How to Lead a Team at a Manufacturing Company

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The manufacturing industry has been home to seasoned entrepreneurs and effective business leaders, especially in the United States. Manufacturing business owners and senior executives know better than to encourage wasteful operations from product development to inventory management. And with strategic leadership, some of the industry’s corporate leaders have laid down the best practices to help the next generation of leaders with all the leadership competence they need.

Here are some tips on how to lead a team at a manufacturing company.

Familiarize yourself with every project.


Every leadership journey begins with a project that may come in a variety of forms, including production objectives and financial targets. Often, this influences the leadership style of any strong leader. Understanding the entire project scope is crucial as it goes a long way to add strength to the manufacturing strategies and skills you apply to complete each project. That’s why many leadership programs familiarize new leaders with essential leadership skills to clarify the project before assuming leadership responsibility.

Some of these skills can include performance review to understand a manufacturing facility’s status. Manufacturing business leaders can also use tools like the Six Sigma technique to troubleshoot manufacturing processes. Understanding the project helps craft the best direction that an effective leader can guide a manufacturing company’s team toward.

Opt for periodic training and upskilling.

Every manufacturing company goes through periodic changes. Take supplement companies, for example. Dietary supplement ingredients often come with one regulatory issue after the other. A supplement manufacturer may have to consistently organize workshops to familiarize its staff with new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. Without periodic training and upskilling, your manufacturing team risks using outmoded and unapproved manufacturing practices, which is a minus in the books of any effective leader.

Generally, having team members who are blind to organizational change can hamper a manufacturing company’s professional growth. Manufacturing companies also ride on the back of new technologies like robotic process automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Technology has been and continues to serve as a go-to for senior leaders to solve complex business challenges and enjoy a significant competitive advantage in their industries. Therefore, it pays for your manufacturing team to allow room for innovation and technology in their standard operating procedures.

Empower your team.

About 71 percent of workers believe in team leaders who take time to identify and maximize individual strengths. That’s why many leadership training programs and management training schools include techniques like SWOT analysis in their educational offerings. SWOT is an abbreviation that translates into strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Many functional managers use SWOT analysis for several key benefits, including talent development, risk management, and harnessing insights for strategic execution. As a manufacturing team leader, it can be a great way to ensure teamwork and effective inclusion.

Measure and evaluate everything.


Monitoring and evaluation can be essential procedures to ensure efficiency in any area of the business. Manufacturing operations are often repetitive, and without consistent efforts to measure your team’s output against its input, you may have very little room for organizational change. Together with the manufacturing team, senior teammates can help set key performance indicators to measure progress. Periodically, these indicators can serve as benchmarks for moving the manufacturing industry through the business growth stages.

Always avoid waste.

For every manufacturing company to be effective, it needs to be critical of silent killers like waste operations. Wasteful operations are why Harvard Business School and many other higher education institutes for leadership education continue advocating for lean management.

Lean management is not only an option for cutting raw material and other overhead expenditures. Instead, it’s an encapsulation of all the best practices to ensure sustainability in a manufacturing company’s entire operations. Knowing how to deal with waste can be essential to leading your manufacturing team to optimum efficiency.