I have mentioned my career in different articles I have written about being a working mama, but today I am going to tell you what my day as a Production Manager looks like. No job is easy all the time however if you are a problem solver like me being a production manager in the garment industry is great. I started out at the bottom as an assistant and worked my way up to a manager over the 10 years in this industry.
The best part about working your way up is you learn everything. That way you know what to expect in every aspect of the production world. From creating purchase orders to managing a team. I was presented with an opportunity and ran with it. Taking on challenges that made me stand out amongst my coworkers is what launched my career and made me the Production Manager I am today.
If you aren’t sure what a production manager is in the garment industry let me explain. A Production Manager is a person responsible for getting the clothes you wear from the factories to the ports where they are then delivered to warehouses that eventually wind up in stores.
The steps we take to get you your clothes
- Design give the production team tech packs (designs) to allocate to the factories.
- From there the sourcing manager distributes them accordingly based on the factories capabilities and capacity.
- Now this is where the production manager gets going. Following up on samples and creating the process for the season to get the good here on time. This process starts almost immediately after allocating the styles.
- The production assistants then jump in and create purchase orders. They also handle all packaging approvals.
- After everything is sent tot he factories I beging to create charts to track and monitor the production process.
- Working with design and sales teams on approval and schedules.
- Then finally the last part is getting the goods shipped.
Now that is just the basics there is a whole bunch more that goes into it and nothing ever runs smoothly. So, as a Production Manager, it is my job to troubleshoot and solve problems throughout the process.
A Day In The Life Of A Production Manager
A typical day for me as a production manager all depends on my inbox. When I walk in in the morning the first thing I do is review emails. That is what determines what I am doing that day. The factories are in different time zones all over the world so most of them come in while I am sleeping. These days I am negotiating shipping dates to get the goods here as soon a possible. After I sort through all of that I get organized for the day and have a meeting with my team.
The daily morning meetings help us as a team discuss what needs to be done that day. It gives them an opportunity to ask me questions or solve a problem first thing in the morning. I prefer to get anything pending out o the way first thing in the morning so I can concentrate on the bigger picture. Being a Production Manager is not just about producing goods. It is about mentoring a team so they can learn and grow as individuals in this industry.
The industry has always been fast-paced and ever-changing, but these days it is just chaos all day every day. What people don’t realize is that just because America is back up on its feet, doesn’t mean the world is. I get my news from the factories about the struggles they face due to Covid-19 and every industry is affected by it. Getting goods shipped is a daily struggle you can read all about it in the article Holiday Shopping 2021 Supply Chain Issues.
I get pulled into meetings throughout the day for various things like shipping and operations. Working on projects to improve the way the companies production operates and how to implement systems that make us more efficient. Listening to the issues and coming up with solutions to keep the company moving forward. Creating the solution instead of the problem is what makes this job challenging.
The trick to being a great Production Manager is being able to work with all the departments. It gives me the opportunity to interact with everyone and understand the production process as a whole. The challenging part is getting all of those departments to work together as a whole. Production is what holds the rest of the departments together because we manage the process from beginning to end.
When I first go into this industry I knew nothing, but I learned and made a career out of an opportunity. They took a risk on me and I strive every day to show them that, that risk was worth it. Is the job stressful? Of course, it is especially stressful when we are constantly on a tight deadline. FYI… In the garment industry, the deadlines are endless. We can complete one season, but the next one is right around the corner.