A Director of Manufacturing oversees and manages manufacturing processes for a large organization or facility. This is a high-level, fast-paced career for leaders with exceptional leadership abilities, commitment to process and quality, and attention to detail.
ZDA is currently recruiting for a director of manufacturing in the Chicago O’Hare area for a large, multimillion-dollar company overseeing more than 200 employees. Candidates must have prior P&L experience, strong people and leadership skills and experience in finishing assembly using high-speed equipment.
A Director of Manufacturing tracks and assesses the effectiveness of workflow processes and makes process improvements when necessary. Manufacturing directors also manage the purchase, maintenance and implementation of equipment. This job does involve some recordkeeping, including preparing production reports, employee performance and financial metrics, as well as managing staffing levels and employee training strategies.
Directors of manufacturing are accountable for maintaining quality control programs to ensure finished goods meet quality standards. They work closely with quality control supervisors to discover defects in products, the causes of those defects and then they develop solutions. For example, if a defect is due to low-quality parts from a third-party supplier, the director can work with the supplier to raise the quality of incoming parts.
A Director of Manufacturing must ensure that performance and quality goals are being met, and they regularly report progress to upper management. Communication breakdowns between departments can lead to production stoppages, slowdowns and other issues. Because clear, ongoing communication is critical, this position also requires working collaboratively with directors from other areas of the organization.
Those looking to apply for a Director of Manufacturing job should hold a bachelor’s degree. They should also have at least 10 years of experience in the manufacturing industry and a successful track record of leading large teams.
This job demands experience in both short-term and long-term planning. Prospective Directors of Manufacturing should also have experience with inventory management, production scheduling and preventative maintenance techniques.
Because a sizable portion of the job involves dealing with people, Directors of Manufacturing need strong soft skills. In particular, they should possess strong teamworking abilities, exceptional organizational skills and should be highly goal-oriented. The person in this position should also have communication and project management skills.
A Director of Manufacturing should also be proficient in just-in-time manufacturing practices, lean manufacturing practices and Microsoft Office.
While not required for all Director of Manufacturing positions, certifications can demonstrate that the applicant has a high level of competency in management techniques. Many certifications require demonstrated mastery in specific skills and proven experience before interested professionals can apply. Certifications require a significant amount of work and typically a fee is required to sit for the exam.
Pay and Outlook
A Director of Manufacturing will enjoy a base salary of $175,000 with bonus and benefits. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) data shows employment prospects for Director of Manufacturing position is expected to remain steady through 2026. It should be noted that salary and job prospects can vary significantly from industry to industry.
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