what is a production manager?

As a production manager, you help your employer maintain inventory levels and ensure they have enough raw materials for production activities. The responsibility for overseeing the purchase and distribution of items in a supply chain looks simple but involves complex processes. For example, if you work in a manufacturing plant for shoes, you source the raw materials, including cloth, rubber and plastic. These come from various suppliers and should be ordered on precise schedules to avoid production delays. Apart from raw materials, you also source packaging items like boxes, labels or mining equipment.

what does a production manager do?

In production, it is important to balance costs and benefits. For instance, you incur warehouse costs if you order excess raw materials. Your role as a production manager is to optimise the supply chain to ensure your employer has what they need in the right amounts and at the appropriate time to keep the costs low. Due to the broad scope of the role, a production manager requires exceptional multitasking skills to juggle various tasks and ensure the supply chain functions are accomplished.

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average production manager salary

The average salary of a production manager in New Zealand is $97,500 per year. In an entry-level position, your remuneration begins at $65,000 yearly due to the minimal tasks. When you have adequate experience to handle complex duties, your earnings rise to $130,000 annually. A production manager's average remuneration package depends on qualifications and experience. As you improve your skills and experience, your earnings increase gradually. With experience, you can handle complex tasks and lead a larger team.

what factors affect the remuneration of a production manager?

Aside from educational qualifications and experience, your company and industry can influence your earnings. When you work for a large organisation, you will likely earn more due to the unlimited resources available. Large companies also have complex logistical needs. For instance, you transport large machinery and vast quantities of raw materials to fulfil the company's production requirements.

The location of the company you work for also determines your remuneration package. For instance, working in metro areas increases your salary potential due to large cities’ high demand for production managers. Some industries, like mining and manufacturing, are also located in remote areas to prevent pollution. production managers earn higher salaries for supervising complex production needs.

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types of production managers

Some of the types of production managers include:

  • inbound production managers: as a production manager, your sole focus can be the incoming flow of resources needed to produce products or services. Your responsibilities in inbound production are to manage suppliers' inventories and ensure transportation schedules are aligned with production schedules to prevent delays.
  • outbound production managers: as an outbound production manager, you focus on delivering products on time to consumers. For instance, ensure the finished products are packaged and dispatched on time to meet customers' delivery schedules. You also maintain inventory in warehouses.

working as a production manager

Are you good at organising and prioritising tasks? Read on to discover logistic managers' daily responsibilities, work schedules and work environments.

Womale operating a machine on a production site.
Womale operating a machine on a production site.

education and skills

To become a production manager you need to have experience working in a related role such as production planner or technical manager.

Employers may also prefer you to have a tertiary qualification, such as a certificate or diploma, in one of the following areas:

  • engineering or manufacturing technology 
  • food technology 
  • purchasing and materials management
  • quality assurance
  • supply chain management or warehouse logistics.

production manager skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a production manager include:

  • leadership skills: as a production manager, you monitor and supervise the company's transportation needs. You require strong management and leadership skills to guide your team. Your leadership skills are important in delegating tasks, providing useful feedback, managing conflict and maintaining focus on tasks. Leadership is also crucial in motivating your teams and solving problems.
  • communication skills: as a production manager, you interact with numerous individuals as you organise transport for procured goods or equipment. Having sound communication skills is useful for conveying information clearly and writing reports.
  • problem-solving skills: as a production manager, you work in a dynamic environment and interact with various people. That means conflicts and unforeseen challenges may arise. You require excellent problem-solving skills to help you prevent delays in the company's production schedules. Problem-solving skills combine of analytical reasoning, decision-making and active listening skills.
  • organisation skills: as a production manager, you require exceptional planning skills to help you prioritise tasks and implement processes effectively. Organisational skills assist in creating efficient delivery plans, minimising waste, and managing outbound and inbound deliveries. Organisational skills also help you with time management, goal setting and strategizing.

FAQs about working as a storeperson

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of production manager.

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