Operations management is a field of business management normally concerned with design and controlling the functional process of organizational design and implementation in both the production of services or products and that of the company's production facilities. This management seeks to ensure the efficient operation and attainment of economic performance by the production process, resources, equipment and human capital. For the processes of production and designs to be efficient, it is essential for proper planning and scheduling to ensure that resources are available and can be allocated to best effect. The design of operations for such control and implementation requires knowledge, skill and experience in order to determine the methods that will be most successful. Operations managers must also have access to information relating to material and labor costs, and prices and promotions to achieve the best results.
An operations manager oversees a broad area of the company's internal processes. They are charged with the responsibility to plan, organize and control the procedures that go on throughout the operations of the company. They oversee personnel, processes, technology, finances, information systems and many other aspects of the day-to-day operations. There are numerous areas in which an operations manager can oversee activities. Some examples include the following:
As one of the key responsibilities of an operations management position, the operations manager is typically in charge of the entire gamut of the business' inventory, procurement and distribution. While this may seem like a pretty broad sweep, the operations manager is responsible for all aspects of the inventory process from receiving orders to deliver supplies to the final stage, which is storage and final disposition. In addition, a good operations manager is the one who monitors inventory levels at all times and can issue preventive or corrective orders based upon actual inventory levels as well as forecast future stock needs.
A second key role of the operations manager is to oversee the whole supply chain, which means that they supervise the creation, development and implementation of all company processes that relate to the production, manufacturing and logistics. Examples of these processes include manufacturing planning, vendor scheduling and purchasing, material management, transportation management, and manufacturing financing. It would be up to the operations manager to ensure that all of these processes are operating at maximum efficiency and at the same time making sure that there are no wasteful practices across the board. This may include oversight of purchasing departments, for example, to make sure that purchases are matching requirements and budgets, or it could involve monitoring vendor invoicing and billing practices.
Operations management isn't reserved just for manufacturing or distribution operations. In fact, the majority of organisations that employ the concept of operations management are service industries or retailing businesses. This means that the operations management function doesn't solely exist within the walls of a business. Instead, it requires the active involvement of the business' senior management team. In fact, the most successful operations management programmes require the involvement of both the CEO and the CFO, along with having support from other members of the senior management team, such as the COO and the CFO.
Within operations managers, there are different types of skill sets that exist. Some manage staff, . . . . . . some manage technology, some manage information and some manage production. Whatever their specific area of expertise is, they all need to have the skills set that matches their particular field of expertise.