Manufacturing is a global activity that started during the industrial revolution in the late 19th century to cater for the large-scale production of products. Since then, manufacturing has changed tremendously through the innovations of technology, processes, materials, communication and transportation. The major challenge facing manufacturing is to produce more products using less material, less energy and less involvement of labour. To face these challenges, manufacturing companies must have a strategy and competitive priority in order for them to compete in a dynamic market. A review of the literature on the decomposition of manufacturing processes outlines three main processes, namely: high volume, medium volume and low volume. The decomposition shows that each sub process has its own characteristics and depends on the nature of the firm’s business. Two extreme processes are continuous line production (fast extreme) and project shop (slow extreme). Other processes are in between these two extremes of the manufacturing spectrum. Process flow patterns become less complex with cellular, line and continuous flow compared with jobbing and project. The review also indicates that when the product is high variety and low volume, project or functional production is applied.