Becoming a Production Manager

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The role of a Production Manager in any organization is important as he is responsible for the planning, directing, and coordinating of various activities related to production in any manufacturing company. His office is generally situated in or near the manufacturing plant so that he can coordinate better.

The job of a Production Manager is to ensure that the manufacturing department of the company is running smoothly. He not only oversees the overall manufacturing process but is also responsible for formulating policies and strategies to use the resources properly. His job is not only to ensure that the production is meeting the output required but also to ascertain that quality products are manufactured. He also needs to ensure that these goals are attained within the allocated budget.
He continuously tries to optimize the results with existing resources. It is his role to decide which machines are to be used for which job and if new machines have to be purchased. He determines whether overtime is required and also prepares the production schedule and job sequence. He also handles the problems that arise during production and is supposed to look after each and every aspect of the manufacturing plant.

The Production Manager of any manufacturing company puts in a lot of effort to implement new techniques and changes that would help the company grow and increase the production. He strategizes the job schedule in such a manner that the manufacturing company gains a competitive edge by streamlining their manufacturing process. His work is to formulate lean production techniques to derive maximum advantage. He creates teams for better and efficient performance of workers. He keeps constant tabs on the quality and rejects products in case the products fail to conform to certain specified standards. If there is a problem, it is his duty to try and resolve the same.

The job of a Production Manager is to work in close alliance with other departments to implement the company's policies and attain goals. Implementing new techniques and other innovations also comes under the purview of the Production Manager's job. They also ensure that processes are followed in accordance to the principles of Total Quality Management and Six Sigma or whatever standards the company follows to improve plant manufacturing.

The academic qualifications required for this position largely depend on the company and the sector it belongs to. It varies from industry to industry but what is common is that this position requires a university degree that includes subjects like economics, accounting, finance, production, and manufacturing systems, organizational behavior, psychology, sociology, and English. Real time exposure to manufacturing and other production techniques adds invaluable experience to the portfolio of qualifications that are desirable.

Apart from having a sound know how of the entire manufacturing process, one should also have in depth knowledge in management and administration. Good communication, interpersonal and negotiation skills are also required. The person must be well-organized and self-motivated so that he can motivate his team members. One must have the knack for updating himself with the latest techniques and implementing them in the manufacturing process.

One may undergo formal training from the Association for Operations Management to learn subjects like Supply Chain Management, scheduling and other production operations. The American Society for Quality also offers a certificate course which can be of immense help. But what is invaluable is real time exposure to plant manufacturing that would surely help a person gain insight into the field. One can become an efficient and capable Production Manager by gaining hands on experience.

The career prospects for a Production Manager are really bright. Since the manufacturing sector is diverse, one can get employment very easily if he has the right qualification. The chances of advancement are also huge and one can rise to the ranks of Director of Operations and even the Chairman.

The average earnings of a Production Manager nowadays hovers around $77,500 and the median annual earnings varying between $70,000 and $88,750 depending on the industry.

The job of a Production Manager is indeed challenging and requires suitable qualification, expertise, and experience. It needs a lot of hard work and is well paying too. The prospects of growth are also pretty high. No doubt it has evolved to be one of the hottest career options.
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