Welsh cy
Process Manager

What’s it all about then?

The Process Manager (sometimes known as a Process Development Manager) is responsible for taking a product through from original idea to production line, ensuring that all technical standards are achieved and that the product makes a suitable profit for the company.

You may also have a role in analysing current production and making recommendations for improvements, which may involve the company investing in new equipment to improve bottom line profits.

In some instances the title of Process Manager reflects a team -leading role, while at other times you may be more “hands on” and your title is a recognition of your seniority in the company and the importance of your role.

For the hands-on side of things please check out the Process Technologist link elsewhere on this site – otherwise keep reading!

What might I be doing?

The role is likely to involve the following types of duties:

  • Assuming overall responsibility for the company’s process development function
  • Liaising with customers and colleagues to co-ordinate product trials and launches
  • Ensuring that all information from trials is correct and that any issues are resolved at each stage of the process
  • Making sure that all new products adhere to customer technical requirements
  • Overseeing the costing analysis process at each stage of development
  • Managing the trialling of packaging processes and ensuring these are suitable for large production batches or continuous production runs
  • Writing standard operating procedures and compiling specifications
  • Investigating new production techniques for efficiencies
  • Making recommendations for capital investments to improve processes
  • Presenting new products and process amendments to customers
  • Evaluating all new processes
  • Maintaining up to date legislative and technical knowledge
  • Overseeing preparation and dissemination of any samples
  • Leading and managing a team of technical staff
  • Monitoring the product through launch and initial production runs and being available to trouble-shoot if necessary
  • Working to improve existing products through process improvements
  • Ensuring budget requirements for your department are met

What will be expected of me?

You’ll be the type of person who enjoys seeing a job through to completion and doesn’t believe in taking any shortcuts.

As you’ll be constantly dealing with your staff as well as customers and colleagues in other departments, your people skills will need to be excellent and you’ll always be able to get your ideas across effectively.

You’ll be expected to have detailed knowledge of all of your company’s production processes as well as a good idea of the processes used by competitors and industry leaders – this means you’ll be able to keep your company at the forefront when it comes to processing.

You will also have loads of technical knowledge so that you can interpret complex information and take appropriate actions as required.

You’ll need to combine project management and time management skills here because you’re going to be much in demand.

On top of this, you will be expected to have enough financial acumen to understand costings for new products and processes.

What can I expect?

As a senior company manager you’ll be unlikely to be working a standard 9am to 5pm working week. Your schedule will be full and you will need to be very well organised to get everything done. 

You’ll often be found working early mornings or supervising trials in the evening or at weekends and you’ll probably have to travel extensively to visit equipment suppliers and customers and attend events on behalf of the company.

You’re the kind of person that makes things happen – and can expect a highly fulfilling and rewarding working life.

What about the pay?

You’ll be earning more than £35,000 in a post like this - and quite possibly a whole lot more depending on the precise breadth of the role.

What qualifications do I need to get in?

If you’ve set a career goal of getting into this kind of role, your first step is to become an experienced process development specialist and for this you’ll need a good degree level education and some Advanced Food Hygiene qualifications.

Anything else I might need to know?

Getting product development absolutely right is of major importance to the food manufacturing sector not least because even the slightest error in costing can have nasty financial consequences.  As a success in this highly demanding technical role you’ll be highly sought after and your expert knowledge will put you in a good position for further career development and even greater financial rewards.