Definition: The supervision of a team of associates who make raw materials into finished products in a plant environment.

General: Manufacturing is a core function in industrial companies and has received a lot of attention in the last 10 years due to the emphasis on quality, increased productivity, streamlined operations and customer focus. E-Commerce is driving industrial companies to invest in cutting-edge manufacturing processes. You will work in a production facility that manufactures product or a component of a product. Manufacturing plants are fast-paced and results-driven environments that are constantly changing and improving processes to meet customer demands. While companies invest a lot of money in state-of-the-art technology, people are the most important part of any manufacturing facility.

Key Connecting Points:
Technical skills: Manufacturing facilities are technical in nature and always changing (companies constantly upgrade technology to improve production results). Most plants use a combination of mechanical, electromechanical, electrical, and electronic systems. As a result, you must highlight your technical aptitude. Your examples should show your ability and aptitude to function around and learn technical systems. Highlight times in your military experience where you learned new technology and applied this knowledge to improve results.

Leadership skills: In manufacturing, you will be responsible for leading a team of 10 to 40 people who make a product or a component of a product. You will motivate them to achieve quality, quantity, cost, and process improvement goals. You will facilitate the creation of a continuous learning environment that fosters the development of teamwork, process improvement, and skill development. Because some plants are unionized, you will be the key conduit between management and your union team members. Highlight examples in your military experience where you built teams and motivated people to achieve difficult objectives.

Teamwork skills: Since many plants use high performance work teams, you will need to be able to work cross-functionally where you influence teams of people without being directly in charge. As you interface with people from all parts of the plant, you must be able to motivate them with your vision, technical competence, listening skills, maturity, and ability to establish trust. Leading Self-Directed Work Teams is a great reference.

Results-driven: Plants are intense and fast-paced environments. A company must see your ability and desire to step into a leadership position and produce results. Proof of this asset should come from military accomplishments where you “hit the ground running” and made an immediate and positive impact while keeping the concerns of your team a top priority.

Possible Job Titles:
Production Supervisor
Work Center Manager
Maintenance Supervisor
Manufacturing Team Leader
Manufacturing Manager

Sample Job Description – Manufacturing Please keep in mind the following job description is just one of many possible Manufacturing job descriptions.

To support their business model, the manufacturing operation is state-of-the-art and constantly evolving, using cutting-edge concepts such as high performance teams, JIT, Kaizen, TQM, continuous flow, cellular manufacturing, SPC, and computer integrated manufacturing. Due to the demand for their products, this manufacturing operation is a dynamic, rapidly changing, and fast-paced environment. You will start your career as a Team Leader where you will lead and guide production teams in one of the functional areas of the plant. You will be responsible for planning, directing and coordinating all activities of your team to meet and exceed production goals. You will work closely with your team to create programs for their career development, skill enhancement, and performance improvement. You will get involved in production planning, managing budgets, determining staff requirements, identifying training requirements, developing training programs, monitoring product quality performance, and initiating and implementing process improvement programs to improve the performance and efficiency of your team. You will evaluate production processes, analyze and resolve production bottlenecks, and initiate ways to enhance production capabilities to meet consumer demand. This position will allow a successful candidate to have many future career opportunities throughout the company (manufacturing, marketing, sales, etc.).