An operations manager typically ensures smooth operation of various processes that contribute to the production of goods and services of an organization. The role of an operations manager is very wide and encompasses many operational areas. While other employees can focus on a specialized area of operation (for example, finance and systems support), an operations manager typically wears multiple hats and does a bit of just about everything.
The role of an operations manager has become a lot wider ever since globalization has brought in intense competition among the organizations and the manager is required to execute responsibilities hitherto beyond the scope of regular job description.
Let us look at the broad roles and responsibilities of an operations manager.
Logistics management: The operations manager ensures that the machinery and equipment used have the ability to produce goods and services for the client at an acceptable standard. The operations manager also coordinates with the quality assurance personnel to ensure that the goods meet an acceptable standard and generates positive feedback from clients. The manager may interact with the employees, prepare reports on the current condition of logistics, and decide on the next course of action.
Budget management: The operations manager may obtain the requirements for logistics and coordinate with the finance department to obtain the necessary approval for the budget. The manager ensures that quality equipments are procured within the budget.
Operational strategizing: Apart from logistics management, the operations manager plays a key role in chalking out the overall operational policy. For example, the operations manager could determine the types of equipments needed to fulfill the organizational quality policy. The operational manager could also formulate suggestions on how to make an optimum use of the resources of the organization (for example: Enterprise Resource Planning and Supply Chain Management).
Manage support services: Each support service has its own set of capabilities and key responsibility areas that finally contribute to the organizational goal. The operations manager plays a vital role in maximizing the output of the various support services such as, IT, finance and HR. For example, the manager may—in consultation with the IT services personnel—procure Servers that helps the organization store huge amount of confidential data in a secure manner.
Managing third party relations: An organization may make use of different third party services, such as security, administrative assistants, and office conveyance. The operational manager needs to ensure that standard procedures are followed when third parties are hired. Also, the manager needs to ensure that the necessary administrative and legal formalities are completed. Lastly, the manager ensures that the third party properly executes the agreed terms and conditions.
The fulfillment of the expectations that come from wearing multiple hats seems to be the most challenging aspect of an operational manager’s job. While the manager may not be expected to be a specialist in everything, the expectation to do well in each different role will continue to throw fresh challenges at the role. Many experts believe that the role of an operations manager is probably one of the most challenging roles in the industry. The challenges just seemed to have become bigger in the context of globalization.
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Operations Manager.com Staff