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What Is Manufacturing Management?

By C. Webb
Updated May 16, 2024
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Manufacturing management refers to all aspects of the product manufacturing process. Managing a manufacturing plant means responsibility for the process, from assembly design to packaging and sending out the finished product. Employee work shifts, quality control, and accounting all fall under the general umbrella of manufacturing management.

Key elements in manufacturing management include the development of an assembly design, ethics in business, accountability, and forecasting for the future. Each step of managing a manufacturing scenario works in tandem with the step before and after to present a smooth-running operation. Members of manufacturing management are typically assigned specific duties or departments to oversee during their work shifts.

Human resources is an important part of managing manufacturing employees, who must be recruited, trained, and retained. Maintaining proper time cards, vacation and sick leave, and wages are all part of the overall manufacturing management plan. Satisfied and content employees reduce turnover, which can be expensive. Continued education and training for current employees helps keep them loyal to the company and is part of management's responsibility.

Part of the manufacturing process is consistency. Good manufacturing managers strive to provide safe working conditions as well as encourage the meeting of production quotas and deadlines. The careful balance between taking care of workers and getting customer orders out the door is a primary duty in any manufacturing management plan.

In addition to taking care of employees through fair working conditions and keeping customers happy with the product and price, manufacturing managers must concern themselves with the community. Being good citizens in the region means not releasing undue pollution to water, air, and land. Many managers encourage community activities such as sponsoring local sports leagues for children and collecting food for the hungry. Inevitably, however, the manufacturing process leaves an environmental footprint; therefore, management efforts typically include making up for that footprint through good-faith efforts in the community.

Manufacturing management adheres to the company vision or mission statement. Whether the product being manufactured is a small paperclip or a massive earth-moving machine, the mission statement of the company reflects the end goal of the entire company. Members of management must attempt to set goals in keeping with the mission statement. For example, part of a mission statement might be to get products out to customers as quickly as possible. This could mean streamlining the assembly process to build products and get them shipped within a week from the initial order.

Planning for the future is also the responsibility of manufacturing management members. Whether it is a budget forecast, a hiring program, or an expansion of products to be offered, the management must have clear cut objectives and goals. Steps are then planned that will allow the company to attain those goals, and it is up to management to see that the steps are followed.

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