Critical resource

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Critical resource
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Critical resource is everything that can reduce our ability to accept orders from clients. Managers use a plan that is a mechanism showing whether we have sufficient critical resources to meet demand[1]. According to Philip Robinson: „A critical resource could therefore be a piece of equipment, a production line, people, space or even the capacity of a vendor. Any bottleneck is, inevitably, a critical resource”[2]. A critical resource is a limitation in making decisions in further operations, and hence it is a limitation for the entire company. The planning process is investigating why a resource is critical[3].

Resource estimation

Every critical resource must be estimated, so for each one must find a way to estimate it. To know how much resource is consumed for production for each family. When we already have knowledge of the amount of our critical resource consumed, we call it the resource profile of the family. There are various ways to access the resource profile. For a typical product, you can specify resources by looking at routes and bill of materials, if there is a typical family member. If there is no typical product, we must use a weighted average or estimate consumption. All data that we estimate can be checked based on history because the feedback is three periods of history for us[4].

According to Philip Robinson: „Many industries have a tradition of measuring their production in terms of the amount of product produced. For instance output could be measured in gallons of oil, kilograms of chocolate, square meters of material, garments per operator per hour, bottles per second and so on[5].

Person managing critical resources

There is a person whose job is to balance production capacity during the production planning process, it is the agent who manages critical resources[6]. Proper management of critical resources can[7]:

  • reduce operational costs
  • facilitate the operation of systems involved in production
  • improve the use of resources
  • improve the performance of these systems
  • find various problems that appear in the running process and correct them

The agent provides feedback, checks the results, balances the resources capabilities and assesses whether the results obtained meet the capabilities of critical resources[8].



  1. Robinson P.(1997)
  2. Robinson P.(1997)
  3. Robinson P.(1997)
  4. Robinson P.(1997)
  5. Robinson P.(1997)
  6. Zhang J.(2017)
  7. Zhang J.(2017)
  8. Zhang J.(2017)

Author: Oliwia Kamińska