What’s it all about then?
Manufacturing managers are responsible for the planning and running of the manufacturing side of food companies. This role requires considerable skills in human resource management, performance management and strategic planning.
Manufacturing managers must be familiar with the range of the food processes in their company and be able to assess the financial impact of their decisions upon the business.
What might I be doing?
The manufacturing manager’s job entails a wide variety of duties which include managing people, processes and other resources such as those of a physical or financial nature in order to hit production targets.
The job means that you’ll be leading a large team of people and you’ll have complete control of most or all of the production cycle - including logistics, planning, quality, maintenance and human resources as well as manufacturing of course.
You’ll spend much of your time co-ordinating all of the above functions to ensure maximum productivity is achieved and all targets are met or exceeded.
Knowledge of various continuous improvement techniques is also important at this level of management so that you are in a position to drive this improvement forward.
The role is critical to the success of the company and you will very likely be reporting to the director of operations or someone similar, so your presentation skills will also have to be top notch.
What will be expected of me?
As a manufacturing manager you will be expected to lead your team of managers, team leaders and operatives to achieve all outputs expected of your department.
You’ll also be responsible for the development of your staff including an input into who is hired - plus staff performance management to ensure optimum results.
You’ll be someone who can foster a positive work environment where people are motivated and happy in their work and feel responsible and accountable for what they are doing. A manufacturing manager will also operate a system where all processes and costs are continually reviewed to ensure that best value is achieved at all times.
In addition, you’ll need a working knowledge of all legislation relevant to your area of responsibility so that you can ensure your company complies with appropriate regulations and make informed decisions regarding food safety, health & safety etc.
What can I expect?
You will need excellent organisational and leadership skills to cope with the demands of this role and be cool, calm and collected under pressure.
You will have the support of a large team of individuals and it will be up to you to get them working seamlessly together in order to achieve all of their targets.
You can also expect that the director to whom you report will be after regular updates on progress - not just daily production figures but also other targets that may be set by the company Board. These might include absence management and safety target and waste reduction achievement.
What about the pay?
As you might expect, annual salaries at this level of management are good and although variable from company to company, you will be likely to be earning more than £70,000 a year.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
The Manufacturing Manager role is a senior post and it’s likely you’ll have several years’ experience under your belt before you can apply this type of work.
There is absolutely no reason why anyone cannot achieve a high level role such as Manufacturing Manager. However, the higher the level of qualification you have when you come on board with a company, the less time be required to be considered for such senior management jobs.
If you’re aiming this high, we strongly suggest that you consider either a food related degree or one oriented around business or manufacturing.
Either way will give you a head start, perhaps initially as a junior manager or graduate trainee. With focus and determination, there really is nothing stopping you getting higher.
What about further training?
In line with all jobs in the food sector, once on board you’ll be given the training required to make you even better at your job. At this level, you might consider the kind of additional training and development routes, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA), that will in time prepare you to take on a senior executive, director or Board level position.
Anything else I might need to know?
Yes – the job titles of Manufacturing Manager, Production Manager and Operations Manager are interchangeable so do check out precisely the focus of any role you apply for.