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How to Run Effective Manufacturing Production Meetings (With an Agenda)

Adeline de Oliveira
Four employees standing in a semicircle in a factory, one holding an opened laptop while the others look in his direction

Faced with speed, quality, and efficiency imperatives, manufacturing companies have to orchestrate many tasks and processes precisely. Because every second counts and every detail can make a difference, properly coordinating activities represents a colossal challenge.

That’s where the daily production meeting comes in. As a strategic lever, these regular contact points are the beating heart of the factory, where plans are transformed into concrete actions. Each meeting is crucial to aligning objectives, sharing vital information, and energizing teams for a productive day.

This article explores the subject in depth, explaining the nature, structure, and purpose of a production meeting. It also reveals the different phases and top tips for transforming these appointments into a driving force for manufacturing excellence.

Key takeways:

  • Daily production meetings or daily huddles are crucial for synchronizing teams, setting priorities, and proactively addressing challenges to ensure manufacturing operations run smoothly.
  • Manufacturing companies benefit from tiered production meetings that cater to different levels of the organization – from operational to strategic – ensuring relevant focus and efficient information flow.
  • A clear agenda, the right participants, pre-shared materials, and a focused discussion facilitated by tools like UTrakk DMS can significantly improve the effectiveness of production meetings.
  • Production meetings should result in clearly defined actions with assigned owners and deadlines. Regular follow-ups on these actions are critical for continuous operational improvement.
  • Utilizing technology, such as the UTrakk Daily Management System, enhances communication, data sharing, and decision-making processes in production meetings, leading towards manufacturing excellence.

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What is a daily production meeting or daily huddle?

A production meeting (or “daily huddle”) is a short meeting usually held at the beginning of the day. It brings together teams involved in the production process under the direction of a facilitator to coordinate their activities, set priorities for the day, and discuss challenges and progress. It usually takes place in meeting rooms, dedicated areas, or directly on the production floor to tackle problems more immediately and visually.

These daily meetings are essential to keep manufacturing operations running smoothly.

Tiered production meetings

Tiered meetings refer to organizing production meetings at different levels of the organization, each tailored to the specific needs and focus of the respective management levels involved.

Tier 1 – Operational meetings

These are often held at the shop floor level and involve front-line workers and their immediate supervisors. The focus here is on the day-to-day operational issues, immediate production targets, upcoming production, machine performance, and addressing any minor problems that can be quickly resolved. 

These meetings are highly operational and ensure production runs smoothly daily.

Tier 2 – Tactical meetings

They are conducted at the departmental or middle management level and involve production managers or team leaders. The discussions are more about coordination between different production teams, planning, and problem-solving that requires input from multiple departments or has medium-term implications.

The focus shifts slightly from immediate operational issues to tactical considerations, such as resource allocation, improvement of production processes, and productivity analysis.

Tier 3 – Strategic meetings 

At this level, the meetings involve senior management and focus on strategic planning and decision-making that affects the entire production process or the organization. Topics include long-term goals, aligning production with broader corporate strategies, measuring performance, significant investments, implementing new technologies, and issues affecting productivity and efficiency.

By structuring meetings in this way, each group can stay focused on the issues most relevant to its role and responsibilities without being overwhelmed by information that doesn't concern it directly.

Cone-shape graphic divided in 3 parts, each describing a production meeting tier

What is the purpose of a daily huddle in the production process?

This daily work meeting aims to optimize operations by synchronizing teams, clarifying priorities, and proactively solving problems. 

Particularly prevalent in the manufacturing sector, daily or weekly production meetings offer a range of benefits to companies:

  • Improved internal communication: They break down silos for fluid information sharing across hierarchical levels and departments.
  • Rapid problem identification and resolution: By meeting regularly, teams can discuss obstacles encountered in the field, quickly identify production problems, and implement solutions before they escalate.
  • Efficient planning and monitoring: They provide precise task planning and rigorous progress monitoring (prioritization, resource allocation, and deadline control).
  • Increased productivity and efficiency: Teams focus on priorities, eliminate non-essential tasks, and adjust to fluctuating production requirements. Time management is optimized, and resources are better allocated.
  • Enhanced team spirit and corporate culture: These production rituals shape a positive culture where everyone's achievements are valued, collaboration is encouraged, and team relationships are strengthened.
  • Worker accountability: By regularly reviewing progress and discussing results, participants are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions and actively contribute to achieving objectives.

10 Steps to run a manufacturing production meeting efficiently

List of the 10 steps required to run production meetings

1. Define your objectives

Clearly define the objectives of each meeting, i.e., clarify what you want to achieve during the meeting. Objectives can vary, from solving specific problems to updating production progress.

To facilitate follow-up on performance, setting SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound) is best.

2. Prepare the meeting agenda

Set a clear agenda that reflects the objectives you have defined. It should include the topics to be discussed, the order in which they will be addressed, and the time allocated to each.

Such preparation structures the meeting and ensures that all critical aspects of ongoing production are covered.

The UTrakk Daily Management System (DMS) can help you accomplish this task easily and efficiently. Meeting planning and management features enable you to create a standardized agenda for your daily production meetings, speeding up the planning of these daily sessions.

Simulated view of a production meeting agenda in UTrakk, including agenda items and allocated times

3. Invite only the right participants

Identify and invite the people whose presence is essential to achieving the objectives of the production meeting. It may include production team members, managers, and other key stakeholders.

