Anyone who has searched for the most cost-effective way in which an organisation can deliver its goods and services must be aware of the importance of operations management. Operations management is of the utmost importance to ensure the success of a business.
In a value chain, it is important to make sure that all the components such as the stakeholders, technology, processes, and machines are managed effectively and efficiently. This is where operations management comes into play.
It is needless to say that an organisation needs to appoint a professional, especially for the task of operations management. An operations manager is a senior role and includes a lot of responsibilities.
Many online platforms offer IIM courses for working professionals, which allow individuals to pursue a course for upskilling, while also maintaining their professional commitments. This article discusses some tips and tricks that will help you excel as a senior operation manager.
What Does Operations Management Mean?
Before we delve deeper into the discussion, we need to understand what operations management is. Operations management refers to the technique that establishes a connection between multi-disciplinary departments such as business development, finance, marketing, customer services, and so on.
Operations management helps to handle the responsibilities that arise in the day-to-day activities in the manufacturing and services domains. Effective operations management helps in managing the daily activities that ensure effective planning, execution, and management of goods and services.
An operations manager helps to resolve the issues related to how to get work done by identifying the bottlenecks and uncovering them, fine-tuning processes to make the execution more efficient, and removing all the obstacles that might be hindering the process.
A primary task of an operation manager is to balance cost with revenue so that a higher operating profit can be attained. The next section discusses some of the responsibilities that an operating manager is entrusted with.
What Does an Operations Manager Do?
When an individual joins the position of an operations manager, he assumes the position of a leader. As a leader, an operations manager is entrusted with a variety of tasks including making important policies as well as taking strategic decisions. From development to implementation, an operations manager has to take part in all the operational procedures and policies.
Not only this, but an operations manager also has to extend his assistance to the HR department. They may have to play an important role in the recruitment process as and when necessary. They also have to promote the company culture among the employees and keep them motivated.
Operations managers are responsible for the smooth delivery of goods and services. They assess the current systems and processes that are being implemented and recommend changes whenever necessary. When changes are implemented, an operations manager supervises the new process.
On a normal day, an operations manager has to meet with the different stakeholders, review the performance of the staff, conduct research on the new tools, test their efficiency, and train team members on their usage.
Some of the responsibilities of an operations manager are:
- Recruit, and train the new joiners, coach and counsel them from time to time, and discipline them.
- Conveying the job expectations, and planning, appraising, monitoring, and reviewing the performances of the employees.
- Enforcing the policies.
- Contributing to the operations information and recommending strategic plans.
- Preparing and completing action plans and implementing production, checking the quality, and ensuring that the service being offered to the customers is satisfactory.
- Identifying the trends and forecasting the requirements; preparing budgets annually.
- Analysing ways to improve the organisational process and workflow.
- Maintaining a healthy and safe work environment and ensuring adherence to legal regulations.
- Upgrading knowledge on jobs by taking part in educational opportunities and reading publications related to the profession.
- Managing relationships with all vendors and other stakeholders.
- Reviewing and approving the operational invoices and making sure they are submitted so that payments can be processed.
- Bridging the gap between the customers and the company receiving complaints on product quality, customer service, or any other issue.
You can learn more about the role if you pursue a senior leadership program from an online platform. The next section discusses some of the skills that are essential in a senior operations manager.
Skills that Senior Operations Managers Should Have
With great power comes great responsibility. The task of operations managers is diverse; therefore, they need to be equipped with the right set of skills to be able to succeed in their roles. A professional who is transitioning into the role of an operations manager should possess skills that can boost their success and effectiveness in the industry.
Ranging from managing budgets, coordinating with stakeholders, and organising project details so that it can be executed smoothly, an operations manager has to take care of it all.
Operations managers have to take care of a number of important tasks that will require their expertise in given areas of production, management, and business. Taking all of this into consideration, it can be seen that collaboration, coordination, planning, and budgeting skills are some of the many traits that are essential in a senior operations manager.
Discussed below are some essential traits that are important for an individual to excel as a senior operations manager.
Operations managers should be proficient in the use of technology. He should be skilled in applications like product automation, and data entry, and should be able to handle software to access data related to a project, track information related to budget, and so on.
Some organisations also automate the process of tracking and conducting business operations, maintaining communication with the customers, and keeping track of costs incurred and revenue generated. Due to this vast use of technology, it is important to make sure that a senior operations manager, who is at the apex of managing business operations, is skilled in using technology.
Data Processing and Handling Ability
An operations manager has to collect data, enter it, and disseminate operational data within the system of the organisation so that it can be easily referred to as and when needed. Data processing within an organisation helps to effectively track the business functions such as sales transactions, shipments, customer accounts, cash flow, and so on. Therefore, it is important that a senior operations manager knows how to work with humongous amounts of data.
Operations managers also have to take part in the phases of product development in the projects that they work on. This includes a wide range of tasks ranging from assisting in the development of the product to designing new ones and overseeing the quality of the final finished goods.
Operations managers also have to monitor the budgets. It is essential that an operations manager understand all these concepts because effective operations management helps a company generate revenue.
Therefore, being knowledgeable about all these aspects helps operations managers support the development teams and ensure the effective and successful completion of the projects.
