Manufacturing Tips for New Managers


If you’re a new manager in the manufacturing industry, there might be a steep learning curve for you as you start to get on your feet. After all, even if you have experience managing others, the demands and production schedule of a manufacturing plant is different than many other sectors. At the same time, every industry has its own regulations and best practices, so moving from managing a company that builds cars is going to be different than working at a pharmaceutical plant.

While it’s understandable to be a bit apprehensive about starting in a new managerial position, if you do some research and prepare for the role, you’re going to be just fine. You wouldn’t have gotten the job if the company didn’t think you could handle it, so the most important thing to do is take a deep breath and get to work. Here are a few tips to keep in mind your first month as a new manufacturing manager.

Dress for the role.

The first thing to do when starting any new job is to dress for the role you have. It may sound silly, but psychological research has illustrated that the way you dress can have a major impact on how you’re perceived by others as well as how you perceive yourself. Wearing the right outfit can thus increase your productivity while combatting any impostor syndrome you may feel in your new role.

Wearing a dress shirt, tailored slacks, and a suit jacket with a tie for men can be the perfect professional getup for meetings. For women, a simple black pencil skirt and some professional tops and blouses. Keep in mind that if you don’t have meetings, you may also need to wear various types of safety gear on the manufacturing line, such as hard hats or other protective coverings.

Take stock of the company—inside and out.

As you’re assessing the company you now lead, it’s crucial to pay attention to internal and external risks and threats. For example, you may want to research competitors in the area and pay attention to how they’re manufacturing their goods or marketing what they build. At the same time, it’s important to look at your facilities and find any anomalies in your equipment or even the building itself. The last thing you want happening to the company under your watch is the breakdown of a commercial boiler since commercial boiler repair can cost you time and money. Identifying areas for improvement immediately can help you effectively manage the manufacturing, marketing, and facilities budgets.

Invest in customized solutions.

Many times, in order to run your manufacturing plant more efficiently, you need to have specialized equipment and tools to get the job done better. Customized solutions may cost a bit more than their generic counterparts. However, when it comes to helping your business run more smoothly, that cost will quickly pay for itself by allowing you to increase production. Whether you’re shopping for self-sealing washers or toggle switches made of custom molding plastic, having a customized approach can ultimately offer you a solution that standardized materials can’t measure up to.

Get to know your team.

Taking a genuine interest in your staff is a great way to boost productivity and keep morale high, even in stressful manufacturing seasons. Find ways to learn everyone on your team’s name, no matter how big or small their role is. Consider hosting company outings or a special potluck each quarter.

Whatever you decide to do, as long as the end result is a more connected team, you’re sure to be a better manager because of your efforts.

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