With UTrakk, only a few clicks are required to invite participants and synchronize meetings in your Microsoft Outlook calendar.

4. Share meeting material in advance

Provide participants with all relevant reports, data, and other documents before the meeting.

UTrakk DMS allows you to link documents and dashboards to a meeting, in addition to an agenda. This not only enables your team members to prepare for the discussion, but also to have all relevant information at hand, so you can run the meeting, discuss problems, and set priorities in an efficient and informed way.

5. Run the production meeting

Lead the discussion according to the day's theme, ensuring that every topic is covered and everyone present can participate. Discussions should be open and constructive.

6. Discuss production issues

Discuss identified production problems, analyze their causes, and explore potential solutions.

Dashboards included in our Daily Management System provide highly precise data on the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of your production lines, the causes of variances, and more. This data enables you to identify problematic areas, making it easier to implement solutions that will have a positive impact.

Pro tip: Remember to distribute the floor so that all employees can propose solutions.

7. Create actions and assign owners and deadlines

Based on the discussions, define concrete actions to improve operations, assign these tasks to individuals or a specific team, and set clear deadlines for their completion. For example, you can decide that actions have to be completed by the next meeting.

These actions can be planned directly in UTrakk's meeting management tool, speeding up the implementation of solutions and action plans.

8. Follow up on previous actions

In addition to future actions, it's also essential to check the progress of tasks assigned in previous meetings to ensure that they are completed and that objectives are met. It includes reviewing deadlines and adjusting action plans as necessary.

UTrakk simplifies action tracking, with an Actions module that includes detailed information on planned activities – status, percentage of progression, person responsible, due date, and priority level. Close tracking of actions offers greater chances of success of problem-solving and continuous improvement initiatives.

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9. Recap the production meeting

Before concluding, summarize the key points discussed, decisions made, and actions assigned to ensure that all participants understand the results and expectations from the production meeting. Make sure every team member is on the same page.

10. Document the meeting minutes

After the meeting, prepare and distribute a detailed summary of the discussions, decisions, and actions to be taken. This document will serve as a reference and help keep everyone informed and aligned on the next steps.

To optimize this process, you can create a summary using the Discussion thread, directly from the meeting window in UTrakk. This ensures that the digitalized summary can be accessed by all participants, facilitates exchanges on the items raised during the meeting, and safeguards discussion details on a centralized platform.

Tips for actionable daily production meetings or daily huddles

Structure meetings according to management levels

Structuring daily meetings according to management levels enables discussions to be tailored to each group's specific needs and responsibilities.

Set an agenda (and stick to it)

Setting an agenda and sticking to it ensures that every production meeting remains efficient and focused, covering all the essential topics without drifting into irrelevant discussions.

Distribute the agenda before the meeting so that participants can prepare themselves and develop ideas or answers to the points raised.

Keep it short and to the point

Start each meeting by reviewing production objectives, ensuring all team members understand the day's expectations and priorities.

Make sure that the necessary resources are available to achieve these objectives.

Be brief and concise

To optimize meeting time, encourage participants to be concise and focus on the essentials. Limit the time allocated to each intervention to allow everyone to participate.

For succinct, visual communication of information, clear formats, such as bullet points or graphics, are recommended.

Use transparent and effective communication

All participants must have a complete view of the production's critical issues, challenges, and successes. To foster open communication and trust, encourage feedback and transparent discussion of issues.

Follow up on previous actions

Start each meeting with an update on the progress of actions defined at previous meetings. Assess progress and discuss any obstacles encountered, adapting action plans where necessary.

Encourage participation and a positive atmosphere

For effective collaboration, it is important to create a supportive environment where everyone can freely express their ideas and concerns. Encourage active participation by using techniques such as round-table discussions or brainstorming.

Pro tip: Remember to recognize and celebrate both individual and collective successes to maintain motivation, foster team spirit, and stay positive.

Use relevant technology

Relying on technology like the UTrakk Daily Management System during a production meeting helps foster communication, share information and data in real-time, and improve decision-making.

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Elevate your daily production meetings and manufacturing efficiency with UTrakk

Implementing or improving daily production meetings or daily huddles is crucial to optimizing manufacturing operations. They provide an excellent opportunity to enhance communication, strengthen team accountability and cohesion, resolve problems effectively, and increase efficiency.

To further structure these rituals, dedicated technologies are more than recommended. UTrakk’s DMS is a valuable tool that provides all the features needed to manage meetings, plan tasks, track actions, and communicate between teams. With a user-centric approach, this digital tool enables manufacturing companies to transform their daily meetings into dynamic, productive sessions, leading to continuous improvement and better overall performance.

FAQ on manufacturing production meetings 

What is a daily production meeting?


What are the tiers of production meetings?


What should be included in the agenda of a production meeting?


How can production meetings enhance manufacturing efficiency?


What are the best practices for running production meetings?


Take your production meetings to the next level

Don't settle for standard meetings. The experts at Proaction International are here to help you boost your operational efficiency through more effective production meetings or daily huddles.

Adeline de Oliveira

Adeline de Oliveira

Writer and editorial manager for about 15 years, Adeline de Oliveira is passionate about human behavior and communication dynamics. At Proaction International, she covers topics ranging from Industry 5.0 to operational excellence, with a focus on leadership development. This expertise enables her to offer insights and advice on employee engagement and continuous improvement of managerial skills.