What is Operations Management?

Operations Management is a field hidden in plain sight, integral to many organizations but often misunderstood due to its multifaceted nature. Best described as belonging to the general business sector, it focuses on managing a range of components that make up a company’s everyday activities and creating a long term plan that will ensure the company succeeds.

What Does an Operations Manager Do?

Primarily concerned with day-to-day processes that help an organization function, Operations Managers are often involved with all things business. Overseeing production, development, hiring, supervising employees, and training are common responsibilities; they also tend to work on a more strategic level, evaluating the current processes related to production and operations. They work with other leaders to find ways to optimize them for better efficiency. 

The exact responsibilities depend on the size and industry of the company, but organizational and interpersonal skills are a standard need no matter where you work in this role. The job requires frequent interaction with other employees and external connections, so it’s important to feel comfortable in those situations to succeed. A typical Operations Manager job description may include:

  • Evaluating and operational systems and processes and making recommendations for improvement 
  • Developing budgets and monitoring programs 
  • Managing support services (Human Resources, Customer Service, Finance, etc.) and coordinating inter-department efforts 
  • Long term operational planning and strategizing to hit company goals
  • Overseeing hires and training programs to ensure effectiveness

Operations Management Background 

There are several routes to break into this field in terms of education; the most common backgrounds include a Bachelors in Business Administration, Finance, or Management. Relevant coursework ranges from statistical and mathematical modeling to consumer psychology, which corresponds to the wide variety of tasks you’ll be in charge of. As you gain more experience in the position, you will open yourself up to roles at larger companies with a greater set of responsibilities.

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