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What Industrial Production Managers Do

Industrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants. They coordinate, plan, and direct the activities used to create a wide range of goods, such as cars, computer equipment, or paper products.


Industrial production managers typically do the following:

Depending on the size of the manufacturing plant, industrial production managers may oversee the entire plant or just one area of it.

Industrial production managers are responsible for carrying out quality control programs to make sure the finished product meets a prescribed level of quality. They generally choose from a number of programs that are standard in manufacturing industries, such as ISO 9000 or Six Sigma. These programs help a manager identify defects in products, identify the cause of the defect, and solve the problem creating it. For example, a manager may determine that a defect is being caused by parts from an outside supplier. The manager can then work with the supplier to improve the quality of the parts.

Industrial production managers work closely with managers from other departments. For example, the procurement (buying) department orders the supplies that the production department uses. A breakdown in communication between these two departments can cause production slowdowns. Just-in-time production techniques mean that companies keep inventory low, so communication among managers in each department and suppliers is important.

They also communicate with other departments, such as sales, warehousing, and research and design, to assure the company's success.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition