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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Production Clerks (1524)

Production clerks co-ordinate and expedite the flow of work and materials within an establishment, prepare work and production schedules and monitor the progress of production and construction projects. Production clerks are employed by manufacturing and construction companies, printing and publishing companies and other industrial establishments.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read orders filed by sales representatives to maintain client database files. (1)
  • Read memos to obtain information on company policies. (2)
  • Read newsletters for current information about projects. (2)
  • Refer to procedure, safety and computer manuals to locate "how to" information. (3)
  • Review contracts to confirm such product specifications as quantity and design and to compare them with the quotes provided by the company. (3)
  • Read reports or studies on methods of production or construction to investigate cost-effective approaches. (4)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Read mailing and product labels. (1)
  • Read purchase orders to check that specifications, price and delivery dates match those on customers' contracts. (2)
  • Read production and vacation schedules. (2)
  • Complete requisition forms to order the materials required for each job. (2)
  • May read shift data sheets indicating the date, number of people working on the shift and the amount of time that the machines were not in use, to analyze production levels by shift. (3)
  • May interpret scale drawings, such as topographical maps and blueprints, to plan work schedules or identify material requirements. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write reminder notes about tasks to perform. (1)
  • Maintain production logs to record shift data which may be referenced by others. (1)
  • Write concise instructions on work orders. (2)
  • Write letters to suppliers of products and services concerning inquiries and complaints. (2)
  • Write reports to document the most cost-effective work procedures. (3)
  • Revise procedure manuals. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • Tally amounts on purchase orders for labour and materials before forwarding them to the accounting department. (1)
  • Approve supply order forms. (2)
  • Finalize bills for services, making adjustments if necessary. These include applying rates for services, and calculating discounts and taxes. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May enter billing and payment information on client accounts. (1)
  • Prepare production schedules, based on accepted production rates per person. (2)
  • Calculate raw material and labour costs to determine profit or loss after each job is finished. (3)
  • Schedule and monitor all raw materials and finished goods flowing through the plant. (4)
  • Prepare annual budgets estimating the effects of such factors as the use of technology and weather conditions. (5)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Calculate areas, perimeters and volumes to determine raw material requirements. (2)
  • Convert between measurement systems such as from cubic yards to cubic metres. (2)
  • Calculate the materials required to produce products involving irregular shapes, such as domes. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • Determine if customers' orders are being filled by comparing the total orders booked to the total orders dispatched. (1)
  • Calculate average production rates to schedule and plan work. (2)
  • Prepare quality-control reports to conclude whether products are in conformance with company and government regulations. (3)
  • Analyze production statistics to draw conclusions about the efficiency of production methods. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • May estimate the overtime requirements for a specific job, considering such factors as the time required to complete similar projects in the past. (2)
  • May estimate how long it will take to produce an order, such as a window order, in establishing a delivery date for the customer. Inaccurate estimation may result in expensive delays for the customer. (3)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Interact with suppliers and contractors to discuss costs and the availability of materials and to arrange equipment servicing. (1)
  • Interact with clients on the phone and in-person to provide service. (2)
  • Interact with co-workers to discuss a project or production schedule, presenting arguments why a plan may or may not be feasible and solutions to problems raised. (3)
  • Persuade all parties, such as co-workers and contractors, to agree on the details of a production plan. (3)
  • Meet with production staff and supervisors to discuss production, delays and other problems. They may present tabular or graphical information at meetings. (3)
  • Interact with supervisors to receive instructions, seek direction, discuss customer service and resolve conflicts. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • Investigate inconsistencies in production data, such as data which exceed the total number of units which could be produced. They analyze possible causes by reviewing additional data and speaking to production staff to establish the correct figures. (2)
  • May explore options when a need for improvement has been identified. For example, if the transportation system used needs to be changed, they may establish the parameters for evaluating the impact of switching from one mode to another, such as cost and time, and conduct the necessary research. (2)
  • Try to accommodate clients with rush orders. They work under tight deadlines to organize material and labour, balancing the needs of other clients to maintain overall customer satisfaction. (3)
  • Deal with unhappy clients who won't accept the product because it does not meet their expectations. They interact with clients to identify the reason for their dissatisfaction and build consensus on a suitable solution. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide what to do when products are flawed or supplies have run out and decide when clients need to be consulted. (2)
  • Decide on the priority of customer orders, considering such factors as delivery dates, job size and complexity, availability of equipment and materials, and whether overtime hours can be justified. (3)
  • May decide whether to submit a tender for work that has been advertised. This involves determining whether the work can be done by their company, in the proposed time frame, with the resources available. (3)
  • May, after studying various transportation options for hauling lumber, decide what method of transport to recommend. This recommendation is not easily reversed because of the amount of time and analysis required to make the recommendation. (4)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Production clerks have some variety in their work activities within the overall routine of the establishment. They set their own work priorities considering service to customers, meeting deadlines and variables which influence production, such as equipment breakdowns and material shortages. In this context, production clerks have wide scope to sequence their tasks for efficiency, while responding to frequent interruptions. Their work plan must be integrated with the work plans of others both within the organization, such as supervisors, and external to the organization, such as suppliers and contractors. (3)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember customers' names, faces, voices and preferences to provide quality customer service.
  • Recall events that happened during a shift to record this information in the production log book.
  • May memorize material specifications for a particular job, such as cost and weight, for efficiency in calculating material requirements.
Finding Information
  • Read customers' files to obtain information on their job specifications. (1)
  • Refer to procedures' manuals to find information on company or regulatory requirements. (2)
  • May talk with managers, lead hands or forepersons, quality-control staff, material handlers and others to collect data for reports. (3)
  • Speak to suppliers and architects by phone and read catalogues and price lists to gather information needed for the preparation of proposals to be tendered. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • They write notes and various production reports. (2)
  • They enter production data. (2)
  • They may enter information from charts, graphs and datasheets into a spreadsheet program. (2)
  • They may forward and receive electronic mail. (2)
  • They may create forms to record production information. (3)
  • They may prepare financial or budgetary reports. (3)
  • They may apply statistical process control to monitor quality. (3)
  • Use computer-aided design software while working with electronic blueprints. (3)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Production clerks mainly work independently within a team environment. They consult with a variety of people in the organization, such as supervisors and accounting staff, as well as those providing supplies and services.

Continuous Learning

Production clerks have a need for ongoing learning to maintain a current knowledge of regulations, procedures and material costs and to upgrade their computer skills. This learning is acquired through participation in formal training sessions and through independent study.

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