What Is Factory Management? Definition, Elements and Steps
Updated September 30, 2022
Production and manufacturing both relate to the creation of goods. In either line of work, effective management is crucial for maximizing efficiency and productivity. If you're interested in a career in factory management or would just like to know how it can benefit an organization, it's important to understand what the process entails. In this article, we define factory management, list the key elements of the factory management process, examine the types of factory managers there are and explain how to create a factory management plan.
What is factory management?
Factory management, also known as production or manufacturing management, is the process and practice of overseeing the activities of a production or manufacturing facility. A factory manager is responsible not only for the acts of assembling, packaging and shipping but also for the areas that support those activities, such as scheduling, accounting and quality control. A properly executed factory management plan helps to ensure that a facility meets its performance goals and quality standards.
Factory management elements
The following are some of the key elements or components of the factory management process:
Organizational alignment refers to the condition of an organization whose departments and members share the same goal and implement strategies for advancing the organization toward the realization of its mission. Factory management relates to organizational alignment in that a well-managed factory always keeps its primary objectives in mind. Both the managers and the members of various teams and departments are aware of what the enterprise wishes to achieve and strive to direct efforts in that direction.
Human resources is the area of business that centers on the recruitment, hiring, training and management of employees. Staffing a facility with the appropriate talent and personalities is a major factor that contributes to efficient factory management. The administration of their earnings, benefits and continued education is also vital, as satisfied employees are more likely to perform reliably well and stay with the organization, and those who receive ongoing training can apply enhanced skills to the execution of their duties.
Consistency in factory management refers to the delivery of high-quality goods at a reliable level of efficiency and productivity. It also applies to the management of employees, as a well-managed facility provides consistently safe, dependable circumstances to the individuals working the production floor. Thus, consistency helps to ensure that both a facility's clients and its employees can trust the organization to meet expectations.
In business, ethics refers to the understanding of what's right and wrong and the application of that knowledge to an organization's processes. An organization that operates ethnically seeks to minimize or eliminate any negative impact on the surrounding community and environment. Ethics also relates to compliance with state and federal laws that govern how businesses manage their waste output. Therefore, ethical factory management is important for making sure the facility adheres to these important rules.
4 types of factory managers
Factory management roles are often available in specific areas of production or manufacturing. Here are four types of factory management positions you might wish to consider:
1. Quality manager
A quality manager is responsible for consistency in the quality of a manufacturing or production facility's output. They examine both the productions that come off of the assembly line and the processes involved in creating the product. They also guide the organization in devising policies and practices that ensure the achievement of quality standards. Additional tasks may include creating process specifications, training or educating others about these specifications, tracking processes and results to identify areas of improvement, and reporting on the quality-related matters to senior members of the organization.
Read more: Learn About Being a Quality Manager
2. Operations Manager
An operations manager is responsible for designing and overseeing production or manufacturing processes. They analyze these processes and the people associated with them, identify strengths and deficiencies and devise modifications that can improve efficiency, productivity and quality. The idea is to ensure that the facility extracts optimum value from its equipment, materials and human resources.
A logistician is responsible for overseeing an organization's supply chain, which refers to the system by which a product flows from the producer to the consumer. Their role involves supervising activities relating to the purchase, movement and storage of resources and the warehousing and delivery of finished goods. They also direct the use and movement of human resources to maximize a facility's output and efficiency.
Read more: All About Being a Logistician
4. Production planner
A production planner, also known as a production scheduler, oversees the workflows within an organization. Among their primary duties is developing regular schedules based on the organization's goals and the capabilities of the production team. The integration of these elements helps to ensure that the organization maximizes production without compromising on quality. They may also be responsible for devising improvements to the production process, determining the requirements for production, addressing production issues and submitting performance reports to executives.
How to create a factory management plan
Follow these steps to create an effective factory management plan:
1. Analyze processes and develop key performance indicators
To create a plan that maximizes the efficiency and productivity of a facility, it's important to understand how its processes work and how employees perform the associated tasks. Examine and analyze processes to identify problems. Then you can develop key performance indicators that allow you to measure future improvement.
2. Perform quality tests during the process
A quality test, also known as a quality assurance test, is a process for determining whether a product meets quality standards. Organizations often perform quality tests after a product comes off the assembly line, but testing during the production or manufacturing process can help to isolate areas of improvement and minimize waste and expenses. Based on your findings from these tests, you can modify your factory management plan to resolve issues and improve performance.
3. Analyze costs
The amount spent on production and manufacturing is an important factor in determining efficiency. Examine not only the direct costs such as equipment, materials and labor but also the indirect costs, including factors such as management salaries, quality assurance and facilities. Managing these costs can lead to larger profit margins and the overall success of the organization.
4. Devise a roadmap and schedule every product
A roadmap is an outline of objectives and all the associated steps. Creating a roadmap for every product that comes out of a facility can help you and others to understand what resources and activities are necessary to complete an entire process. With the roadmap in place, create schedules that determine the times and lengths of operation for your materials and human resources. Having a schedule for each product defines how the facility uses its resources and guides members on efficient practices.
5. Analyze data
As the facility operates, gather and analyze performance data to determine whether teams are meeting their productivity and efficiency goals. The results of your analyses can tell you whether it's advisable to make further modifications to processes and which areas of the plan are effective. It's also a good idea to solicit other members of the organization for their input concerning strategies for improvement.
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