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What Does a Production Foreman Do?

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  • Written By: Bryon Turcotte
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2016
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A production foreman supervises the daily operations and workflow of a production environment in the manufacturing industry. This individual may supervise at different levels, handling specific duties or cover a wide range of responsibilities. The production foreman may control one department responsible for a specific product or may be the sole supervisor for entire facility, branch, or division. At the core of the production process, the foreman may also directly oversee all aspects of inventory control, quality assurance and equipment maintenance or repair.

In addition to controlling the production workflow, the production foreman must be an organized, detail-oriented professional who has the ability to efficiently solve problems. He or she must possess the ability to lead, motivate, and be a mentor to help staff achieve results. This individual must ensure that all employees are trained, engaged, and managed effectively through performance, talent, and skill development processes, which will help maintain efficiency and productivity. Most often, it is required that the foreman lead the engagement process at the team level to ensure improvements are made, metrics are tracked, and confirm that production deadlines are always met and held to a standard of consistency.

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Communication and human relations skills are additional components found within the production foreman job description. Effectively interacting with the production staff, ensuring that all employees and their ideas are respected and valued, confirming that their unique and diverse perspectives are leveraged, and validating that their contributions are noticed regularly are just a few abilities this individual should possess to solidify positive results in the production environment. The foreman must work closely with production managers, team leaders, and other supervisors to establish working schedules for their assigned departments. In addition, through good communication skills, the foreman ensures adherence to company policies, enforces proper safety standards, and encourages good housekeeping practices while maintaining records of departmental activities, performance evaluations, and staff attendance.

Most organizations will require that a production foreman have a specific level of skill, experience, and education. Long-term supervisory experience in a fast-paced, high-volume manufacturing facility, and an undergraduate college degree with additional work experience in a specified field is sometimes required to place an individual in a position with this level of responsibility. An understanding of business administration and computer skills are also desirable, considering the expected interaction with both technology and business processes while functioning in this role.

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