Sample size (the number of units in a sample).

Acronym for North American Free Trade Agreement.

National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM)
A nonprofit society for purchasing managers and others, now known as the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
In the United States, the federal agency that regulates labor law.

National stock number (NSN)
The individual identification number assigned to an item to permit inventory management in the federal (U.S.) supply system.

Abbreviation for numerical control.

Near-critical activity
In project management, a project activity with a low slack or float value.

Need date
The date when an item is required for its intended use. In an MRP system, this date is calculated by a bill-of-material explosion of a schedule and the netting of available inventory against that requirement.

Negative float
In project management, the amount of time that must be made up on an activity to get the project back on schedule. See: float.

The causing of injury to another by failure to use reasonable care.

The process by which a buyer and a vendor agree upon the conditions surrounding the purchase of an item.

The characteristic in an MRP system when minor changes in higher level (e.g., level 0 or 1) records or the master production schedule cause significant timing or quantity changes in lower level (e.g., level 5 or 6) schedules and orders.

Net change MRP
An approach in which the material requirements plan is continually retained in the computer. Whenever a change is needed in requirements, open order inventory status, or bill of material, a partial explosion and netting is made for only those parts affected by the change. Ant: regeneration MRP.

Net income (loss)
The final figure in the income statement.

Net inventory
Syn: available inventory.

Net operating cash flow
In finance management, the difference between cash inflow and cash outflow for a period. It is found by taking the change in net operating profit after taxes and adding the change in depreciation then subtracting the increase in net working capital requirements.

Net operating income
The income before interest and taxes are subtracted. Syn: earnings before interest and taxes.

Net operating profit after taxes (NOPAT)
Operating profit less applicable taxes.

Net present value
The present (discounted) value of future earnings (operating expenses have been deducted from net operating revenues) for a given number of time periods.

Net profit
Earnings after taxes.

Net requirements
In MRP, the net requirements for a part or an assembly are derived as a result of applying gross requirements and allocations against inventory on hand, scheduled receipts, and safety stock. Net requirements, lot-sized and offset for lead time, become planned orders.

Net sales
Sales dollars the company receives; gross sales minus returns and allowances.

The process of calculating net requirements.

Net weight
The weight of an article exclusive of the weights of all packing materials and containers.

1) The interconnection of computers, terminals, and communications channels to facilitate file and peripheral device sharing as well as effective data communication. 2) A graph consisting of nodes connected by arcs.

Network analysis
In project management, the calculation of early and late start and finish times for those activities not yet completed. See: critical path method, graphical evaluation and review technique, and program evaluation and review technique (PERT).

Networking capital
The current assets of a firm minus its current liabilities. Syn: working capital.

Network planning
A generic term for techniques that are used to plan complex projects. Two of the best known network planning techniques are the critical path method (CPM) and the program evaluation and review technique (PERT).

Neural network
A software system loosely based on how the brain works. It tries to simulate the multiple layers of elements called neurons. Each neuron is tied to several neighbors with a value that signifies the strength of the connections. Learning is accomplished by changing the values to cause the network to report appropriate results. Neural networks have been used for market forecasts and other applications.

New product development team
Syn: participative design/engineering.

Abbreviation for National Labor Relations Board.

In project management, a point connected by arrows in a network.

The unpredictable or random difference between the observed data and the “true process.”

Nominal capacity
Syn: rated capacity.

Nominal group technique
A technique, similar to brainstorming, used by teams to generate ideas on a particular subject. Team members are asked to silently come up with as many ideas as possible, writing them down. Each member is then asked to share one idea, which is recorded. After all the ideas are recorded, they are discussed and prioritized by the group.

Nominal interest rate
The noninflation-adjusted interest rate.

Nominal trading partner
Any organization external to the firm that provides an essential material or service, but whose financial success is largely independent of the financial success of the supply chain community.

A computational aid consisting of two or more scales drawn and arranged so that the results of calculations may be found by the linear connection of points on them. Historically, it was used for calculating economic lot sizes or sample sizes for work measurement observations. Also called an alignment chart.

Nonconforming material
Any raw material, part, component, or product with one or more characteristics that depart from the specifications, drawing, or other approved product description.

Failure to fulfill a specified requirement. See: blemish, defect, imperfection.

Noncurrent assets
An accounting/financial term (balance sheet classification of accounts) representing the long-term resources owned by a company, including property, plant, and equipment.

Nondurable goods
Goods whose serviceability is generally limited to a period of less than three years (such as perishable goods and semidurable goods).

Nonexempt employee
A person filling a nonexempt position. See: nonexempt positions.

Nonexempt positions
Employees not meeting the test of executive, supervisory, or administrative personnel who are paid overtime, as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act. See: nonexempt employee.

Nonlinear programming
Programming similar to linear programming but incorporating a nonlinear objective function and linear constraints or a linear objective function and nonlinear constraints or both a nonlinear objective function and nonlinear constraints.

Nonproduction material
Items (indirect materials and supplies) in the manufacturing process or in the maintenance or operation of a facility that do not generally become part of the final product.

Nonrecurring material
Tooling, gauges, and facilities necessary in the manufacturing of the final product and not consumed during manufacturing or shipped with the final product.

Nonscheduled hours
Hours when a machine is not generally available to be scheduled for operation; e.g., nights, weekends, holidays, lunch breaks, major repair, and rebuilding.

Nonsignificant part number
A part number that is assigned to each part but does not convey any information about the part. Nonsignificant part numbers are identifiers, not descriptors. Ant: significant part number.

Non-value added
An activity that does not add value to a product, for example, moving the product from one work center to another inside a facility. One aspect of continuous improvement is the elimination or reduction of non-value-added activities.

Acronym for net operating profit after taxes.

Normal and proper usage
Operation of the equipment with a program of regular maintenance in accordance with generally accepted practices and within the rated capacity and service classification for which it was specified and designed.

Normal distribution
A particular statistical distribution where most of the observations fall fairly close to one mean, and a deviation from the mean is as likely to be plus as it is to be minus. When graphed, the normal distribution takes the form of a bell-shaped curve.

To adjust observed data to a standard base.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
An agreement among the United States, Canada, and Mexico to promote economic prosperity by reducing trade barriers.

No-touch exchange of dies (NTED)
The exchange of dies without human intervention.

Np chart
A control chart for evaluating the stability of a process in terms of the total number of units in a sample in which an event of a given classification occurs. Syn: number of affected units chart.

Abbreviation for national stock number.

Abbreviation for no-touch exchange of dies.

Number of affected units chart
Syn: np chart.

Numerical control (NC)
A means of operating a machine tool automatically by the use of coded numerical instructions.


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