An operations manager is a senior role which involves overseeing the production of goods and/or provision of services.
It’s an operations manager's job to make sure an organisation is running as well as it possibly can, with a smooth efficient service that meets the expectations and needs of customers and clients.
So, what will I actually be doing?
An operations manager has a broad role, and the specific responsibilities will vary between different companies, but generally it includes monitoring and analysing the current system of production or provision to check it’s effective, and working out a strategy for improving if necessary.
By managing day-to-day activities, analysing statistics and reading and writing reports, operations managers play a vital role in any company.
Operations managers also have to do a lot of liaising with other team members, including interacting with managers of different areas of the organization, presenting findings to stakeholders and higher management as well as training and supervising new employees and tracking and measuring staff performance.
Other duties and responsibilities include:
Planning and controlling change.
Managing quality assurance programmes.
Researching new technologies and alternative methods of efficiency.
Setting and reviewing budgets and managing cost.
Overseeing inventory, distribution of goods and facility layout.
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The finer details...
Most operations managers work full-time doing standard office hours, but overtime in evenings and at weekends may be necessary, especially during big projects or periods of change.
Because the role is pivotal to success and growth of businesses/services, they can work in many industries, from healthcareand hospitality to retail and insurance or manufacturing and construction.
You could even be situated in a multitude of environments in the public, voluntary or private sector. For example, a position in the leisure industry could mean being based abroad or regular travelling.
If you decide to work in the public or voluntary sector, (e.g. for a hospital or charity), your success will be measured by value for money. In the private sector, growth, profit and competition would be the main focus.
The role doesn't offer much flexibility in terms of working hours or job shares due to the crucial part you would play, but positions are usually permanent and many promotion opportunities arise.
You must be able to see the big picture as well as the finer details, as your work is across the spectrum. You will deal in small daily matters, as well as larger aims and setting goals. A systematic organised approach to work is vital.
Brilliant communication and interpersonal skills, for dealing with many types of people at all levels in a direct diplomatic way, are essential. An understanding of customer/client requirements is also necessary.
You should be proficient in business planning software, in order to allow you to build financial projections, charts and reports in a short period of time.
Strong leadership skills, including effective time management, prioritising and delegation, are required. You must be able to lead, coach, inspire, support and motivate your team, and always seeking to improve best practice.
Having natural creative flair and being full of ideas and energy to introduce new concepts and innovations would also be advantageous. A clean driving license is sometimes preferred.