3 Great Production Careers in the Food and Beverage Processing Sector

Take a closer at just 3 of the careers in production you can have in the food and beverage processing industry.

In the food and beverage processing industry, many products can come out of a single facility, and many people work through the entire process to get them from the factory to grocery store shelves.

Production professionals ensure the plant runs successfully at maximum capacity and oversee the facility’s day-to-day operations. In some roles, such as continuous improvement managers, their job is to build and maintain improvement processes for the plant.

Each professional production job is different and requires different skills and experiences.

Here’s a closer at just 3 of the careers in production you can have in the food and beverage processing industry.

Production Managers

Production managers oversee the day-to-day operations at food and beverage processing facilities. They develop employee schedules and manage production workers’ hiring, onboarding, and training. They also work to ensure the daily production targets are reached by their production team.

Production managers must have strong planning and leadership skills. However, the education needed to attain this role is quite flexible. In some cases, plant managers simply have a high school diploma and are in the position because they started as production staff and worked their way up the ranks.

In other cases, some companies require production managers to have university or college degrees in business management, food science, mechanical engineering, or a similar technical field. These companies are generally larger and have many employees.

Operations Supervisors

Operations supervisors oversee all the activities within a specific department or area of a company. They monitor the efficacy of the department, improve operating processes, and report their findings to upper management as needed. Operations supervisors typically report directly to the director of the department they supervise or to the Operations Manager.

Some of their main tasks can include supervising and monitoring employee performance and reporting on department and performance metrics. In some cases, they may also provide recommendations based on their reporting to improve performance. They may also be required to do some administrative tasks such as planning the department budget and overseeing inventory and supplies.

Operations supervisors need to be able to see the big picture and have strong leadership, problem-solving, project management and interpersonal skills. A lot of companies will hire operations supervisors who have direct experience in the department that they will supervise. Depending on the company, some employers may require candidates to have education in business administration or a similar field.

Continuous Improvement Managers

Continuous improvement managers are responsible for leading, coordinating and managing teams at food manufacturing facilities through a productivity lens. They apply business improvement techniques like Six Sigma and the Pillars of Continuous Integration to help guide improvements to the facility’s procedures. Essentially, they’re in charge of the company’s productivity so it can achieve a higher profit margin, less waste and better employee relations.

Continuous improvement managers also create the baseline standard business processes to which any new implemented procedures can be compared.

People in the role must be knowledgeable in business improvement techniques such as Six Sigma, Lean Techniques and Total Productive Maintenance. They also need to have strong communication skills and project management experience. Regarding education, people in this position have a wide range of backgrounds, such as engineering, business, or food science. It’s one of those positions where experience is more valuable than a degree, so proven experience in the food and beverage processing industry is a must.

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