Operations management is the management of business processes to generate the highest degree of productivity possible within an organisation. Operations management is required for all types of organisations, be it a small business or a large multinational company. It involves using available resources from equipment, personnel, resources, and technology to carry out daily operations. The process also involves assessing how well the strategies and plans are working and on what direction to take in the future.
In the past, the operations of any type would have been carried out manually. Operations manager would be responsible for the daily running of the business. However, the use of computers and other technological means has led to the automation of many operations, even within the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing operations can now be automated from the main office, leaving just one manager that is responsible for the daily running of the factory.
There are four main skills needed when looking to enter the operations management profession. The first skill required is knowledge of how the manufacturing and production process works. Operations managers must know the processes and policies of all aspects of production inside the organisation. This includes how the raw materials are obtained, how the finished goods are manufactured, how the labour resources are utilised, and how the warehouse systems are managed.
Another skill needed when looking to enter operations management in manufacturing is quality control and inspection. A successful operations management professional must be able to inspect and test products before they are released into the market. They also need to ensure that there are no errors in the process or raw materials or goods. They can spot flaws in equipment or process, identify quality control issues, and recommend fixes where necessary. Operations managers should be proficient in predicting any problems that may arise with the manufacturing or production process.
Other skills required for operations management in manufacturing are knowledge of implementing business practices and systems. The importance of good purchasing and manufacturing processes cannot be underestimated. Good purchasing decisions lead to good sales performance and profitable manufacturing operations. The planning and organisation of resources inside an operation also play a major role in operations and profit performance. Operations have to be well-organised and properly planned to make sure that the resources are correctly used and to maximise the potential of each resource.
Knowledge of how inventory systems function, including how to manage it, is another important skill for someone looking to enter operations management careers. Good operations management professionals can analyse how different aspects of the manufacturing process work together to produce goods of quality. They can produce accurate, up-to-date inventory and process reports. Inventory management involves planning how to store inventory so that it is available when it is needed. Good operations management professionals are skilled at analysing inventory data and determining the best possible methods for storing, shipping, handling, and collecting the inventory.
The third skill in operations management that affects operations management is having a firm understanding of how labour costs affect the bottom line. Good operations managers will not only know how to improve efficiencies in production, but they will also look at how labour costs affect the bottom line. They should know how to reduce operating costs by streamlining production processes and reallocating materials when necessary. Good operations management professionals should also be able to implement cost-saving strategies. If an operations manager finds that production is being affected by inefficient or costly methods of operations, he or she should know how to reduce these practices and use alternative methods that would not adversely affect the profitability of the business. This includes not only streamlining procedures but also ensuring that all employees understand the procedures and are aware of any savings that can be made.
Finally, a successful operation’s manager must be able to set goals, develop strategies, set deadlines, implement them, monitor and evaluate them, and ensure that targets are met. It takes a great deal of initiative and creativity to be effective in operations and especially in operational management. To be effective, a person needs to have good leadership skills, analytical skills, the ability to motivate, and the capability to work with others. If you want to be an operations manager, you need to keep these characteristics in mind.