Operations management is defined as the area of management concerned with designing and controlling the production process and redesigning business operations in the production of goods and services. Operations managers have a wide variety of tasks they’re assigned to, and even that can vary depending on the company. However, there are a few things that every operations manager does on a regular basis.
Analyzing day-to-day operations
One of the main tasks of anyone in operations management is to monitor and analyze current operations and develop strategies to improve constantly. Operations managers play a key role in any company whether they are a private business, non-profit, or government controlled.
It’s an operations manager’s job to oversee the entirety of the company and to make sure everything is running as smoothly as possible. As you can imagine, this is a constantly changing job, so there’s always room for improvement.
Planning and controlling change
As we all know, things don’t always go according to plan. Operations managers are the ones behind big changes in the team. Usually speaking, they control things like schedules, budgeting, hiring, and much more.
In any industry, it helps greatly to have an operations manager on board to specifically focus on controlled change. As stated before, it’s their job to analyze the strategies and daily operations of any team or company. They closely study and dissect the current strategy to look for possible ways to improve. When a change needs to be made in order to improve operations, they oversee the transition and continue to watch closely.
Managing quality assurance programs
For any business that sells a product, quality plays a big part in the success of the company. An operations manager is often the person to create a quality assurance program. To set up a quality assurance program, an operations manager may need to:
- Create standards
- Create policies and procedures
- Create a quality program description
- Create a quality assurance committee
- Implement corrective action plan
Of course, this is a much deeper topic than just these five points, but you get the overall gist of what an operations manager goes through for just this one aspect of the job.
Researching alternate methods
Different projects and tasks often require a different approach. Operations management is all about doing your research. Not only should the operations manager be researching alternate methods to get the job done, they should know when and how to implement them. It’s one thing to know that another method exists, it’s another thing to know how to use it.
Software should also be on the research list. Not all software is suited for all teams. Similarly, different projects can also require different software. That’s why we recommend Toggl Plan as your all-in-one solution to any management need.
Setting budgets and costs
Budgets play a huge role in the success of any project. Operations management also includes creating, balancing, and reviewing the overall budget. As you can imagine, like all the rest of the duties of an operations manager, this is very important.
Creating a budget means nothing if you can’t stick to it. If you can’t manage to stay on budget, you may not be profitable, and I’m sure we can all agree that that’s a big deal.
In addition to creating and sticking to a budget, it’s also up to the operations manager to review the budget frequently. As more budgets are created and more data is collected, it will be easier to create the initial budget at the beginning of the project.
There are a lot of companies out there that don’t offer a physical product. In this case, operations managers would simply keep track of sales and the related data. For companies that do offer a physical product, it’s up to the operations manager to keep track of inventory.
Managing a warehouse isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s not just simply going out into the warehouse and counting boxes. As operations manager, you’ll have to not only keep track of what you have, but keep stock of what you need. It doesn’t make sense to have too much of a product without any hope of selling it. That’s where all the tracking, budgeting, and sales data come into play.
Oftentimes, inventory management requires custom spreadsheets and and very attentive mindset. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but make sure all the data is recorded accurately.
Overseeing delivery management
If you have products, you have to have a way to get them to customers. Delivery and shipping logistics vary worldwide. Remember that profitable word we used earlier? It definitely applies here, too.
Operations managers are responsible for finding the best delivery methods, and maintaining relationships with shipping companies. It’s up to them to find a way to get product to customers in a safe, cost effective, and timely manner. This could be categorized under research, as it is a inconsistent variable, but it deserves it’s own mention.
Operations management can get a little hectic if you’re not careful. There’s a lot of information to deliver and lots of data to keep track of. It helps to have a software that is designed for management.
Toggl Plan was created with the word “easy” in mind. Operations managers will find it to be the easiest way to communicate with other team members, distribute information and tasks, and schedule timelines. Toggl Plan takes a busy project and lays it out in an orderly line for everyone to see. It’s the key to organization and success among any team.
Let’s wrap it up
As you probably can tell, operations management is a very busy and rewarding job. The job description varies depending on the industry and even the company, but the basics never really change:
- Analyze day-to-day operations
- Plan and control changes
- Manage quality assurance
- Research alternate methods for improvement
- Set, balance, and review budgets
- Oversee inventory and sales data
- Oversee delivery methods
Yes, this can be a very busy job, but as the cornerstone to the company’s success, it’s incredibly rewarding, and can take you many places.
Like many other people, Zach McDaniel gained his knowledge of management and project management through research and necessity. He believes that the most interesting thing about project management, management, and productivity is that there are so many different strategies, so there’s always something new to learn and share.