Footwear production supervisor

Description

Footwear production supervisors monitor and coordinate day-to-day production activities of a footwear manufacturing plant. They oversee quality control to ensure that the end product is in alignment with production specifications, and manage the footwear staff. The work also involves negotiations with suppliers as well as taking care of the production plan and production costs.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to footwear production supervisor:

footwear product inspection supervisor
footwear finishing room supervisor
footwear production inspector
footwear production forewoman
footwear cutting room supervisor
footwear production foreman
rubber footwear moulding supervisor
footwear manufacturing supervisor
footwear closing room supervisor

Minimum qualifications

Associate’s degree is generally required to work as footwear production supervisor. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Footwear production supervisor is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Footwear production supervisor career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to footwear production supervisor.

footwear quality technician
footwear assembly supervisor
footwear quality control laboratory technician
footwear production technician
leather goods quality technician

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of footwear production supervisor. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of footwear production supervisor with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

footwear quality manager
footwear production manager
leather goods quality manager
leather goods industrial engineer
footwear product development manager

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of footwear production supervisor.

Health and safety in the workplace: The body of rules, procdeures and regulations related to safety, health and welfare of people in their workplace. 
Footwear equipments: Functionality of the wide range of equipments and the basic rules of regular maintenance.
Footwear materials: The characteristics, components, advantages and limitations of a wide range of materials used in footwear production: leather, leather substitutes (synthetics or artificial materials), textile, plastic, rubber etc. 
Footwear machinery: Tthe functionality of the wide range of machines, and the basic rules of regular maintenance.
Manual cutting processes for leather: Cutting rules, variance of the leather properties on its surface and elongation directions of the footwear pieces.
Footwear manufacturing technology: Footwear processes technology and machinery involved. The footwear manufacturing starts in the cutting/clicking room , cutting the uppers and bottom components. The upper components are joined together in the closing room by following a precise order of specific operations: skiving, folding, sewing etc. The closed upper, the insole and other bottom components are brought together in the assembling room, where the main operations are lasting and soling. The process ends with finishing operations in the finishing and packing room.
Footwear creation process: Footwear creation projects starting from inspiration to technical design and manufacturing by following several stages. Latest trends in footwear materials, components, processes, and concepts.
Footwear quality: Quality specifications of materials, processes and final products, the most common defects in footwear, quick tests procedures, laboratory tests procedures and standards, adequate equipment for quality checks. Quality assurance of footwear production processes and fundamental concepts on quality including footwear quality framework and standards.
Footwear components: Footwear components both for uppers (vamps, quarters, linings, stiffeners, toe puffs etc.) and bottoms (soles, heels, insoles etc.). Ecological concerns and the importance of recycling. Selection of suitable materials and components based on their influence on the footwear style and characteristics, properties and manufacturability. Procedures and methods in chemical and mechanical processing of leather and non-leather materials.
Health and safety regulations: Necessary health, safety, hygiene and environmental standards and legislation rules in the sector of particular activity.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of footwear production supervisor.

