Processing stage

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In the production economy, processing stages are understood to mean the production processes that follow the original production in other companies , which manufacture market-ready end products from raw materials through processing , refining , refining or further processing . The counterpart in trade is the trade level .


Processing stages are the result of modern division of labor and specialization . The term “processing stages” is more empirical than theoretical. This is understood to mean one or more machining processes on the way of the products from the raw material and basic material to the finished product , which differ from other machining processes in terms of the type of equipment used , the operational purpose or organizational means of machining. In services services are provided on an object (for example in the automotive refinish on automobile or the treatment by the doctor on the patient ). Therefore, the service chain for services consists of individual service levels instead of processing levels .

Multiple processing stages

Be distributed between the operations of the raw materials ( the primary sector ), for example, in the mining of iron ore mine , other structures in the secondary sector to add this Vorleistungsgut such as for the production of steel ( first processing step ), the steel is for example in the car body ( second processing step ) used, of a trader for the automotive industry ( third processing stage ). The subsequent trade does not belong to any processing stage because it only stores the product and sells it again . The lower the vertical range of manufacture in a company, the more processing stages are required for the end product. Conversely, horizontal conglomerates can combine several processing stages. Fully synthetic man-made fibers go through up to three processing stages to market maturity, namely spinning , weaving or knitting and assembly .

product 1. Processing stage 2nd processing stage 3. Processing stage
Grain harvest Cereal flakes , flour , grist Bread , muesli , pasta
Bovine Beef fattening Slaughter and cutting into quarters or halves Ham , steaks , sausages
Iron ore Steelmaking Body shop Automobile manufacturing
Timber Logging Wood processing Furniture making
Metal extraction Foundries Metal processing Toolmaking
Petroleum industry distillation Cracking Hydrogenation

The performance levels in the service sector must take place across several companies, such as the completion of a package tour with service chains such as air travel , hotel and tour guides . At banks , for example, the lending business consists only of the vertical range of manufacture within the same company, this includes refinancing from the deposit business , followed by maturity , lot size and risk transformation and finally loan disbursement .

economic aspects

Several processing stages belong to a value chain that consumes resources , is linked in processes and ultimately creates value . The value chain is nothing more than a vertical series of processing stages. So-called transaction interfaces exist between the individual stages of the value chain , in which products or services are transferred from one technically definable processing stage to the next. The closest link between two processing stages is just-in-time production . A transformation is taking place in products, for example from cocoa to chocolate; In the case of services, for example, there is the completion of a package tour with service chains such as air travel, hotel and tour guides.

The business relationships between the suppliers / subcontractors and their customers at individual processing stages lead to economic dependencies. On the one hand, this has an effect on delivery bottlenecks, especially in just-in-time production, and on the other hand, it also affects the acquisition costs . Monopolistic tendencies among suppliers prevent redundancy strategies. The combination of value chains and networking leads to network chains ( English netchain ), which even span two branches of industry ( agricultural production and trade ) on the agricultural market .

With forward integration, downstream processing stages are integrated, while with backward integration, upstream processing stages are taken over. If a company itself produces intermediate goods previously purchased from suppliers, it carries out backward integration and increases the vertical range of manufacture. Conversely, when a company manufactures intermediate goods for its customers and takes over their downstream processing, forward integration is present.

The Export a later stage brings greater foreign exchange earnings. The industrialization in developing and emerging countries will therefore result in this process the raw materials in their own country, so that certain low processing Staufen in the industrialized countries will disappear (about finished copper instead of raw copper). Protectionism often sets in here when states base their tariffs on unwanted imports from developing and emerging countries based on the degree of processing of the products. In the literature, the term "cascade tariff" is used for this escalation of nominal tariff rates from lower to higher processing levels.


The processing stage must be distinguished from the manufacturing stage . While there can be several manufacturing stages in a single company in the production process, there are processing stages only between several companies . If steel production does not use the steel in the above example for body construction, but for steel strip, the process of electrolytic steel coating comprises, for example, three production stages. First, the strip surface is cleaned by pickling, in the second stage the strip passes through coating cells, where it is guided through an electrolytic solution. In a third production stage, the tape is provided with a phosphate layer.

See also


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Walter E. Becker, The coordinated specialization in industry , 1963, p. 80
  2. Axel Lehmann, Service Management: Strategies and Starting Points for Creating Service Quality , 1993, p. 57
  3. Walter E. Becker, The coordinated specialization in industry , 1963, p. 103
  4. Peter Thurmann, Basic Forms of Branded Articles: Trial of a Typology , 1961, p. 71 f.
  5. Thomas Bieger, The Marketing Concept in the St. Gallen Management Model , 2019, p. 44
  6. Brigitte Petersen / Manfred Nüssel (eds.), Quality Management in the Agricultural and Food Industry, 2013, p. 75
  7. Sergio G. Lazzarini / Fabio R Chaddad / Michael Lee Cook, Integration supply chains and network analysis , in: Journal on Chain and Network Science vol. 1, 2001, pp. 7-21
  8. Jochem Piontek, Controlling , 2005, p. 38
  9. ^ Verlag Die Wirtschaft (Ed.), Socialist Foreign Trade , Volume 13, 1963, p. 34
  10. ^ Wilhelm Cornides Verlag für Internationale Politik (ed.), Europa-Archiv , Volume 26, 1971, p. 190
  11. Markus Kramer, Effective Protection of Raw Material Production and Processing , 1988, p. 3
  12. Matthias Wichmann, Order-based allocation planning for continuous casting plants in the steel-producing industry , 2014, p. 22