3 Ways to Develop Manufacturing Leaders

CPAs & Advisors

Jacob Sopczynski
Jacob Sopczynski CPA Principal CPAs & Advisors

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Developing manufacturing leaders takes time and effort, but is critical to your success and the success of the industry. From an accounting and financial perspective, a few key answers come to mind, including cross-training, segregation of duties as related to fraud and internal controls, and succession planning. 


Well-developed leaders are cross-trained in a vast array of tasks and duties in their field. They will also fill in where needed to complete the project. With multiple, high value, cross-trained leaders within your organization, the staffing requirements within a department are significantly decreased. Cross-training leaders also increases employee morale and helps reduce payroll costs through decreased employee turnover and training efforts.

Segregation of duties

Segregation of duties plays an essential role in any environment. Risks associated with employee fraud and error are particularly higher in the manufacturing industry. The well-developed leader within your organization will understand the importance of segregation of duties and take steps to implement the separation of duties as an internal control. This control makes risks associated with employee fraud and error manageable by the leader, through only allowing employee’s access or authority to certain parts of the manufacturing process. Imagine if one employee had the authority and control to purchase and receive materials, make entries in the accounting software and pay invoices. The risk of fraud would be significantly high for this organization because of the authority and power of the one employee to manipulate the process. When these duties are separated among employees as much as possible with the addition of proper oversight of a well-developed leader, it will allow the risk due to fraud or error to be significantly decreased.

Succession planning

Does your organization have a succession plan for the future? Who will fill your role when you take on a new role within the organization? What would happen if you retire or lose a key employee? These questions illustrate the importance of developing a well-trained leader within your organization – one who is cross-trained and understands the different functions of the organization. A developed leader from within may be the first step to an effective succession plan or filling an important role within the organization. The absence of a plan could be costly, leading to weakening employee morale, increased negativity internally and externally, or the ultimate failure of the business.

Well-developed leaders are the future of your manufacturing organization. They understand the importance of cross-training, segregating duties, and succession planning. The value of a leader developed from within your organization, their professional expertise, and knowledge of the organization and the industry as a whole is vital to your future. They will share your vision and have a vested interest in the organization. With a vested interest in the organization, they will plan for the future and provide growth for themselves as a leader and the whole organization.


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