inventory management

What Is a Production Planning Manager? Salary Guide and More

What does a production planning manager do? We discuss roles and responsibilities, salary expectations and more in this article.

Small manufacturing companies heavily rely on the expertise of production planning managers to ensure that their businesses run smoothly.

A production planning manager is tasked with ensuring that production goals and targets are met while also controlling the overall manufacturing cost.

They ensure that raw materials are procured and inventory levels are maintained at optimal levels.

If you’re thinking of pursuing a career as a production planning manager or looking to hire one for your manufacturing business, this blog post will provide a comprehensive guide on what the role entails, salary expectations, and more.

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Responsibilities of a Production Planning Manager

Production planning managers focus on coordinating and planning manufacturing activities of a company. Here are some of the production planning skills that typically come with the role:

  • Creating production plans: Production planning managers are responsible for creating schedules or plans for the production department to ensure all production targets are met.

  • Setting Production KPIs: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential for measuring the success of a production plant. Production planning managers set these KPIs and ensure they are met.

  • Monitoring production processes: Production planning managers must monitor the manufacturing processes to identify any inefficiencies and recommend improvements.

  • Forecasting production needs: By analyzing historical data, production planning managers forecast future production needs and plan accordingly

  • Managing inventory: They keep track of inventory levels for all materials and finished goods and ensure the company has enough stock at any given moment.

  • Strategic planning: Production planning managers work with the management team to develop sustainable production strategies and ensure the company’s operations remain agile and competitive.

  • Ensuring compliance: They ensure compliance with governmental regulations, industry certifications, and health and safety standards.

Salary Expectations for Production Planning Managers

The salary of a production planning manager will vary depending on factors such as the size of the company, industry, and experience level.

On average, a production planning manager salary in the United States is around []$82,000 per year]( However, experienced production planning managers in large corporations can earn as much as $110,000 annually.

Small manufacturing companies may pay between $45,000 to $70,000 per year for their production planning managers.

Skills Required for a Production Planning Manager

A production planning manager has a critical role to play in ensuring successful operations of a manufacturing company. A typical production planning job description will include:

  • Analytical abilities - The ability to identify production issues and propose solutions quickly is crucial for production planning managers.

  • Experience with inventory management software solutions - A good production planning manager should be familiar with inventory management software and production planning tools to keep track of materials and finished goods.

  • Project management skills - Production planning managers must handle multiple projects concurrently, making project management skills essential for the role.

  • Communication skills - The position requires regular communication with various departments such as procurement, operations, and sales teams. Excellent communication skills are a must-have.

  • Strong leadership skills - Leading a team of manufacturing and production specialists requires strong leadership skills and excellent communication skills.

  • Proven track record - Employers often require experience in a similar role and proof of a successful track record of managing production processes.

  • Attention to detail - Details matter in manufacturing, and production planning managers must always be detail-oriented.

Challenges Faced by Production Planning Managers

Production planning managers face unique challenges in their daily activities. One of the most common challenges they face is dealing with production delays due to problems such as equipment breakdowns or supply chain disruptions. Additionally, they must ensure they have enough raw materials to meet production target levels, all while maintaining staffing levels and staying under budget.

The software an tools production managers need to succeed

To excel in their role, production planning managers need access to the right tools and software solutions. These include:

  • Production planning software - This software helps create production schedules, track progress, and manage inventory levels.

  • Inventory management systems - To stay on top of inventory levels and ensure no shortages or overstocks occur, production planning managers need reliable inventory management systems.

  • Data analysis tools - Production planning managers rely on data analysis to make informed decisions and improve production processes.

  • Manufacturing dashboards - good production managers will ensure that they create dashboards that surface important KPIs and metrics to the wider team.

  • Collaboration tools - To effectively communicate with different departments and teams, production planning managers need reliable collaboration tools.

Craftybase is production scheduling software specifically designed for small businesses and provides production managers with the resources and tools they need to be successful.

This powerful software allows production planning managers to track inventory, manage orders, and monitor expenses, all in real time. The data-driven insights provided by Craftybase can be crucial in making informed decisions about production schedules, inventory levels, and cost management.

Interested in giving it a try? Craftybase offers a free trial period that allows you to test drive its features and see how it can revolutionize your production processes. Sign up for your free trial today.


Small manufacturing companies require the expert skills of a production planning manager to ensure the efficient running of their operations. The role requires a unique set of analytical, leadership, and interpersonal skills to accomplish the set targets. A production planning manager’s salary varies depending on company size, industry, and experience.

The challenges that come with the role, including supply chain disruptions and equipment breakdowns, require a robust skill set to tackle. As a small manufacturing company, investing in the right production planner is an investment that leads to long-term success.

Nicole Pascoe Nicole Pascoe - Profile

Written by Nicole Pascoe

Nicole is the co-founder of Craftybase, inventory and manufacturing software designed for small manufacturers. She has been working with, and writing articles for, small manufacturing businesses for the last 12 years. Her passion is to help makers to become more successful with their online endeavors by empowering them with the knowledge they need to take their business to the next level.