A Guide to Success for New Production Managers

Stepping into the role of a production manager, whether in a new organization or as a well-deserved promotion, is an exciting opportunity. However, navigating the newfound position and championing operational excellence within the company can be intimidating.

A Guide to Success for New Production Managers

Success in your new role will be an ongoing effort, beginning with getting to know the company and your team, understanding leadership expectations, and effectively championing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Starting Your Position - Building Strong Team Bonds

As you start your new role, familiarize yourself with the company and its processes and engage with your team early on. Building strong connections with your team members is a fundamental aspect of successful production management. Dedicate time to develop relationships with your direct reports, from day one. By gaining a deep understanding of their strengths, challenges, and the daily obstacles they face, professionally and personally, you'll uncover valuable insights into existing issues and untapped opportunities within the organization. Your team members are not just colleagues; they are valuable sources of information and perspectives. The more you invest in nurturing these relationships, the greater your ability to drive sustained operational excellence.

After First Quarter - A Clear Vision

Once you've familiarized yourself with the company's processes and have built strong connections within your team, by the end of your first quarter, aim to have a clear understanding of what success means to your leadership team. Frequent communication and ongoing discussions with your superiors will help align your efforts with their expectations, fostering a collaborative environment and operational excellence. Often, these expectations are not explicitly outlined in job descriptions or initial communications. Proactively engage in ongoing dialogues with your leadership team to clarify their expectations and the specific actions that will contribute to your success in this role. Whether it entails enhancing operational efficiencies or elevating product quality, a well-defined understanding of the desired outcomes will serve as your compass, ensuring efforts are in harmony with the company's objectives.

One Year in Your Role - Championing KPIs

Approaching your one-year mark, you should have a comprehensive understanding of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) relevant to your role and the business systems that impact them. This broader perspective will empower you to develop effective strategies, implement necessary changes, and continually improve the organization.

Determine the critical aspects of the production process that require attention, whether quality, efficiency, resource utilization or waste reduction. Get familiar with the specific metrics used to measure these KPIs. But don't stop at just understanding these indicators. To make a real impact, understand the underlying business systems that influence these metrics. Consider factors like documented processes, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and quality management systems (QMS). A deep understanding of the systems that affect the inputs and outputs related to your KPIs will enable you to implement meaningful changes and improvements.

Transitioning into the role of a production manager may appear challenging, but by embracing these core principles and focusing on building strong relationships, promoting effective communication with leadership, and striving for operational excellence with measurable KPIs, you'll establish a solid foundation for success.

As a new production manager, your journey is just beginning. Discover more strategies to elevate your leadership with EMC's Manufacturing Essentials Certification training and explore operational capabilities with EMC’s Manufacturing Masters content, an on-demand video library exclusive to EMC members to educate and inform best practices for manufacturers.

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