Learning Essay

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SUPPLEMENT Learning Curve Analysis Learning Goals After reading this supplement, you will be able to . . . 1. explain the concept of a learning curve and how volume is related to unit costs. 2. develop a learning curve, using the logarithmic model. 3. demonstrate the use of learning curves for managerial decision making. there change, I n today’s isdynamic workplace, change occurs rapidly. Wherelearn toisper unit. there also learning. With instruction and repetition, workers perform jobs more efficiently and thereby reduce the number of direct labor hours Like workers, organizations learn. Organizational learning involves gaining experience with products and processes, achieving greater efficiency through automation and other capital investments, and making other improvements in administrative methods or personnel. Productivity improvements may be gained from better work methods, tools, product design, or supervision, as well as from individual worker learning. These improvements mean that existing standards must be continually evaluated and new ones set. THE LEARNING EFFECT The learning effect can be represented by a line called a learning curve, which displays the relationship between the total direct labor per unit and the cumulative quantity of a product or service produced. The learning curve relates to a repetitive job or task and represents the relationship between experience and productivity: The time required to produce a unit decreases as the operator or firm produces more units. The curve in Figure G.1 is a learning curve for one process. It shows that the process time per unit continually decreases until the 140th unit is produced. At that point learning is negligible and a standard time for the operation can be developed. The terms manufacturing progress function and experience curve also have been used to describe G.2 supplement g .

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