5 Powerful Skills to Master for Success in Quality and Production Management Jobs

5 Tips For Success in Quality and Production Management Jobs

5 Tips For Success in Quality and Production Management Jobs

Quality and production management professionals are in high demand within today’s manufacturing industry. They bring a skillset which is poised to effectively deal with modern manufacturing trends such as the move toward automation and the importance of a lean approach to production. In this article, we will be exploring 5 powerful skills that you should be able to showcase strong abilities with to set yourself up for success when looking for quality and production management jobs.

Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is a term that is being used more and more frequently in today’s engineering and manufacturing industries. In broad terms, it looks to maximise productivity whilst simultaneously minimising waste within a manufacturing operation. In this instance waste is anything that doesn’t add value that customers will pay for.

You can see how this is attractive to manufacturers as it allows them to both boost profits and reduce costs or provide better value to their customers. This has made quality engineers that have good experience with lean manufacturing principles high in demand for quality and production management jobs at top engineering companies today.

Some examples of specific lean manufacturing tools that would be beneficial to demonstrate experience with include:

  • Error Proofing (or “Poka-Yoke”) – The use of an automatic device or method that makes an error impossible or the error is immediately obvious once it has happened.
  • Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) – A lean manufacturing approach that reduces the changeover or setup time in a process so that it can be completed in less than 10 minutes.

    Continuous Improvement

    Continuous improvement is a strategy that involves employees from all levels of a business working in unison to achieve regular improvements to the manufacturing process. In theory, it brings together the collective talents within an organisation to create an effective engine for improvement.

    Continuous improvement (or Kaizen) is both an action plan and a philosophy in that there are elements organising improvements in specific areas within a manufacturing environment. But also creating a culture where all employees are actively engaged in suggesting and putting into action improvements within the company.

    Typical skills that can show a background in continuous improvement include:

  • The Kaizen process cycle; frequently referred to as PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, and Act) – a sequential method for actually introducing process improvements.
  • Standardised Work – This is the documentation of best processes in manufacturing and is subject to change as improvements continue to be made.

    Being able to demonstrate to employers that you are someone that always seeks to improve processes means that you can add tremendous long-term value to an organisation. Take any opportunities you can to improve existing processes, document them and have examples ready to hand for your CV and potential interviews to boost your chances of attaining quality and production management jobs.

    Six Sigma

    Six Sigma is a methodology used within manufacturing that looks to uncover and remove defect-causing aspects along with scaling down the changeability of a business and its manufacturing processes. The business deploying Six Sigma can use it to reduce cycle time, costs of production and pollution of its processes which in turn increases profits and improves its offering to customers. The doctrine was first created at Motorola in the 80s before being registered as a service mark in 2006. Motorola disclosed that it had saved them more than $16 billion in that time.

    Companies using Six Sigma will set up systems to include reportable data in manufacturing, financials, customer service etc and will use this to decide which projects are most in line with the aims of the business. Once this is defined they will follow the four phases of the Six Sigma process which are Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control.

    Quality and production management professionals with Six Sigma certifications are highly sought after because they have the know-how when it comes to identifying, measuring, analysing and controlling manufacturing projects. Success in landing a great quality or production management job depends on your ability to demonstrate a forward-thinking and lean approach, showing that you can not only improve processes but deliver more value to customers.

    There are plenty of places you can get Six Sigma certifications such as SixSigma.co.uk, Simplilearn or APMG International.

    Supplier Performance Management

    Many companies report that the top procurement risk factors were related to suppliers, or rather “dependency on supplier”, according to an MIT study. Relying heavily on suppliers, or quality problems coming from them, can have extremely negative impacts on a brand’s image, efficiency and product quality along with many others.

    Quality management professionals that have experience using Supplier Performance Management are valuable because they offer solutions and experience in reducing quality issues directly with the supplier, this can speed up supply times, limit waste and generally produce benefits for both their company and the supplier. A study from Aberdeen University showed that introducing procedures and metrics to measure supplier performance actually improved it by 26.6%.

    Being able to show that you have made quantifiable improvements of that magnitude to the manufacturing process is only going to make you more attractive to employers looking to fill quality management vacancies. You should be able to demonstrate the use of a Supplier Performance Scorecard and how you maintained these relationships with the suppliers you worked with.

    Process Control

    In an industry that is being taken over by automation and lean manufacturing, there is a huge need for careful process control to ensure safety, efficiency and accuracy. The manufacturing sector relies heavily on process control to make sure that specific processes are maintained so their output falls within tight parameters.

    As many manufacturing processes can be hazardous, it is extremely important to use process control to ensure the safety of workers by preventing digression from the standard process that has been vetted for safety.

    In regard to automation, process control is vital in running automated systems efficiently. Quality management professionals that have experience deploying and maintaining automated sensors, such as instruments showing when machine parts need replacing, show that they are an asset to the business with the ability to prevent costly manufacturing errors and ultimately create immense value.

    Process control also allows quality managers and production managers to monitor the efficiency of production processes. They can analyse how to run equipment and machines at optimum levels without wasting energy. This reduces costs and increases profits for employers.

    If you can demonstrate that you have solid experience improving and maintaining processes using careful process control you will be extremely attractive to potential employers in your search for quality management jobs.


    In a rapidly changing manufacturing industry, it is clear that there are certain skills becoming more prominent to facilitate these changes. The importance of quality management professionals is going to become ever more present as automated processes take over modern manufacturing. These will be the employees that can use their skillset to improve processes, minimise error and reduce costs.

    If you can show companies that you want to work with that you can offer them help as they adapt to the modern manufacturing environment you are going to be in a prime position to not only obtain quality management jobs but also have upward mobility when it comes to management and senior roles within the manufacturing industry.

    We are always on the lookout for quality engineers, production engineers, quality managers and production managers so if you are experienced and on the lookout for a new challenge you can find all of our quality management jobs here.

    < back to other articles