What Does a Production Planner Do?

Production planners improve an organization’s production and distribution process using their expertise on supply chain and distribution management. They organize paperwork, such as delivery schedules and purchase orders. They also keep and update records and monitor material prices and production rates.

Their responsibilities include planning and preparing production schedules for manufacture of products, determining manufacturing processes and tools, analyzing production specifications and scheduling workflow for all departments involved with the operations. They plan the sequence of operations, from fabrication to assembly and installation. To do so, they confer with supervisors and staff members while assessing time estimates with the assembly and fabrication workers who will perform the actual work. Production planners expedite delayed operations and modify schedules to solve unforeseen problems. It is also their role to prepare production reports, purchase orders and lists of necessary materials and equipment. Additionally, they perform mathematical calculations to check the production plant’s material requirements. Throughout the manufacturing process, planners coordinate essential material deliveries from vendors and ensure that exact shipping times are followed for a timely production schedule. Manufacturing and production companies employ production planners to meet targeted time schedules. Most planners have a bachelor's or an associate degree, majoring in supply chain management, business or logistics among other fields.