Industrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants. They coordinate, plan, and direct the activities used to create a wide range of goods, such as cars, computer equipment, or paper products. Almost 80% of industrial production managers work in manufacturing industries.
What does an Industrial Production Manager do?
Industrial production managers typically do the following:
Decide how best to use a plant’s workers and equipment to meet production goals
Ensure that production stays on schedule and within budget
Hire, train, and evaluate workers
Analyze production data
Write routine production reports
Monitor a plant’s workers to ensure they meet performance and safety requirements
Create ways to make the production process more efficient
Determine whether new machines are needed, or whether overtime work is necessary
Fix any production problems that may arise
Depending on the size of the manufacturing plant, industrial production managers may oversee the entire plant or just one area of it. They are responsible for carrying out quality control programs to make sure the finished product meets a prescribed level of quality. They generally choose from a number of programs that are standard in manufacturing industries, such as ISO 9000 or Six Sigma. These programs help a manager identify defects in products, identify the cause of the defect, and solve the problem creating it. For example, a manager may determine that a defect is being caused by parts from an outside supplier. The manager can then work with the supplier to improve the quality of the parts.
Industrial production managers work closely with managers from other departments. For example, the procurement (buying) department orders the supplies that the production department uses. A breakdown in communication between these two departments can cause production slowdowns.
Just-in-time production techniques mean that companies keep inventory low, so communication among managers in each department and suppliers is important. They also communicate with other departments, such as sales, warehousing, and research and design, to assure the company's success.
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What is the workplace of an Industrial Production Manager like?
Industrial production managers split their time between the production area and a nearby office. When they are working in the production area, they may have to wear protective equipment such as a helmet or safety goggles.
Most industrial production managers work full time, and many work long hours. In some facilities, managers work night or weekend shifts and must be on call to deal with emergencies at any time of day.