Job Title: Assistant Production Manager
Type of Company: My company sells and embroiders uniform apparel.
Previous Experience: I started in a jewelry company with three employees which then grew to over 100 employees and started manufacturing the jewelry itself. I grew in importance as the company did but left after 14 years to go to another production company that offered better benefits.
Job Tasks: My job is to manage the day-to-day functions in the custom embroidery department. The embroidery is done by the employees on an incentive basis. My job is to look up how much work came in the day before, how much we produced, how the operators produced against the incentive, how much work is available to release, walk the production floor to answer questions on any problem orders (there are several daily), key into the system to request stock if a garment is damaged, key into the system the questions that Customer Service needs to answer, do payroll, work with the art department on problem tapes, manage the employees - issues and time off, incentive, team problems, team celebrations, etc. I also track a lot of data on a daily, weekly and monthly basis: how many damages, on standard time, off standard time, team and individual incentive efficiencies, On time delivery, production, CPU, UPH, clock card hours, attrition, quality levels.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Their are several parts of the job I enjoy. I love working with people, I like being busy and handling the workload. I'm an analytical person so any of the data investigating, analyzing and reporting functions are things I really love to do. I like working on the computer, I like telling employees when they've done a great job and handing out rewards for a job well done.
There's not much I don't like about my job except having to let someone go, no matter what the reason. That's something I have never enjoyed or gotten used to. I also don't like it when work is slow. It makes for very long days.
Job Tips: Look at the supply and demand for that career first. With the economic system the way it is today and the unemployment rate, it would be wise to look for jobs that the country will need and won't be outsourcing soon.
If you want a career in production management, take as many management courses as you can. Take computer courses too and get a degree in business. You will move up the ladder at a quicker pace if you have that degree and the people skills. You must be able to inspire, coach and develop people.
Additional Thoughts: The most important skills I've found for success in production management are the ones I described above: an ability to inspire, coach and develop people. You also need to be a role model to employees and set a good example. Most production companies have different programs and such that they work with but as long as you are computer-savvy those are easy to learn.
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