What is the push principle?

The push principle is a production system in which goods and materials are produced based on expectations and forecasts and then shipped to customers, rather than being produced in response to customer demand. Accordingly, the push principle differs from the pull principle, where production depends on actual demand.

How does the push principle work?

The production process in a push system is driven by a central planning and control unit and is based on expected or forecast demand. Production is based on orders and forecasts. This often leads to high inventory levels, for example, because production exceeds expected demand.

Comparison of push principle and pull principle

The main difference between a pull principle and a push principle is that in the push principle, production dictates how much of a product is "pushed" onto the market. In the pull principle, on the other hand, current demand "pulls" the goods. This means that demand dictates when and how much must be produced.

Push principle: producers "push" the goods onto the market

Pull principle: the market "pulls" the goods from the producers

You will find further explanations of terms in our glossary