Career Development

What Does a Production Operations Manager Do?

Find out what a Production Operations Manager does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as a Production Operations Manager.

The Production Operations Manager plays an integral role in ensuring the smooth running of manufacturing processes, overseeing the production of goods, and ensuring that operations meet set quality and efficiency standards. This position involves coordinating various aspects of the production line, from scheduling and resource allocation to overseeing the maintenance of equipment and ensuring compliance with safety regulations. By optimizing operational workflows and implementing continuous improvement strategies, the Production Operations Manager supports the company’s objectives of maintaining high productivity levels and meeting customer demands in a timely manner. Through effective leadership and management, this role contributes to the overall success and profitability of the organization by ensuring that production operations are conducted efficiently and effectively.

Production Operations Manager Job Duties

  • Oversee the daily operations of manufacturing facilities, ensuring production goals are met efficiently and on schedule.
  • Implement and monitor quality control measures to maintain product standards and compliance with regulations.
  • Coordinate with supply chain management to ensure timely procurement of materials and manage inventory levels to meet production demands.
  • Develop and manage the production budget, including cost analysis and optimization strategies to maximize profitability.
  • Facilitate communication and collaboration among different departments (e.g., engineering, quality assurance, logistics) to ensure smooth operation and timely resolution of issues.
  • Design and implement safety protocols and training programs to ensure a safe working environment for all employees.
  • Analyze production data and reports to identify trends, forecast production needs, and implement process improvements.
  • Spearhead the adoption of new technologies and methodologies to enhance production efficiency and product innovation.

Production Operations Manager Salary & Outlook

Factors affecting a Production Operations Manager’s salary include industry sector (e.g., manufacturing vs. technology), company size, years of experience, level of education (specifically if holding a degree in operations management or a related field), and the complexity of the production processes they oversee. Performance and profit-linked bonuses also play a role.

  • Median Annual Salary: $90,825 ($43.67/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $125,000 ($60.1/hour)

The employment of production operations managers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

This growth is driven by increasing automation and technological advancements in manufacturing and production industries, requiring skilled managers to oversee complex operations, ensure efficiency, and integrate new technologies while maintaining product quality and adhering to safety standards.

Production Operations Manager Job Requirements

Education: A Production Operations Manager typically holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Industrial Engineering, or a related field. Coursework often includes operations management, project management, and supply chain logistics. Some may pursue post-baccalaureate certificates specializing in production or operations management. While not all have completed a four-year degree, a significant portion have taken relevant college courses, highlighting the importance of foundational knowledge in business processes, leadership, and technical aspects of production operations.

Experience: Production Operations Managers typically ascend to their roles after gaining substantial hands-on experience in various facets of production, including workflow management, quality control, and team leadership. Their journey often involves progressing through the ranks, starting from entry-level positions and moving up as they demonstrate proficiency and leadership skills. On-the-job training plays a crucial role, supplemented by formal training programs that hone their expertise in production techniques, operational efficiency, and personnel management. This blend of practical experience and targeted training equips them to oversee complex production operations effectively.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications and licenses are not typically required for the role of Production Operations Manager. However, certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), and Six Sigma certifications can be beneficial.

Production Operations Manager Skills

Lean Manufacturing: Streamlining production processes to reduce waste and enhance customer value is central to this approach. Production Operations Managers implement continuous improvement strategies to maintain the production line’s adaptability and responsiveness to market changes, securing a competitive edge.

Supply Chain Management: Coordination and optimization of the goods flow from suppliers through to manufacturing and ultimately to the end customers are critical. Ensuring production schedules are met without compromising quality or cost involves strategic planning, inventory control, and building strong relationships with suppliers and logistics partners to mitigate risks and guarantee seamless operations.

Quality Control Systems: Overseeing the adherence to quality protocols ensures products meet both internal and regulatory standards. Production Operations Managers coordinate with various departments to conduct audits, manage feedback for improvement, and address quality issues promptly, minimizing their impact on production timelines and costs.

Equipment Procurement: Choosing appropriate machinery and tools is vital for the smooth operation of production lines and for optimizing efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Negotiating favorable terms with suppliers to secure the best prices and warranties is part of ensuring the equipment meets both current and future production needs.

Workforce Planning: Aligning staffing requirements with production goals ensures the availability of the right number of skilled workers to meet demand efficiently. This strategic approach helps in minimizing labor costs while maximizing productivity and operational efficiency.

Continuous Improvement Process: Identifying inefficiencies and implementing strategic solutions is crucial for enhancing productivity and reducing costs. A meticulous approach to analyzing production processes, promoting a culture of innovation, and leading cross-functional teams towards operational excellence is required.

Production Operations Manager Work Environment

A Production Operations Manager typically finds themselves in a dynamic environment where the physical setting can range from office spaces to factory floors, depending on the day’s needs. Their workspace is often equipped with both administrative tools and software for planning and communication, alongside more industry-specific equipment for overseeing production processes.

Work hours might extend beyond the typical nine-to-five, especially during project deadlines or production peaks, requiring a degree of flexibility. The dress code varies, blending professional attire for meetings with practical, safety-compliant clothing on the production floor.

The role demands a high level of interaction with team members, from frontline workers to upper management, fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement. Health and safety are paramount, with strict adherence to protocols to ensure a safe working environment.

Professional development opportunities are abundant, aiming to keep pace with technological advancements and industry trends, which are integral to the role. This position, while challenging, offers a unique blend of technical oversight and team leadership within the company’s operational framework.

Advancement Prospects

A Production Operations Manager can ascend to higher managerial roles, such as Plant Manager or Director of Operations, by demonstrating exceptional leadership and operational efficiency. Mastery in optimizing production processes and cost reduction strategies is crucial.

To achieve these advancements, gaining experience in various production environments and understanding the latest industry technologies is essential. Specializing in lean manufacturing techniques can also set a candidate apart for higher-level positions.

Engaging in strategic decision-making and showing the ability to drive significant improvements in production metrics are key. Success in these areas often leads to consideration for executive roles, such as Vice President of Manufacturing or Operations.

Ultimately, a track record of improving production outcomes, while effectively managing resources and personnel, paves the way for career progression in this field.


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