What does an Operations Manager do?
The work that an operations manager does is very versatile. The unique thing about an operational manager’s job is that it is all about performing multiple roles at the same time, while other jobs tend to focus on specific narrower scope. Operations manager is often a multiple hat wearer in the organization, and when there is a question about business and it is not crystal clear which department should handle it, operations manager gets that questions.
The operations manager has to handle a lot of duties: work flow, purchases, supply, inventory management and many more, often over the course of one day. While someone in the accounts department needs to think mostly about accounts. It takes multitasking personality to be a great operations manager.
The following sections will broadly discuss the various types of responsibilities that an operations manager will be required to fulfill:
Delivery management: Delivery of goods to the client is one of the biggest tasks that company has to handle. There are a number of issues that an operations manager needs to take into account in order to successfully deliver goods and services.
First, the manager needs to ensure that the delivery is on-time and meets the time commitment. Second, the manager needs to interact with all concerned departments and ensure that the goods and services meet the quality criteria as agreed with the client.
Lastly, the operations manager needs to obtain feedback from the client about the goods and services delivered and communicate the feedback to the concerned departments.
Daily operations: The operations manager needs to ensure that the company is able to run its daily operations without any hindrance. That’s precisely why operations manager is needed, because there will be a lot of issues arising in any work flow day to day.
The operations manager needs to identify the key services and facilities that are indispensable in the daily operations of the enterprise. For example, the operations manager needs to be constantly in touch with the logistics and manufacturing departments to ensure that the company has the required supply of materials.
Supply chain management: An enterprise needs a constant flow of raw materials and equipment in order to fulfill client commitments. An operations manager needs to ensure that the company receives a constant flow of raw materials and equipment.
The manager needs to identify suppliers with good records and needs to formulate suitable terms and conditions so that the supplier is able to supply the required goods and services on time. The operations manager also needs to keep an eye on the inflow of raw materials and take constant feedback internally on the quality of the materials. It is a process, and unlike project management, there is no clear end in supply chain management, it is ever evolving process.
Inventory management: An operations manager needs to ensure that the raw materials received are properly stored and conserved. The inventory maintenance practices need to be sound to ensure good conditions for raw materials. There are a lot of formulas on how to calculate your inventory and what is best amount of which product to have on the shelf’s. For service management, there is an inventory management also, except instead of products there is man hour that used as inventory. It is often overlooked by outsiders, but in law firms and other consulting fields it is essential to have proper way to calculate and allocate the service inventory.
Though the role of the operations manager has really widened since the 90’s, an operations manager may or may not perform all of the above responsibilities. The exact roles and responsibilities will solely depend on the specific expectations of individual company.
Continue to the next article to learn more about roles of operations manager.