GEORGE BUSINESS NEWS - Depending on the industry or organisation, the role of operations management varies but, in general, effective operations management means the oversight of an entire organisation to ensure that it’s ‘business as usual’ each day.
The goal of having operations management is to maximise efficiency with an organisation and to help fulfil customers’ needs. It’s one of the most strategic functions of the business that ensures that the organisation has longevity.
What role does operations management play in an organisation?
An individual in this role wears many hats, which include:
Finance and budgeting
If an organisation ran rampant without any budget, it would become bankrupt very fast. Effective operations management means that there is an allocated budget for each operation. Budgeting is crucial to any organisation and however the organisation decides to grow, finance plays an important role. It’s why it’s important to plan and manage finances, a task that is quite important for the operations manager.
The operations manager monitors the organisation’s spending. If the budget needs to be updated, they will make sure that the policies and procedures are adhered to. They’ll take a look at the available funding for the allocated task and will examine what’s necessary and examine the current financial standing of the project budget. The operations manager will need excellent financial acumen to be able to plan, analyse, and forecast an organisation’s financials.
What is the budget process?
Depending on the organisational hierarchy, the overall budget will be provided by the top-level executives. The operations manager, will either work alongside other department managers to determine workflow, staffing, budget demands, etc. From this point, they can examine and determine the allocated project budget. During the time, the operations manager will look at contracts and policies to ensure operations will be within budget.
“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” ? Tom Landry
Every organisation has objectives and goals they should be meeting - whether it’s annually or quarterly. Having a clear strategy in place means that organisational goals are clear and achievable. The role of operations management is to ensure that there is a clear process towards goal achievement, which means working with all management to define these objectives.
How does strategic planning work?
As mentioned before, the operations manager will have an understanding of the organisation’s overall mission. Working alongside other departments, the operations manager will make sure that each goal is aligned with the organisation’s objectives. A strategy helps establish direction and clearly defines everyone’s roles and purpose.
An effective strategy means employees know what they do the minute they arrive and eradicates any uncertainty - something which plague’s organisations without any directions. It also helps to ensure that the customer's needs are fulfilled.
Optimise technology infrastructure
The world is changing fast with new technology and innovations introduced regularly. The operations manager will ensure that the new trends are aligned with daily operations and goals.
With the use of cloud-based systems emerging, the role of operations management is to find ways to increase the organisation’s flexibility. The role of implementing emerging technology helps with overall strategies to improve productivity, track inventory and ins most cases, manage labour. The operations manager will keep up with industry trends and determine whether new technology fits into the organisation's goals and budget.
The operations manager will also need to assess the IT infrastructure already implemented within the organisation and perform a periodic risk assessment. This helps to identify any risk and to initiate any control strategies.
Overall, the best technology will ensure that the organisation is always ahead of the curve and efficient in its operations.
How do I become involved in operations management?
While a professional management qualification is advantageous, work experience and short courses will help you gain the necessary skills needed for operations management.
Depending on the industry, most operations manager work their way up from a junior position and gain skills along the way.
The skills you’ll need include:
- Conflict management
- Effective communication
Work experience and online learning will help you gain an understanding of an organisation’s operational needs, effective processes to use, and operations management methodologies.
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