basis are mass produced. It could be anything from the furniture you are sitting on to the toys you played with as a kid. The mass production of goods depends on the mass consumption of goods. As the number of consumers and their need for goods increases, it becomes necessary to adopt practices that increase production.

The American System

Products were not always mass produced. The process of mass production was originally used for the production of weapons. It was not until the early part of the 19th century that the concept was adopted by industry.

In 1795, the Springfield Armory was established. It mass produced arms for the United States military. Colonel Roswell Lee took over as superintendent of the armory in 1815. When Colonel Lee took over, he made changes in the process that increased efficiency. Colonel Lee clearly defined specific responsibilities for workers and created a division of labor. He created a system to measure and control quality. Machine precision was also improved during this time. The techniques that Colonel Lee used were later applied to industry. This became known as the American system.

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Additional Activities

Mass Production - An Essay Prompt:

The objective of the following Essay Prompt is to enable you to apply your knowledge acquired on Mass Production by studying a real-life? business example in which Mass Production was crucial to a company's success and longevity.

The implementation of Mass Production models has increased drastically since the days of Henry Ford. This is largely due to globalization and the success achieved by Ford's Model T program. Although there are many different factors in today's Mass Production models compared to Henry Ford's (e.g. International taxation benefits, enhanced technology systems, increased automation due to artificial intelligence, etc.), today's Mass Production models are still based on the same principles as before.


The companies below are known to have successfully implemented a Mass Production model that gave their companies a sustainable competitive advantage. Select one of the companies and perform online research to answer the following in a short essay format (200 words minimum):

  1. What are the main benefits that the company reaped as a result of the implementation of a Mass Production model?
  2. How do the two basic principles of Mass Production apply to this company?
  3. How does the company's Mass Production model compare to the model developed by Henry Ford as described in your lesson?

Apple Inc.
General Motors Co.
Boeing Co.

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