Production & Operations Vocabulary – Business Vocab Series

Now it’s time for all the essential vocabulary for Production and Operations of any organization.  This is post number five in our Business Vocab Series and for those of you who are new to this series we have already covered strategy, finance, sales and marketing and human resources.

*I would like to emphasize that if you work in ANY position in a corporate environment, be it marketing, finance, engineering or other, you will need to know the vocabulary of ALL the different areas in your company. That’s because you never work isolated. Even when you are in a meeting about one specific topic, for example, a meeting that is about  a new product launch, you will need to be able to talk about everything that envolves this new product. Key topics in such a meeting would be if the legal aspects are in order, if the contracts and lead times of all the suppiers of raw material okay, what the graphics of the packaging will be, what the price, costs, profits and revenues are, if the production line and logistics for the new product are ready, how distribution channels and customers will be communicated about it, etc. Of course, you don’t need to be a specialist in all of these topics, but you need to know the essential vocabulary of all areas to be able to really understand what people are saying in the meeting and to be able to contribute with your insights.

I hope you make good use of the list. Let me know if you there is a word that isn’t on the list and you believe should be.

(*note repeated in every post of this series)


factory / plant / assembly or manufacturing line fabrica / fabrica / linha de montagem / linha de montagem
“The factory is located in São Paulo.”
industry, sector industria (ramo), setor
“We have a lot of clients in the computer industry.”
production process processo de produção
“We redesign the production process every two years approximately to be able to sustain the growth.”
labor (force) mão de obra
“The cost of labor has gone up in China and therefore some companies have moved their production to cheaper countries.”
maintenance manutenção
“Preventative maintenance tends to be cheaper than fixing the problem when it has already occured.”
shift turma (ex: temos uma turma diura e uma noturna)
“Production works 24 hous a day, so we have three shifts.”
TQM – total quality management gestão de qualidade total
“Some say that TQM is more of cultural issue than a procedural issue.”
residue management gestão dos residuos
“We have significant chemical residues and we reduce the impact with treatment and partial reuse.”
lean manufacturing / just in time manufatura enchuta
“Lean manufacturing is based on the Toyota production system.”
six sigma seis sigma – metodologia quantitativa de melhoria de processos
“He works with six sigma.”
customer service serviço ao consumidor
“The use of call centers to provide customer service has a bad reputation in general.”
overtime horas extras
“We try to keep overtime as low as possible.”
waste desperdicio
“It’s a waste to throw out this waste because you can burn it and generate energy.”
result / outcome / output / yield resultado / resultado / resultado de produção / resultado de produção
“This machine has an output of 20.000 units per hour.”
raw material / ingredient materia prima / ingrediente
“Raw materials are stocked in that warehouse.”
machine / equipment / tool maquina / equipamento / ferramenta
“Most of the equipment is old.”
outsourcing terceirização
“We want to outsource the production of the new product because of space limitations in our factory.”
supplier fornecedor
“He is one of our best suppliers.”
supply chain cadeia de suprimentos
“Our supply chain is unstable because the suppliers are all in Asia, the raw material is scarce and the dollar price goes up and down.
inventory, stock estoque
“Kendra is responsible for the audit of the inventory.”
lead time o tempo entre iniciação (de produção/pedido) e a finalização ou entrega
“We were able to decrease the lead time from 15 to 6 days.”
logistics logistica
“The logistics are done by TTR.”
purchasing, procurement, sourcing compras
“If you want to buy these office supplies you need to ask John from purchasing.”
recycling reciclagem
“The recycling program is able to reuse 90% of all our waste.”
environment meio ambiente, ambiente
“We need to take care of the environment.”
procedures manual manual de procedimentos
“All new employees are required to read the procedures manual.”
sustainability sustentabilidade
“Every year we publish a hug sustainability report.”
warehouse estoque / armazem
“We have a big warehouse for all our raw materials and for the finished products.”
shipping (custo de) transporte, seja por avião, navio ou caminhão
“What is the cost of shipping?”
customs alfandega
“Brazilian customs are very slow and bureaucratic.”
contingency plan planejamento de contingencias
“After the accident the management team decided to map all the risks and create a contingency plan.”
cargo / load / freight carga / carga / carga
“The logistics company is responsible in case something happens to the cargo.”