Factory Manager Job Description
Factory managers oversee the workers and the equipment they operate on the factory floor. They are responsible for contributing to and carrying out production strategy decisions. This job requires years of experience working on the factory floor and gaining technical experience with the equipment. Factory managers are employed by manufacturing industries, such as automotive, food packaging, chemical, pharmaceutical, transportation equipment, and consumer electronics. Factory managers have an office on-site, but spend a fair amount of time walking the factory floor to make sure both the equipment and workers are operating at maximum efficiency. Most factory managers work regular office hours, though some factories have extended hours requiring evening shifts.
A position generally requiring at least five years of experience, factory managers run the factory when senior management isn’t on site, reporting to decision makers regularly. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for industrial production managers, which includes factory managers, is set to remain at the current level through 2026.
Factory Manager Duties and Responsibilities
Running a factory floor involves many skills and responsibilities. From our analysis of job postings, here are some of the core responsibilities to expect in this position:
Hire and Train Factory Staff
Factory managers participate in interviewing and selecting candidates. They also train new hires on factory policies and procedures.
Delegate Tasks to Factory Staff as Necessary
Factory managers constantly walk the factory floor to make sure all employees are performing their assigned tasks. This involves keeping employees content and motivated.
Create and Enforce Quality Control Standard Operating Procedures
Factory managers work with quality control managers to develop a standard quality control process and ensuring factory employees work to established standards.
Create and Implement Machine Maintenance Standard Operating Procedures
Factory managers make sure factory equipment is running at optimal efficiency. They create a maintenance procedure for every machine and ensure factory employees follow this procedure regularly.
Analyze Factory Production Data and Devising Improvement Strategies as Necessary
It is up to the factory managers to keep a close eye on key production metrics. By constantly analyzing this data, factory managers identify and address dips in production before they become major issues.
Create Production Data Reports and Present them to Decision Makers
Factory managers create production reports based on their data analysis. They present these production reports to decision makers in strategy meetings on a regular basis.
Factory Manager Skills
The best factory managers are problem solvers with an analytical mind and a strong attention to detail. They have expertise in the equipment and production process of their specific manufacturing niche. In addition, factory managers have to be proficient with spreadsheets to analyze production data and create reports to be presented to decision makers. Other traits hiring managers look for in candidates for factory manager positions include:
- Evaluating the talent of new hires and training them on policies and procedures
- Inspecting the quality of finished products to check on machine and operator efficiency
- Delegating machine operation, quality control, and maintenance tasks to factory employees
- Analyzing production data and making strategic recommendations to decision makers
- Maintaining a content and motivated workforce through interpersonal communication and conflict resolution skills
Factory Manager Tools of the Trade
- Industry-specific factory equipment – factory managers run the machines specific to their industry as a part of the troubleshooting and quality control processes
- Microsoft Office – used to analyze production data and create reports
Factory Manager Education and Training
Most factory managers have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, industrial engineering, logistics, or a related field. They study the principles of economics, basic logistics, and organizational communication. Most of their technical knowledge comes through their years of experience working their way up from a factory worker.
Factory Manager Salary
According to Payscale, the national median salary for factory managers is $83,338. Those in the top 10 percent make above $140,000, while those in the bottom 10 percent make below $41,000.
Factory Manager Resources
The following list of resources was created for factory workers who aspire to become factory managers:
Production and Operations Management Society – Founded in 1989, this organization is quickly growing at a national level. It has a blog and a journal that are updated regularly with great content. It also has great career resources for members.
The Association for Supply Chain Management – This organization has been an industry leader in supply chain management for more than 60 years. It offers certifications for supply chain professionals and also has both a blog and print publication for its organization.
Supply Chain Management Review – The Supply Chain Management Review is one of the most trusted digital publications in the supply chain management industry. It is updated daily with articles relevant to workers and factory managers alike.
Supply Chain Nation – The company blog of the JDA Software Group, it is updated consistently with quality content relevant to factory managers.
Factory Physics: How Leaders Improve Performance in a Post-Lean Six Sigma World – This book reads like a textbook, but it is packed with actionable strategies for any kind of factory manager.
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