Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

2.9. What do you control during the control process?

ryanrori December 31, 2020

[responsivevoice_button rate=”0.9″ voice=”UK English Female” buttontext=”Listen to Post”]

Physical resources

Are the tangible assets such as:

  • buildings: where the work takes place.
  • office equipment: used by employees, includes electronic equipment such as faxes, computers, telephones, etc.
  • furniture: used by the employees.
  • vehicles: usually for delivery purposes.
  • manufacturing machinery and equipment: used to produce finished products.
  • trading stock: finished items kept in stock for immediate sale.
  • raw materials: used to produce the finished product.
  • work in progress: an item that is being produced but is not yet finished.
  • and finished products.

All these resources have to be organised and controlled: the manager has to ensure that there is enough raw materials to produce the final products, the machinery and equipment must be in place, storage space for the finished products, etc.

If you want to bake a cake, you need:

  • the raw ingredients such as flour, sugar, butter, milk, flavourants and colourants.
  • a place where you can mix the ingredients.
  • pans to pour the batter into.
  • a working oven in which to bake the cake.
  • a place where you can tip out the cake so that it can cool down.
  • a place where you can put the icing on the cake.
  • ingredients for the icing.

All the above are physical resources that you need in order to bake a cake.  In the same way physical resources are required for the production of products or services.

The first line supervisor will be responsible for controlling all physical resources used on a day by day basis in his section.  He will have to ensure that the machinery and equipment is maintained: serviced when due, parts replaced and so on, that enough stock of raw materials are available, and he will bring any requirements regarding physical resources to the attention of his manager.

Middle managers will ensure that all the physical resources in the sections in their departments are controlled, they will authorise repairs and replacements on machinery and equipment up to a certain amount and bring further requirements to the attention of top management.

Top management will be responsible for the overall control of physical resources: big and expensive machinery and equipment, latest trends in production, and so on.

Financial resources

This is one of the most important controls that a manager has to apply.  A certain amount of money is allocated for the production of the final products and the manager has to produce final products within the budget.  The budget is a formal plan, expressed in financial terms, which shows how resources are allocated to different activities, departments and subordinates.

Managers are not allowed to use more money than allocated in the budget to produce final products.

If you only have R30 with which to bake a cake, you cannot bake a cake that costs you R40 – where is the extra R10 going to come from?  It especially becomes important if you sell the cake for R50.  If the cake costs R30 to bake, you make a profit of R20.  If you go over your budget you only make a profit of R10.  Would baking the cake still be worthwhile?  Probably not.  What can be even worse is if you don’t plan, organise and control the process of baking the cake and the cake costs you R60 to bake and you sell for only R50 – this means you have paid in or worked at a loss.

Financial controls fulfil a vital role in any organisation and they must always be adhered to as failure to do this can result in the business failing (going bankrupt) and everyone losing their jobs.

Top management will be responsible for the overall budget and financial control of the organisation, middle managers will be responsible for the budget and financial control of their departments, while supervisors are responsible for the financial control of their sections.

Information resources

The flow and availability of information is usually centred in the administration departments.  The managers of all the other departments or functions rely on accurate information given to them on time in order to control their own departments. 

Information should be relevant and on time.  Managers can only implement effective plans and ensure that production is happening according to the plan if they get accurate and timely information.

If you want to bake a cake, you need the instructions before you start mixing the ingredients, this is accurate information given on time.

The flow of operational information usually works from sections, where first line managers are in control, to departments, where middle managers are in control, to top management.  Information that has to come from top management, will flow from top management to middle management to junior management.

Human resources

Usually the Human Resources Department is responsible for the control of human resources.  However, every department and section is also responsible for controlling human resources allocated to them.

It is the first line supervisor and departmental manager’s job to ensure that people arrive for work, don’t take longer lunch breaks than allowed, don’t leave earlier than they are supposed to, overtime figures are given to HR Department, names of employees who are entitled to bonuses are given to HR Department, and so on.

The first line supervisor will be responsible for the employees on his team and the departmental manager will be responsible for controlling his first line supervisors.