A food production manager oversees the physical operations of a food production company and the activities of the staff. She schedules production, controls inventory, and trains and motivates her employees. The maintenance of the production equipment and food storage systems is also part of the job.
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This job requires keeping inventory levels adequate to meet production demands without creating excesses that incur loss. A food production manager needs good math and analytical skills to successfully order raw materials from local and remote vendors. She needs computer skills to place and track orders and monitor production activities. Excellent communication abilities with her crew, management and vendors are vital for consistently smooth production operations. Knowledge of safe food handling and storage guidelines is required.
Producing quality food products on schedule is the main goal of a food production manager. She needs to be aware of every customer's needs and be competent to adjust schedules to fulfil them. Her personnel duties include managing and motivating crews, sometimes on multiple shifts. She is expected to interact with sales and marketing staffers to anticipate demands for newly introduced or seasonal food products. Ensuring that the production equipment is regularly maintained is one of her job duties.
Most food production managers divide their time between the production floor and office. At least half of her time is spent walking the floor to observe operations, check inventory and ensure food storage units are maintained at proper temperatures. Her attire is normally business casual. She is commonly required to wear protective headgear in the production area. Depending on the hours of plant operation, she may be required to work shifts that include nights or weekends.
Most employers require candidates to have either an associate's or bachelor's degree in production, manufacturing or a related area. Knowledge gained through prior positions in food handling, storage or manufacturing is frequently preferred for job applicants. The ability to fluently read and speak English is a typical requirement.
Salary and Advancement Opportunities
In large food production and manufacturing plants, food production managers may be promoted to upper or middle management positions. Smaller plants frequently have limited advancement opportunities. According to Salary List, the average salary in 2009 in the United States for a food production manager was £22,358.
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