A manufacturing manager has many responsibilities, some of the most important of which are ensuring that production schedules are maintained and product quality is acceptable. High output and quality are critical goals, and the manager must coordinate myriad other tasks to achieve them. Some of these tasks include ensuring equipment and assembly lines are operating optimally, scheduling materials, managing personnel and enforcing safety standards.
For an organization to grow and be competitive in a constantly evolving marketplace, the manufacturing manager must continually improve his company's processes. As new machinery, manufacturing techniques and technologies are introduced, he must determine whether it would be beneficial to incorporate them into the existing systems. An astute manager must also keep an eye on the best practices of their competitors in order to find ways to counter any significant advantages held by the competition.
The manufacturing manager generally works with the purchasing department and vendors to ensure that raw materials and supplies are delivered when needed. Maintaining an optimal number of workers is also necessary to avoid waste and shortages. Disruptions caused by lack of resources could result in decreased production, missed schedules and lower profitability.
Negative consequences can also occur if the manufacturing manager does not make sure that equipment maintenance is regularly performed. Missed routine maintenance can result in unnecessary downtime. Machine upkeep may require him to coordinate with machine vendors to schedule repairs and regular service. He may also work closely with the sales department to determine the correct quantities to be produced and with quality engineers to address any quality concerns that might appear.
Another important part of the manufacturing manager's job that should not be overlooked is the management of subordinates. One in a large organization might have many supervisors and workers reporting to him. Each individual will have his own personality and motivations, but the group's activities must all be directed toward the organization's goals.
Many manufacturing facilities utilize potentially dangerous machines and chemicals to make their end products. Government policies and programs regulate some of these safety concerns to reduce the health risks to workers and the environment; compliance must be carefully documented. The large variety of manufacturing techniques makes it nearly impossible to address all possible safety threats through public laws, so it may be up to the manufacturing manager to create and enforce organization-specific rules to keep the workplace safe.