Production Managers – Job Description
Production managers – also known as operations managers – work on the planning, control and co-ordination of the manufacturing process.
They are responsible for ensuring the efficient production of goods and services in the correct volume, tackling issues such as cost control and quality assurance along the way.
The scale of the job is dependent on the production system, which could be specialised or mass. A number of firms do not concentrate on a single production system, making the manager’s job that much more complex.
As a general rule, production managers are responsible for both material and human resources and typical tasks would include drawing up production schedules to a deadline and budget, monitoring the production process to ensure efficiency, quality and cost-effectiveness, reviewing the performance of both staff and machinery, liaising with other relevant departments, working on the training needs of the workforce and ensuring their health and safety.
Because production managers work on both planning and control of the production process, key attributes will include the ability to think both strategically and creatively. Excellent people and time-management skills are also vital, as are good maths and IT skills.
In smaller firms, production managers are often also involved in product purchasing and design, so flexible all-rounders make good production managers.
A degree is the way into the job. What that degree is rather depends on the sector you are aiming for.
Generally, an engineering, business, management, science or technology degree is both relevant and desirable.
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Other recommended resources:
Institute of Operations Management
Professional society for members of the operations and production management industry across a number of sectors, offering training, networking events and information for career development.
Chartered Management Institute
An accredited institute for management professionals in the UK, including those involved in operations, offering a chartered mark qualification amongst other training opportunities.
Association for Operations Management
A global institute providing access to the latest research in operations management and qualifications for career development.
Production and Operations Management Society
A global body representing the interests of production and operations managers and also providing information and research through an online journal and newsletter.