What’s it all about then?
Production Managers are responsible for the activities of food manufacturing departments at companies that operate shift systems. They manage teams of production staff and schedule production activities to ensure orders are met at the correct time. They must be able to understand and implement a variety of food-processing techniques and work efficiently in a fast-paced environment.
You will have a lot of responsibility as you may be working outside office hours so will not always have the back-up from planners that you would get during the day when everyone is at work. This means you’ll have to be a person who has both technical expertise and the ability and confidence to take action to resolve issues as and when these arrive.
The role of Production Manager usually exists within larger companies. Smaller operations tend to have one person covering a variety of roles.
What might I be doing?
As a Production Manager in a food company you’ll likely spend most of your time on the factory floor, ensuring that all activities run smoothly.
You’ll oversee the production process and make sure that everything in your area of responsibility is running smoothly and effectively. You’ll work closely with maintenance staff and a team of supervisors in order to ensure that work is carried out in an efficient manner and meets the required quality standards.
Basically, the role is very similar to that of the Shift and Manufacturing Managers in that you’ll lead a team of supervisors and operatives on a shift basis, which may rotate weekly or remain permanent.
What will be expected of me?
To be a Production Manager in a food manufacturing company, you’ll need to be well-organised and conscientious with good leadership skills and the ability to make the right decisions quickly in a highly pressurised situation.
You will have excellent communication skills and be able to analyse and plan effectively in order to balance priorities.
You’ll be expected to commence work before the main shift start time and remain behind when the shift ends to ensure all necessary reports are completed correctly.
What can I expect?
The Production Manager’s role can be highly pressurised as you’ll be expected to keep production lines moving at optimal speeds. You’ll be earmarked for promotion when you show your superiors how effective you are as a Production Manager.
What about the pay?
Income for new Production Managers starts at around £18,500.
Experienced Production Managers earn around £34,000.
Some Production Managers can earn in excess of £45,000.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
There are many qualifications you can consider which will provide you with a head start in the food manufacturing environment and these most likely will be either specifically food or business related.
However, if you don’t have these types of qualifications it needn’t be a barrier. Food manufacturing companies recruit graduates every year and they are interested as much in the quality of graduate management trainees as they are in the specific nature of your qualification.
What about further training?
You will find that your employer will provide you with as much training as you need to develop your career and there are many part-time courses available that relate both to food and also business.
Anything else I might need to know?
As a Production Manager you can expect to be kept busy at all times - but the work is extremely rewarding and can lead to great career progression opportunities.