Understanding Mass Production – Pros and Cons You Should Consider

Feb 2, 2024

From cakes to cars, you have probably bought a product that has been produced using mass production. But how do you know if it is right for your business? In this guide, we delve into the ins and outs of mass production. From the advantages of mass production to the disadvantages, we take a closer look at everything you need to know before you decide if mass production is for you. 

What is Mass Production?

Mass production, also known as continuous production or flow production, is the manufacturing process of producing large quantities of standardised goods. With the aim of producing items in large quantities whilst keeping costs low, mass production allows businesses to increase productivity and minimise labour costs. 

Some industries benefit more than others from mass production. For example, the food industry is a key sector that utilises mass production. Other industries that take advantage of mass production are the automotive industry, electronics and other consumer goods. 

Advantages of Mass Production

Now we understand what mass production is and how it works, let’s take a look at the advantages of flow production. 

Reduction in Costs

With the main aim of mass production being to reduce the individual cost of items to generate a higher profit margin, mass production can also reduce your overall costs. For example, you could experience fewer labour costs as processes will be automated with conveyor systems. Tasks such as transporting raw materials can be automated with the help of conveyor belts, reducing the need for manual material handling and increasing productivity. 

Faster Production Rate

By producing a large quantity of goods in a shorter period of time, mass production allows for a faster production rate. Optimised for efficiency, mass production works at the fastest rate possible to create products to a high standard. With the addition of automation, production rates can be increased as machinery such as conveyor belts can transport items faster and provide a continuous flow of materials. 

Consistency in Standards 

Mass production utilises machinery to create products that are almost identical to one another, setting a high standard of consistency. The whole production process is planned out accurately to ensure consistent product quality, which can increase customer satisfaction and reduce the number of defects or variations in items. 


As mass production is generally automated, it can be easy to scale the production process up or down depending on customer demand. If customer demand increases, the production volume will be increased with no major disruptions. However, if products were not made through mass production, the time taken to create new products may be significantly longer, which can have negative effects, such as losing customers due to longer wait times. 

Disadvantages of Mass Production

Lack of Customisation 

Due to its large scale production, it can be difficult to customise individual products as mass production involves creating a large quantity of products that are almost identical to each other. This means creating items that are limited edition or specific to a customer’s needs is not suited to the mass production manufacturing process. 

Expensive Investment 

The initial investment of setting up a mass production facility requires not only a lot of money but also time. With elements such as machinery, tooling and infrastructure, the initial cost of installing all these elements can be high. It also takes time to plan all the components that go into mass production, such as conveyor belts. To speed up this process, why not get in touch with our experts who can help you plan all the elements of your mass production facility.  

Difficult to Change 

With the large machinery that goes into mass production, it can be difficult to make changes to the process of creating the end product. Altering one section of the mass production process can put a hold on production, disrupting the whole process. Additionally, it can also be costly and time-consuming to modify any element of the production line with the need for new machinery and retraining. 

Potential Increase in Waste

As mass production involves the creation of a large quantity of products, it can be challenging to alter production to fit customer demand. As a result, overproduction can occur, resulting in an excess of inventory, which can cause large amounts of waste if this inventory is not sold. 

Unmotivated Staff 

It can be monotonous working in a mass production facility, leading to unengaged and unmotivated staff. This can result in a high turnover, which can cause disruption to a company. One way to mitigate this is to change the roles of each staff member regularly to keep employees engaged. Alternatively, more mundane tasks could be automated using conveyor belts or automation so that staff can be placed in more skill-based roles. 

An Alternative: One-off Production

The opposite of mass production is one-off production, also known as job production or custom production. This is where products are created in smaller batches or even individually to meet the requirements of a customer. As a result, the products created from this manufacturing process are customisable and sometimes of a higher quality. 

Key industries that utilise one-off production are luxury and high-end industries that offer a sense of exclusivity to their customers. So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of job production?

Advantages of One-off Production


As products are made individually, it is easier to customise these products to the needs of a client. This can strengthen the relationship between customers and a business leading to higher customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. 


If any changes are needed to be made to the products themselves or production time, this can be completed easily. As products are made by craftsmen rather than machinery, there is no need for changing elements of machinery which can lead to longer lead times. This means one-off production is great for last-minute changes. 


There is a huge emphasis on mass production needing to produce a large amount of products that are to a specific design. This doesn’t allow for creativity and innovation. On the other hand, job production allows craftsmen to take their time and experiment more, which can lead to a more creative product and can be more rewarding for staff. 

High-Quality Craftsmanship 

The quality of products made through one-off production is also higher and emphasised. As each product is made by individual craftsmen rather than just machinery, quality control can be conducted at all stages of the production process. This is one of the reasons businesses that specialise in luxury items choose one-off production over mass production. 

Disadvantages of One-off Production

Higher Cost Per Unit 

As products are created individually rather than in bulk, there is a higher cost per unit and a smaller profit margin. This results in items having a higher price tag due to the amount of time, cost of material and higher quality of the product. 

Longer Lead Times 

With goods being produced in smaller batches, it can take a longer time to produce the same amount of product a mass production facility can make in an hour. This is where businesses must consider what they value more: quality or quantity. If the answer is quality, one-off production is the ideal manufacturing process for you. 

Inefficient Compared to Mass Production 

Mass production optimises a production process by not only producing items in bulk but also implementing machinery. One-off production, however, utilities the skills of craftsmen, meaning productivity is lower compared to mass production. If you require quantity over quality, mass production may be a better option. 

Limited Scalability 

As one-off production focuses on quality over quantity, there is limited scalability in using this manufacturing process. Finding highly skilled craftsmen is also difficult, adding an extra challenge to scaling up production. Without implementing more resources, it may be difficult to meet the demands of customers. 

Whichever Production Method You Choose, Conveyor Systems Can Help

Whether you think mass production or one-off production is the right manufacturing process for you, our experts at Conveyor Systems can help. With the implementation of conveyor systems and automation, you can benefit from a more productive and efficient process no matter what form of production you choose. Get in touch with us today to optimise your production process.

Mass Production FAQs

What are the advantages and disadvantages of job production?

The advantages of job production are ability to customise, flexibility, time for innovation and creativity and a high quality product. However, there are also some disadvantages of job production such as higher cost per unit, longer lead times and limited ability to scale up production.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of flow production?

There are several advantages of continuous production, also known as flow production, such as a reduction in cost and faster production rate. This makes mass production ideal for businesses that value a large quantity of goods for a reduced cost. However, there are some disadvantages of flow production such as lack of customisation, cost and unmotivated staff. These are key things to consider before delving into mass production. 

What is the one-off production process?

One-off production, also known as job production, involves creating individual items or products in small batches. These items are usually customised and tailored to the needs of the customer, with advantages such as flexibility and high-quality craftsmanship. A one-off production manufacturing process is typically used in high-end and luxury businesses.

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