Every manufacturer at the beginning of the game has 5 production lines, unnecessarily covering different product subcategories. In this decision module it is possible to buy new production lines for subcategories that are not yet available, or increase the production capacity of the already available ones. The table visible in the module sums up all the current characteristics of the production lines, and contains information on the possible purchase of production lines with related parameters. The following columns inform about:
- the line subcategory and the technological development index (how advanced the technology is, taking the values 1-5)
- volume capacity of a single production line within single period, and number of production lines
- what has been the utilization of the production line in the previous period (if below 100% - it might be not a good idea to invest in additional ones?)
- current cost parameters
- parameters related to possible upgrade or a line purchase
- the necessary investment and "purchase" button, if we have enough cash at our disposal
It is critical to carefully invest in production lines. These are fixed assets that generate high fixed costs for the company. If you are not able to utilize 100% of the capacity, or generate high margins on the categories (in case of e.g. price war), it might be a better idea to spend the money elsewhere.
In the same module you can sell a production line, if the capacity is not utilized, the maintenance cost is high, and you simply need cash. You can sell the line at 50% of the buying price.
Apart from the capacity you can here upgrade the technology. It costs a lot, but reduced visibly the manufacturing cost. Increasing the index from 1 to 2 reduces the cost by 25%, from 1 to 3 by 33%, and from 1 to 5 by as much as 40%!