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Differences between the responsibilities of a general manager and plant manager

Both the roles, general manager and plant manager are very important in any business. There are quite significant differences between the two positions, depending upon the roles and responsibilities of both the posts.

Sometimes, both the positions exist in an organization and sometimes only one of them exists, depending upon the business. Most of the times, general managers make more money than plant managers and statistics reveal that it can be around $18,000 per year at an average, as compared to a plant manager.

The duties of both the positions vary and general managers usually have more responsibility as compared to plant managers. They manage different teams and have the profit and loss responsibility too.

The scope of the responsibility also varies for the two positions, with the general manager being focused on the management side of things and the plant manager being focused on the operation of the plant.

The plant manager is more oriented towards the smooth operation of the plant, along with the day to day functions, maintenance and other related activities.

The general manager, on the other hand, has to look after these activities as well as the profit and loss of the business incurs. General managers usually get daily reports from the production and operation personnel, regarding the smooth running of the operation and if there are any problems, they are reported to the general manager directly. The general manager ensures the smooth operation of the plant as well as the other aspects of the business including sales, supply chain and financials.

Read the complete article to learn more about the differences in the activities and responsibilities of the general manager and plant manager!

Sales Responsibility

A plant manager typically is responsible for the operations of a manufacturing plant. Although the sales dollars for his plant may be a metric for success, he often does not have direct control over customer orders and sales. Rather, he is more focused on operating the plant efficiently and ensuring that orders are made and shipped on time. A general manager has both the operational responsibility as well as direct control of product sales. He will have sales people reporting directly to him and will often call on important customers himself. According to “Forbes” magazine, a general manager performs similar duties to a plant manager, but is also responsible for the strategic planning and direction of the business sector he manages.


Plant managers run a manufacturing site with responsibilities in production output, product quality, and on-time shipping. Evident from the job title, plant managers are focused on manufacturing. A general manager, on the other hand, can be focused in manufacturing or in other industries. For example, a general manager might be in charge of a magazine publication, services company or information technology business. These companies don’t have typical manufacturing aspects to their businesses.

Author: Auston Matta

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