What does a manufacturing production planner do?
Manufacturing production planners are responsible for the planning and smooth running of production processes in a manufacturing company. They draw up a schedule of work, which is agreed with the production manager or director. The schedule contains details of the materials and machines to be used, cost of materials, mechanical and human resources, the time required to do the job, and the quality standards to be met.
Planners are responsible for making sure the schedule is followed during production. They receive regular information on progress and deal quickly with any problems, such as a shortage of staff or materials and machinery breakdowns.
They liaise with production supervisors, management, the company’s purchasing department and outside suppliers of materials.
Computer systems are used for analysing data, scheduling and resource allocation.
What's the working environment like working as a manufacturing production planner?
Manufacturing production planners usually work a 37 to 40 hour week, Monday to Friday. They may also work evenings or weekends.
Production planners are mainly office-based, but also spend time out on the factory shop floor. Factory environments depend upon the goods being produced and, in some cases, may be dusty, dirty, hot or noisy. Modern factories can be clean, light and air-conditioned.
What does it take to become a manufacturing production planner?
To be a manufacturing production planner you should:
- Have an understanding of production processes
- Enjoy project work
- Be able to work under pressure
- Have good communication skills
- Be able to build good relationships with colleagues
- Be able to motivate staff and provide leadership to a team
- Have good problem solving skills and have the ability to make quick, effective decisions
- Be able to compile realistic and detailed working schedules
- Be numerate and have planning and analytical skills
- Have appropriate IT skills.
Manufacturing production planner career opportunities
Manufacturing covers a wide variety of sectors including engineering, transport, distribution, and administration and management. Jobs are available throughout the UK but mainly in urban centres and industrial areas.
Experienced manufacturing production planners in large companies may have opportunities for promotion to management level. Opportunity to work overseas may also occur if the company has worldwide interests.
Promotion prospects in smaller companies are less likely.