Also referred to as print supervisors and production operation managers, print production planners are in charge of monitoring the materials being produced by a printing company.
Their job includes controlling print flow, checking schedules for printing, and, essentially making sure that the product will be delivered at the given deadline and that it meets the quality standards of both the company and the client.
Print production managers work mainly with other departments in the company. For instance, they work with account managers to relay demands and standards set by the client. They often correspond with the production department to make sure that everything is in order.
Indeed, their work requires an involvement in every part of the production process, from the administrative aspect (when getting orders for the printing) to the distribution of the product.
Salary & benefits
Print production managers generally get £20,000 to £23,000 a year, although the more experienced ones can earn as much as £50,000 to £55,000 annually.
The demands of the role depend largely on the job responsibilities given to the production manager. It’s an office-based job that has varying working hours, and there are rarely any travel opportunities here, even when the company works for international clients.
However, print production planners will need to work at any time and day of the week when there’s an order that needs to be done. The work load of the planners, of course, depends on the company’s work load and budget.
The job is largely a managerial one, and its end goal is to make sure that the product will be delivered to the client on time. Therefore, employers will consider applicants from any academic background, but those with degrees in some way management-related are preferred.
Some employers prefer business studies degree holders, because the job is, after all, essentially handling business, rather than handling the specifics and technical aspects of printing.
Still, it’ll help for applicants to know the technical areas of the field. As a print production planner, you need great organizational skills and relevant IT know-how.
Since the job of a production planner will revolve around deadlines, it’s essential that you can work under intense pressure – there will be a lot of it during deadline time.
Training & progression
There are various certificate courses in the field of print production training, and production planners should consider taking these in order to increase their qualifications.
There are also several short courses, which can supplement the skills they can learn in the workplace. However, actual training here is largely work-based, so the short courses and certificate programs are essentially there to supplement the work-based knowledge.
Production planners usually get promoted to management roles. Planners are usually tasked to handle one project at any given moment. Managers handle a whole sector, which means there are more responsibilities.
Some planners also get promoted to higher positions in other departments in the company, such as the printing or administrative departments. Print production planning serves as a great training for these roles, since the job tackles every aspect of printing.