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A plant manager oversees all daily operations of a plant. He often is in charge of everything from production and manufacturing to making sure policies and procedures are followed in all departments. Supervising and motivating staff members generally are major parts of the job as well.
The plant’s physical operations generally are the main responsibility of the plant manager. He is required to maintain a clean plant free of safety or health concerns. The production equipment and machinery should be meticulously cared for to avoid lapses in the manufacturing process and to ensure quality control standards are upheld. The manager of the plant may also be required to constantly monitor workers to spot any procedural infractions and correct them in a timely manner.
In addition to managing daily plant functions, the manager may be responsible for creating and following a budget and preparing profit and loss projections. This requires proficiency in math and skills in creating reports and spreadsheets utilizing commercially produced and in-house software programs. The ability to interpret reports and statistics from outside agencies is also an important skill needed by a plant manager.
Having a trustworthy and competent administrative staff in place helps the manager run a productive and profitable facility. From the human resources manager to the person in charge of ordering raw materials for production, the excellence of the supervisorial staff’s performance is often imperative to the overall success of the plant. The plant manager generally relies on these staff members to maintain good employee relations, quality control standards and meet production deadlines. The plant manager also may attend departmental meetings to personally address and resolve problems.
Making sure his plant has a positive image in the community can be important for company morale. The plant manager may also be required to ensure the plant has a good reputation for respecting the environment and other local businesses. If he has to implement changes in physical operations or labor needs that affect local residents, having neighborhood support can be crucial.
Public relations may also be a large part of a plant manager’s job. He often is the designated spokesperson if the media approaches him on any plant-related issues. The manager might be expected to intelligently and positively represent his plant as well as its goals and employees. If a debate ensues, he may be relied upon to persuasively argue his point of view on issues of importance to his company. Being able to objectively view company as well as community issues significantly helps a plant manager succeed.
A bachelor’s degree in operations management or business administration is strongly preferred for most plant manager positions. Continuing education classes and seminars on project, plant and human resources management are often required once the job is secured. Experience in production, manufacturing or assembly management is considered an asset for plant manager job applicants.