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First Line Manager (Production Support Manager) - Knorr

Job ID: R-14523 Category: Supply Chain Location: Chachoengsao, TH Date posted: 05/19/2021
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Main Job Purpose:

The FLM is a management professional with a good technical understanding of manufacturing, general or chemical engineering or food technology.  FLMs have proficient mechanical skills and display excellent personal qualities.

The FLM provides the governance function for a cluster of semi-autonomous teams, delivering management and leadership support for performance monitoring, overtime allocation, working patterns and dispute resolution.  The FLM retains responsibility for the Technical and Basic Operators within the semi-autonomous team, but is not involved in the day to day team management beyond the monitoring and performance management role.

Leading improvement projects for operational processes, FLMs have a strong understanding of the end to end manufacturing process.  This includes the chemical and electro-mechanical processes and controls.  She/he is able to interpret technical diagnostics, identify key issues and process risks.  FLMs possess the leadership skills to act with speed and rigour.

She/he understands the factory’s financial situation and use their training in WCM methodologies and IP processes to drive the semi-autonomous team’s work to counter losses and eradicate waste. They lead project work to support factory initiatives.  Skills for problem solving, coaching and innovating are central to the role.

The FLM provides a common standard of communication and engagement across the factory.  They liaise closely with the core factory functions, including Manufacturing, HR, Quality and Safety to achieve this.

(Candidates must complete the FLM training curriculum which covers factory fundamentals, leadership and management and WCM training.  It covers Industrial Performance for nominated factories).

Core Skills:

  • Technical.  Effective mechanical skills (see qualifications) supported by detailed knowledge of the end to end manufacturing processes relevant to their operation and endorsed Good Manufacturing Practice.  Knowledge of:

  • Chemical and electro-mechanical processes and principal factory controls (eg for HPC; Spray drying, soap making, DEFI making, Batch & Continuous mixing of Liquids and Bottle, sachet, bar and pouch filling machinery).

    • Preventative maintenance schemes and condition monitoring (eg vibration analysis).

    • Hazardous Area Equipment and Hazards specific to operation.

    • Online/remote diagnostics to connect with category technical experts.

    • Safety.  Utilise appropriate safety and environmental procedures for people, processes, materials, products and equipment to ensure a safe working environment for the whole team.  Full knowledge of hazards in the workplace.

    • Environment.  Reduce costs due to waste and minimise impact to health, safety and the environment through working to eliminate waste and through the correct management of waste and hazardous materials.

    • Leadership.  Promote the development of a highly effective team through the establishment of a positive team climate supported by authentic leadership and clear communication. 

    • Facilitation and Coaching.  An ability to facilitate technical improvements using WCM improvement tools.  Able to coach Technical Operators and semi-autonomous teams to build team performance.   (FLMs who have undergone the IP module can facilitate standardisation of their line/process area).

    • Decision Making.  Makes governance decisions for the semi-autonomous team and adjudicates on unresolved team issues.  Sets the strategy for Continuous Improvement and Preventative Maintenance in her/his area guided by loss trends and direction provided by the Manufacturing Manager. 

    • Continuous Improvement.  Apply rigorous Cost Deployment and the Zero loss concept to eliminate losses. High skill level in Continuous Improvement that is aligned closely with World Class Manufacturing and LEAN methodologies.

    • Problem Solving. Has the ability to identify, prioritise and address problems using appropriate tools and techniques that eliminate recurrence.

    • Quality.  Apply core knowledge of Quality skills; Quality Measurement, Prioritisation, Improvement, Assessment and Certification etc to sustain Quality standards in the factory operation.

    • Management.  Able to coordinate business resources and apply risk management processes.  Keen sense of prioritisation and ability to influence change.  Resolve conflicts where identified.

    • Administration.   Timely and accurate administration for a cluster of teams; shift rosters, pay, performance, training and safety.  Liaise with Sourcing Unit leads to ensure policy compliance.

    • Planning and Organising.  Prepare work plans within resource constraints and review implementation to drive improvement.

    • Business Awareness.  Understand the business needs for change and innovation.

Other Requirements:

  • Flexible Day Worker – Normally operates on days, but must be prepared to attend the factory out of hours to support factory processes as required.  Flexible and agile worker to meet leadership duties and attend training.


  • Management - Qualified to Diploma level in a nationally registered management programme typically covering leadership and managing change, human resources management, organisations and behaviour, business strategy and decision making.

  • Technical – Mechanical maintenance skills equivalent to Year 1 of the Technical Operator Mechanical Maintenance programme; bearings, shafts and couplings, basic pneumatics, lubrication (see Curriculum for full details).

  • First Line Manager Course - Successful completion of the FLM modules; Factory Fundamentals, Leadership and Management, WCM and IP and Factory Assessment.

Experience Required:


  • Successfully completed Unilever FLM curriculum.

  • Candidates will have practical experience of applying preventative maintenance and autonomous maintenance strategies within a manufacturing, general engineering or food technology environment.

  • Candidates must be able to analyse factory and technical processes in order to identify opportunities for performance improvement.  Strong coaching skills are a pre-requisite; enquiring, supportive, challenging.


  • Experience of operating with semi-autonomous or autonomous teams.

  • Maintenance Engineering Discipline at Post Apprenticeship Skill level (as graded by national standards).

Unilever is an organisation committed to equity, inclusion and diversity to drive our business results and create a better future, every day, for our diverse employees, global consumers, partners, and communities. We believe a diverse workforce allows us to match our growth ambitions and drive inclusion across the business. At Unilever we are interested in every individual bringing their ‘Whole Self’ to work and this includes you! Thus if you require any support or access requirements, we encourage you to advise us at the time of your application so that we can support you through your recruitment journey.

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