Production teams are the lifeblood of any manufacturing organisation, so the role of the production manager is a pivotal role that links the employees on the shop floor and the senior managers and directors on the board. As production manager, you’ll be taking strategic and operational instructions from the board with regard to productivity, and converting them into actions that maximise profits for the company.
As with any managerial role, your day will partly be taken up with technical work – ordering materials, keeping machinery and supply chain operational etc. – but will also be spent dealing with personnel, whether that’s recruitment, motivation and discipline, or planning human resources for projected or seasonal needs. Of course, in larger companies, much of this work can be delegated, but you’ll still be responsible for making sure the goals of the company are met by steering the production department.
Production skills required
Production is a huge subject, covering the entirety of the manufacturing sector, so a production manager in a certain sector will have a very different set of responsibilities to one in another. Experience in a particular sector will therefore stand you in good stead within that industry, thanks to a knowledge of regulations, compliance and technical details too. Production manager jobs are often advertised through sector-specific channels for this reason.
That said, many of the skills of the production manager are transferable, especially in related sectors, so you shouldn’t be put off if an exciting role is advertised in an industry tangential to your current one. Skills such as communication, attention to detail, good planning and speed of learning will always be sought by companies hiring production managers.
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