Analyse Risk Effectively
While initiating new projects or coming up with new development plans, it is important to take the impending risks into consideration. Senior operations managers have to analyse the different aspects of the company’s production processes and identify the challenges that might arise at the different steps. He should also come up with solutions to curb the problem.
The ability of operations managers to analyse risk factors accurately affects the operations of the organisation and helps to curate strategies that will help to mitigate the risks so that the business can reap the most benefits.
Critical Thinking and Strategic Planning Abilities
These are two important skills required in an operations manager who is assuming a senior role. As senior professionals, operations managers should be able to identify the issues that might result in unsuccessful outcomes and address the challenges with creative solutions that can help the teams meet their objectives.
Strategic planning abilities mean being able to interpret the input that is needed for coming up with important decisions regarding business processes.
Operations managers should also have enough knowledge of business finance and maths. This equips them with the ability to make alterations in the budget of the managing company productions.
Through budget management, operations managers are able to track the costs and incoming revenue. They can also predict future production costs and profits, and extend support to the finance professionals in filing all the significant financial reports.
Managing the Staff
Operations managers are entrusted with the task of overseeing the different teams of employees so that they can perform their tasks effectively. It is important for operations managers to possess strong skills so that they can delegate tasks, organise and manage employee schedules, and also conduct evaluations and assessments of employees from time to time so that they can be considered for promotion.
Operations managers should be prompt in making decisions. Emergencies can arise at any time and they need to be addressed at the earliest to avoid any blunder. An operations manager should be able to make decisions in a way so that the operations of the business are not affected.
In any organisation, conflicts are common. Such conflicts may include conflicts between staff, challenges arising with respect to completing projects within the deadline, and many other issues. Such conflicts can restrict the overall success of the organisation.
It is important for operations managers to be able to resolve conflicts promptly so that the work can continue seamlessly.
Organisation managers should have great communication skills so that they can effectively interact with their colleagues, stakeholders, and other staff. They should also possess good written communication skills so that they can transcribe data, create all the reports, and pass down all the communication to all the employees thoroughly.
Operations managers should also have good presentation skills, listening abilities, and negotiation skills so that they can handle all the meetings and business contracts with the utmost ease.
As an operations manager, one should have good organisational skills and the ability to pay attention to detail. Operations managers need to keep a record of all the project files, paperwork of the employees, details related to the budget, project schedules, and other details pertaining to the company processes,
Operations managers who pay attention to detail can notice even the slightest of changes efficiently, identify the factors that are contributing to the change in production, and implement changes that can keep the operations going on track.
Operations managers have to deal with various stakeholders, which means their daily routine is packed with lots of meetings. He also has to schedule deadlines, monitor the important milestones related to production, and make sure that a project is completed within a stipulated time frame.
To ensure this, it is important for an operations manager to be able to practise time management effectively.
Operational managers have to work in collaboration with others, which requires great interpersonal skills. Operational managers should have the ability to connect with others. They should also possess empathy and compassion for others.
Having these abilities allows senior operations managers to build better relations at work. When a leader manages his team compassionately, it promotes creativity and gives vent to diverse ideas.
Unless you yourself are motivated, you will not be able to motivate others. A senior operations manager should possess great leadership skills which help to foster a supportive environment within the organisation.
A good leader is one who combines effective management strategies and also has the ability to motivate and influence others so that they collaborate and share their ideas so that they can directly contribute to the progress of the organisation.
Who is Appointed as a Senior Operations Manager?
When a professional assumes a senior position in an organisation, it is evident that the individual is already experienced. Here are a few criteria that an individual needs to fulfill to become a senior operations manager:
- Should have a bachelor’s degree in Business, Economics, Finance, or other relevant field.
- Should have a minimum of 5 years experience in the field of operations management.
- Should be knowledgeable about performance metrics and budgeting.
- Should be experienced in process optimization.
- Should be proficient in MS Office and other relevant data.
Alongside these, senior operations managers acquire other important skills in domains like project management, customer service, logistics, etc. which help them to deal with the complexities that they may have to face as senior professionals.
Career Path of a Senior Operations Manager
While pursuing a new career option, it is obvious for one to look at the career path so that he develops a fair idea about how he can advance in his career. A career path does not only help you predetermine the role you are likely to assume, but it also gives you an idea about the salary changes that will come over the years.
If you assume the role of a senior operations manager, you may be promoted to the position of an operations director, and then a vice president. Later in your career, you may assume the title of vice president and general manager.
Another possibility includes being promoted to the position of chief finance officer and then a chief finance and operating officer. Therefore, no wonder it is a rewarding career option!
If you have already worked in a managerial post and want to assume the role of a senior operations manager, you might consider pursuing an online certification course that will upskill you and validate your knowledge. In this regard, Imarticus Learning’s Global Senior Leadership Program in collaboration with IIM Lucknow can be extremely beneficial.
The program is designed in a way that will help you unleash your potential as a leader and prepare you for a senior position. This 11-month-long program is conducted online along with a 10-day long campus immersion program that will help you build your connections and network with leading industry experts.
Join the program now and accomplish your dream of becoming a C-suite executive!