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Calling all Technical Managers - what is your job description?


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#1 FoodSafetyAPP

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 12:00 PM

Afternoon everyone,

 

I'm hoping any technical managers or former technical managers out there (or anyone with the relevant knowledge) can help me!

 

I'm working my way to taking the tech manager title from my current tech manager, and i'm pretty sure i do a lot of the work already. I'm currently 'senior quality control' (quality manager). 

 

I have been approached by another company for a tech manager role, but worry i would be out of my depth. 

 

I'm just hoping some tech managers can give me a breakdown of their job description / responsibilities to see if i'm on the same path at least. (or how it differentiates from QM)

 

I completely appreciate this will differentiate from place to be place and be very product and site specific, but would be grateful if somebody could give me at least an idea!

 

Kindest regards and TIA, 



#2 pHruit

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 12:58 PM

As you say, it varies quite a lot, but likely responsibilities within scope will be:

Manage the technical team of whatever sort you have - may be split QC/QA/Regulatory etc, possibly each with their own managers and supervisors.

HACCP/TACCP/VACCP team leader

Audit lead for customers, suppliers, certification etc - need to know the relevant standards better than anyone else on site ;)

More "upward" reporting as part of senior management team (depending on specific structure) etc.

Likely to require management of departmental budget.

Potentially broader than "just" the food safety/quality management system in terms of regulatory remit, including primary liaison with regulatory bodies - effectively the site expert on food regulations. Depending on scale you may also be expected to represent the business at industry bodies/associations.

May include oversight of other function areas, as for example I've seen businesses put product development under the TM.

Probably responsible for customer-facing technical support across specs, questionnaires, general product knowledge and advice etc, although with any luck you will at least have some sort of team to help you out with that.

Some companies will throw in ethical, environmental, CSR elements (or indeed a range of things that look like they might require a system/policy and no-one else seems to want to take ownership of).

Generally being the person behind the desk at which things of the form "this is a really big problem and we don't know what to do about it" seem to end up ;)

A lot of it depends on scale and character of the business, so somewhere smaller you're likely to still be very hands-on with things like internal auditing, hygiene monitoring, daily QA stuff, but that becomes less significant in larger places - you'll still be responsible for it, but likely that other people will often be doing the physical bits of it on your behalf.

There will be loads of other things that aren't coming to mind right now. I've only been a TM for somewhere in excess of a decade, so still learning the ropes :ejut:

 

In general I think it's worth noting that any company worth working for will understand that you're making a step up from a QM role, and they should therefore be interested in your capability rather than expecting you to know everything from the outset. No-one knows everything at the start, or indeed the middle or end. I still learn things regularly, and would be bored as hell if I didn't!

I think it can only be a good thing to ask your prospective new employer for a bit of an outline of the role - it's entirely reasonable for you to need to see this to decide if you want to go for it, even if you ignore questions about experience etc. Honestly I'd be a bit worried about hiring someone who *didn't* want to know what the role was actually about.

 

In any case, good luck with it if it turns out to be something you want to go for :spoton:

(there is a private message system if you want to discuss anything about it that you don't want to post publicly)



#3 olenazh

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 01:09 PM

I'm handling everything, from regulatory to technical stuff like collecting samples, as I'm the only QA at my both companies. And, as pHruit mentioned, learning is the best part of my job. Good luck with your new position!



#4 TimG

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 01:20 PM

Interesting. Here stateside Tech manager is usually IT related, although I've seen it in quality to handle specs, CoA's, analyses, etc. Over here what pHruit described I've usually found to be labelled compliance manager.

"I have been approached by another company for a tech manager role, but worry i would be out of my depth." - I just want to say, there is no harm or embarrassment to be had from asking them specifically what the role involves. Job duties with the same job title vary so much from location to location, and it seems even regionally there is large disparity. I would ask them to describe the duties, and what a typical week involves. You will probably find it's either very similar to what you're currently doing, or relatable enough that you feel confident you can easily adapt.



#5 FoodSafetyAPP

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 02:01 PM

Thanks, this has actually been helpful. 

 

I currently lead ALL audits, I conduct all site hygiene, fabrication, internal system audits. I liaise with certification bodies, arrange audits, implement corrective actions and close out audits. I know for a fact i know the BRC standard (issue 8 anyway) better than anybody else here. I implement policies and procedures, update them, document control, raise, root cause, close all non-conformances. Traceability, recall, complaints. Carry out any work required by customers. I review and approve all customer artwork,and specifications, i take all samples necessary, and act accordingly upon results.  There is another QC lady who conducts minor checks daily which i monitor / act on accordingly. This isn't even the half of it, i believe i'm doing all the leg work for the tech manager, however not sure what he does that i#m not doing (genuinely). Then there is a technical manager, who is also HR who is also head accounts for several company's, the director who is experienced in QC/SPEC work but isn't around much and a site manager who i work alongside but he isn't knowledgeable or experienced in my side. 

 

I can tell myself i think i do a lot of the tech managers work however as i honestly don't know i could be lying to myself! 

I agree with the learning, everyday!



#6 Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 04:35 PM

I have heard anything from Technical Manager to Compliance officer or manager to Food Safety Manager, Assurance manager (my current title) and others but the responsibilities given can be dramatically different. You might find there are no quality related duties at the new position or you'll still have those duties but not some of the others you currently have. If they're interested in you just sit down and have a frank discussion and look over the JD then you'll know. Worst case more work for less money but best case less work MORE money!






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