When it comes to operations management, there is a wide variety in the number of career options that you have. Some people believe that operations management only relates to one particular job or industry, which is an incorrect assumption. Because there are so many different career options, we want to take a moment and focus on the growing job fields in operations management.
An increasing job field
It should be obvious that operations management is an increasing field. More companies recognize the need for qualified operations management graduates that are able to make a difference. Some of the major growing job fields in operations management include the traditional industrial sector, financial services, retail, telecommunications, and pharmaceuticals.
Studies show that the top pharmaceutical manufacturers are more than twice as productive as their average counterparts are. Drugmakers around the world can learn about the speed with which these companies offer products, the quality of the product, and the way that these companies are able to manage cost.
Moreover, the benefits for effective operations management in pharmaceutical manufacturers are significant. In fact, if these companies were able to match the total labor productivity of the top performers, these companies would enjoy annual unit cost and labor savings of five to six percentage points of their earnings. The value of this would exceed $65 billion at the industry level alone.
Anyone who has looked at the recent industrial landscape understands that telecommunications has become even more important than ever before. Operations management for telecom operations often means increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of network operations or customer-care and sales operations. It also means improving capability building in the business-support or procurement function. It may also include reducing overall operating expenses through innovation processes and improving product-development.
While some might assume that retail is going the way of the dodo, operation managers in retail are very much in high demand. If every penny counts, it means working with all the different factors within a company to ensure that the company is effective and making money. This can be at a small privately owned specialty store or a large retail chain. Especially now that online competitors have started taking more and more customers, retailers understand the necessity of operations management, ensuring that this is a growing industry.
The financial services industry
The changing landscape of customer expectations and their approach to investing in financial products combined with the extremely competitive nature of the financial services industry today demands that companies reconsider how they deal with customers’ business transactions, both with new and existing customers.
As a result, operations management has become a critical business task that can significantly contribute to the overall performance of financial service companies. In fact, recent figures show that the vast majority of financial service companies establish and publish operational targets. The quality of work done is measured, costs are targeted, and processing times are reduced.
The traditional industrial sector
There is no denying that the traditional industries have felt the pinch of outsourcing and the economic crisis. As a result, more companies realize that in order to stay afloat, they have to deliver quality products at the best possible price. This is fundamentally what investing in operations management delivers.
More companies in the industrial sector realize that if they refuse to compromise on quality, they have to reduce their budget in other ways. A more streamlined approach can help achieve that. This is why more companies are actively focusing on the benefits of operational strategies.
If you want to learn a bit more about a career in operations management and see what these different job fields have in common and where they might differ, see “Interviews with Masters of Operations Management”
James M. Pennell