Create solutions to problems: Solve problems which arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.
Exert a goal-oriented leadership role towards colleagues: Embrace a leadership role in the organisation and with colleagues as to provide coaching and direction to subordinates aiming at the achievement of specific objectives.
Manage staff: Manage employees and subordinates, working in a team or individually, to maximise their performance and contribution. Schedule their work and activities, give instructions, motivate and direct the workers to meet the company objectives. Monitor and measure how an employee undertakes their responsibilities and how well these activities are executed. Identify areas for improvement and make suggestions to achieve this. Lead a group of people to help them achieve goals and maintain an effective working relationship among staff.
Apply footwear and leather goods quality control techniques: Apply quality control in footwear and leather goods. Analyse the material, component or model using relevant quality criteria. Compare the material and other components received from the suppliers, or the final product, to standards. Use visual observation and report findings. Control the quantity of leather in the warehouse. Submit components to laboratory control test when necessary. Define the corrective measures when called for.
Calculate the productivity of the production of footwear and leather goods: Analyse the footwear and leather goods production capacity and collect information concerning human and technological resources. Follow the production process and make adjustments to the work methods and operative times according to the technical specification of the model, human resources and equipment. Optimise the production lines and increase the productivity.
Plan supply chain logistics for footwear and leather goods: Plan, organise and monitor logistics and supply chain activities based on the footwear or leather goods company’s main objectives regarding quality, cost, delivery, and flexibility.
Manage production of footwear or leather goods: Plan the production of footwear or leather goods according to the company’s objectives, deadlines and available resources. Distribute, coordinate and control all activities and the various production phases using information from technical sheets and organisation and methods. Strive to optimise quality, productivity and safety. Collaborate with all linked departments. Report on production, quality, productivity deviations and propose corrective measures.
Use communication techniques: Apply techniques of communication which allow interlocutors to better understand each other and communicate accurately in the transmission of messages.
Work in textile manufacturing teams: Work harmoniously with colleagues in teams in the textile and clothing manufacturing industries.
Manage footwear quality systems: Manage the company quality system. Create or elaborate the quality manual. Carry out the established requirements and objectives included in the quality policy. Foster internal and external communication, including customer satisfaction follow-up. Define and control the implementation of corrective and preventive measures. Foster the continuous improvement of the quality system and quality manual.
Measure working time in footwear and leather goods production: Calculate and establish operative times in footwear and leather goods manufacturing using various method and techniques. Control the production timings, comparing with estimates.
Use it tools: Application of computers, computer networks and other information technologies and equipment to storing, retrieving, transmitting and manipulating data, in the context of a business or enterprise.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of footwear production supervisor. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Footwear finishing techniques: The related machinery, tools, chemicals and mechanical finishing procedures applied to footwear manufacturing.
Footwear bottoms pre-assembly: The equipment and techniques used for the preparation of bottom components in the footwear industry, including soles, heels, insoles, etc.
Assembling processes and techniques for cemented footwear construction: Technology, equipment, machines and tools for lasting and soling in case of cemented footwear constructions.
Pre-stitching processes and techniques for footwear and leather goods: Technology including machinery and techniques for the preparation for leather goods components and footwear uppers.
Footwear industry: Major brands, manufacturers and products available on the footwear market including the different types of shoes, components and materials used.
Automatic cutting systems for footwear and leather goods: The use and description of automatic systems technologies used in footwear and leather goods industry such as laser cutting, knife cutting, punch cutting, mill cutting, ultra-sound cutting, water jet cutting and the cutting machinery such as swing beam cutting presses, traveling head die cutting presses or strap cutting machines.
Assembling processes and techniques for california footwear construction: Technology, equipment, machines and tools for assembling california footwear construction type.
Assembling processes and techniques for goodyear footwear construction: Technology, equipment, machines and tools for assembling Goodyear footwear construction types.
Footwear stitching techniques: The technologies, equipment, machines and processes for closing the upper components of footwear by various seams such as closed, lapped, butted, welted, piped and moccasin.
Footwear uppers pre-assembly: The equipment and techniques used for pre-assembling operations of uppers in the footwear industry.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of footwear production supervisor. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Manage supplies: Monitor and control the flow of supplies that includes the purchase, storage and movement of the required quality of raw materials, and also work-in-progress inventory. Manage supply chain activities and synchronise supply with demand of production and customer.
Practice innovative thinking in the footwear and leather goods industries: Innovate and create in the footwear and leather goods sector. Evaluate new ideas and concepts to turn them into marketable products. Use entrepreneurial thinking in all stages of the product and process development to identify new business opportunities for the targeted markets.
