What Does a Production Planner Do? (Definition and Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A production planner is someone who looks after the production and other related processes in a manufacturing organisation. They are responsible for the management of production schedules, materials to be used and may handle other responsibilities. Knowing more about this role and the skills required to become a production planner may help you decide if this is the right career path for you. In this article, we discuss what does a production planner do, look at how to become one, understand different types of production planner and discuss the skills required.

What does a production planner do?

A production planner is a professional who plans and oversees the business production process. They look after the complete manufacturing process and ensure that the quality of the products is as per the industry standard. Here are some roles and responsibilities of a production planner:

  • improve the process to ensure cost-effective production

  • plan the schedules of production according to demand

  • take decisions related to the materials to be used for production

  • ensure timely completion of customer orders

  • assign equal work to all employees and complete production on time

  • communicate the production progress to higher management

  • investigate problems arising during production and finding solutions

  • plan and create production budgets and present them to seniors and clients

  • maintain the inventory and identify shortages of materials

  • stay updated with market trends in the industry

  • create reports of activities carried out in production planning

How to become a production planner

Here are the steps you may follow to become a production planner:

1. Attain basic qualification

To become a production planner, it is important to choose the right subjects and disciplines in your 10+2 (High School Certificate) examination. You may choose any set of subjects in school but subjects like mathematics, commerce and economics will give you an edge. If certain subjects are a part of entrance examinations, be sure to study them and ensure your eligibility.

2. Complete bachelor's degree

You can pursue a Bachelor's in Business Administration (B.B.A.) or Operations Management or a Bachelor's in Management Studies (B.M.S.) degree to embark on this career path. Ensure that you maintain the minimum required aggregate marks to be eligible for campus placement drives. Similarly, some master's programmes might also have minimum score eligibility conditions.

3. Gain experience

Gaining relevant experience helps you to enhance your skills and also helps your resume stand out from others. You can gain experience by doing internships during the final year. This also gives you a real-world experience of working in manufacturing or production facilities. Furthermore, it can open up avenues for full-time employment after your bachelor's, as onboarding interns and apprentices is a norm in the industry.

4. Get a master's degree

If interested, you can pursue a master's degree to further develop your skills and be eligible for a management role. You need to have a minimum of 55% marks in your bachelor's to be eligible to give entrance exams like the Common Admission Test (C.A.T.), Xavier Aptitude Test (X.A.T.) and others to take admission in M.B.A. Doing a master's degree can supplement your skills with management knowledge and tools, which is valuable for professional growth.

5. Complete certifications

You can complete skill-based certifications to excel to give your job profile a competitive advantage in the industry. There are many certifications you can do to be a certified production planner, such as Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM). Completing certifications may also help you increase your earning potential and enhance your value as a professional.

Read more: How To List Certifications on a Resume (With Examples)

6. Enhance your resume

Keep your resume updated with the latest qualifications, skills and experience. Apply for relevant job opportunities using the right keywords. Be sure to customise the cover letter as the job description. Ensure that you respond to all queries and questions from recruiters and employers in a timely manner.

Read more: 10 Resume Writing Tips To Help You Land a Job

Skills of a production planner

Here are a few skills that a production manager may need to do their job effectively:

Communication skills

A production planner takes the production requirement from their manager and delegates the work to their team. Thus, they require excellent communication skills that enable them to listen, speak and direct clearly. Even a small oversight in the communication process can impact the delivery timeline or product quality significantly. Production managers also write reports and proposals regularly, making communication skills even more important.

Monitoring skills

A production planner monitors the day-to-day activities of the entire production process. Thus, it is necessary for them to have sharp observational skills to monitor the work being done by the team members. They also have to share constructive feedback to improve efficiency and production. Noticing details helps ensure that they are able to spot production errors quickly.

Problem-solving skills

While working in the production facility, a production planner may encounter problems like machinery breakdown, delay in the delivery of orders, conflicts between colleagues and other challenges. It is important for them to stay calm under pressure and have a problem-solving mindset in such situations. Being a production planner requires being able to anticipate challenges as well.

Time-management skills

Production planners handle multiple tasks at a time. They ensure the completion of production as scheduled. They also create schedules and timelines to restock raw materials. They oversee multiple production lines and ensure all processes are functioning as planned. Thus, having time-management skills and knowing how to prioritise tasks is an important skill for production planners.

Leadership skills

Production planners lead their teams and colleagues to ensure high productivity and timely delivery. They are responsible for the allocation of duties, reporting, giving instructions and feedback and ensuring high levels of efficiency in the entire production process. Thus, they need to be effective leaders and managers to successfully lead their teams and maintain high product quality. Better leadership skills also help production planners to get promotions and career progression opportunities.

Related: Leadership Roles (With Examples and Functions of Leadership)

Types of production planners

Production planners may specialise in various aspects of the manufacturing process and work in different job roles. These roles can vary as per the industry or even the company. Here are some popular production planner jobs, along with the average salary information:

1. Production scheduler

National average salary: ₹19,210 per month

Primary duties: A production scheduler determines and aligns manufacturing schedules on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. They are also responsible for increasing the efficiency of the process and reducing the production cost through improved scheduling in the manufacturing plant. Other responsibilities of a production scheduler may include managing the allocation of resources and monitoring the manufacturing process and operations.

2. Warehouse manager

National average salary: ₹24,400 per month

Primary duties: Warehouse managers are responsible for supervising the order, preparation, storage and dispatch of goods. They also oversee sanitation, administrative functions, security and may also manage the staff working in the warehouse, the vehicles used for logistics and other equipment. They supervise the end-to-end activities of a manufacturing facility, like expedite the receipt and shipment of goods, ensure efficient storage and enhance team performance. It is important for them to have a good understanding of the warehouse layout, organise training for the associates and identify which processes are suitable for automation.

3. Supply chain manager

National average salary: ₹6,22,573 per year

Primary duties: Supply chain managers are responsible for managing and overseeing each stage of the order, starting from buying the raw materials to the delivery of the goods. They maintain the storage of the products in the warehouse and also look after the inventory of the materials. They play a critical role in designing and developing the warehouse, planning the logistics and creating the distribution system. Their other responsibilities may include managing labour cost, inventory levels, planning delivery schedules and product stocking strategies.

Read more: What Is a Supply Chain Manager? A Complete Guide

4. Production manager

National average salary: ₹30,221 per month

Primary duties: The responsibility of a production manager is to make sure that the production runs efficiently and follows the planned production schedule. They also plan production schedules, assess new projects and oversee production activities. Production managers manage resource requirements and take decisions about when to place new orders to maintain adequate stock levels. They are also responsible for looking after the production equipment and ensuring their maintenance.

Salary figures mentioned in the article are listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary according to the hiring organisation, candidate's experience, geographical location of the job and academic background.

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