Apply basic rules of maintenance to leather goods and footwear machinery: Apply basic rules of maintenance and cleanliness on footwear and leather goods production equipment and machines that you operate.
Plan footwear manufacture: Design the manufacturing process for each footwear model. Plan the stages of footwear manufacturing and operations for production. Plan the usage of materials and footwear components. Select machines and equipment. Plan the workforce. Calculate direct and indirect costs associated with manufacturing. Plan the maintenance of machines and equipment.
Operate automatic cutting systems for footwear and leather goods: Work with the equipment’s software. Digitise and mark the leather areas with faults in order to avoid them. Establish nesting and cutting restrictions for each pattern. Pick up, sort, upload patterns, check and complete cutting orders. Adjust the machines and equipment parameters and perform simple procedures for maintenance.
Apply machine cutting techniques for footwear and leather goods: Adjust and establish the machine technical operating parameters for cutting footwear and leather goods. Check and select the cutting dies, classification of the cut pieces against cutting restrictions, specifications and quality requirements. Check and complete the cutting orders. Perform simple procedures for maintenance of machines.
Apply methods for footwear and leather goods manufacturing: Produce technical specifications such as drawings, cards, and sheets for the stages of the production of footwear and leather goods. Analyse the technical sheets, defining the working methods. List the operation sequences and distribute the work for the manufacturing of each model.
Coordinate finishing room in footwear manufacturing: Coordinate the flow of materials and footwear components. Manage orders and organise the activity of the finishing room. Distribute machinery, operations and workers. Manage and optimise production and materials. Divide and organise pieces and components according to the footwear model or size and send them directly to the warehouse. Organise in-process quality control.
Reduce environmental impact of footwear manufacturing: Assess the environmental impact of footwear manufacture and minimise environmental risks. Reduce environmentally harmful work practices in different stages of the footwear manufacturing.
Communicate commercial and technical issues in foreign languages: Speak one or more foreign languages in order to communicate commercial and technical issues with various suppliers and clients.
Coordinate closing room in footwear manufacturing: Coordinate the flow of materials and footwear components. Manage orders and organise the activity of the closing room. Distribute machinery, operations and workers. Manage and optimise production and materials. Divide and organise pieces and components according to the footwear model or size and send them directly to the assembling room or to the warehouse. Organise in-process quality control.
Perform laboratory tests on footwear or leather goods: Perform laboratory quality control tests on footwear, leather goods or its materials or components following national and international standards. Prepare samples and procedures. Analyse and interpret tests results and produced reports. Cooperate with outsourced laboratories.
Coordinate assembling room in footwear manufacturing: Coordinate the flow of materials and footwear components. Manage orders and organise the activity of the assembling room. Distribute machinery, operations and workers. Manage and optimise production and materials. Divide and organise pieces and components according to the footwear model or size and send them directly to the finishing room or to the warehouse. Organise in-process quality control.
Prepare footwear samples: Create, test and verify prototypes or samples of footwear against a predefined set of criteria throughout all stages of the manufacturing process. Revise the initial design concepts and implement technical improvements.
Maintain footwear assembling equipment: Produce plans for the frequency, operations, components and materials to be used in the maintenance of footwear. Install, program, tune and provide preventive and corrective maintenance for different machines and equipment involved in the footwear manufacturing. Assess the functionality and performance of the various equipment and machines, detect faults and correct problems, make repairs and substitute components and pieces, and perform routine lubrication as well as perform preventive and corrective maintenance. Register all technical information related to the maintenance.
Apply stitching techniques: Apply footwear and leather goods stitching techniques using the appropriate machines, needles, threads and other tools in order to obtain the required model and to comply with the sewing technical specifications.
Determine footwear warehouse layout: Select the suitable warehouse layouts according to the specific conditions of the footwear company. Plan the warehouse layout. Implement the warehouse management system.
Coordinate cutting room in footwear manufacturing: Coordinate the flow of materials and footwear components. Manage orders and organise the activity of the cutting room. Distribute machinery, operations and workers. Manage and optimise production and materials. Divide and organise pieces and components according to the footwear model or size and send them directly to the closing room or to the warehouse. Organise in-process quality control.
Perform manual cutting for footwear uppers: Check and complete cutting orders, select leather surfaces and classify cut pieces. Identify faults and defects on the leather surface. Recognise colours, shades and type of finishes. Use the following tools: knife, pattern templates, cutting board and marking needle.
Apply footwear finishing techniques: Apply various chemical and mechanical finishing procedures to footwear by performing manual or machine operations, with or without chemicals, such as heel and sole roughing, dying, bottom polishing, cold or hot wax burnishing, cleaning, removing tacks, inserting socks, hot air treeing for removing wrinkles, and cream, spray or antique dressing. Work both manually and use the equipment and machines, and adjust working parameters.

ISCO group and title

3122 – Manufacturing supervisors

 

 


 

 

References
  1. Footwear production supervisor – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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