The operation of a business or company is essential to the health of the business and encompasses several factors internally. Whether the company provides products or services (or both) to the customer, the operations of a business refer to bringing together the production process to make the product (or service) that the customer desires.
An effective operations manager has several key functions within the organization under two main functions.
Processes / Daily Operations:
- Identify ways to increase efficiencies and effectiveness
- Identify constant improvement opportunities
- Create, maintain, and constantly improve upon specific company or departmental goals
- Develop new processes that benefit the company and the customer
- Identify risks and opportunities through new partnerships
- Decrease the amount of resources used by the company to reduce costs
- Develop written plans and manuals to communicate processes to necessary departments and employees
- Motivate employees to perform at a higher level through leadership, mentorship, and coaching
- Encourage employees and teams through reward systems to encourage improvement actions and ideas
- Identify and emphasize opportunities for skill development
- Utilize core strengths of team members
- Encourage the enhancement of mild strengths in employees
Creating sound processes and procedures will give employees the necessary information to perform their daily functions within the company. An individual in an operations role really must be good at most everything – managing multiple projects, learning new ways of enhancing production, constantly creating opportunities for the company, the ability to sell a new idea to the Board, ensure costs remain low so profits are not used up, developing manuals and charts, and creating a healthy, happy, and motivated work environment for employees.
The easiest way someone in operations can function on a daily basis is by identifying the strengths of the individuals within the organization. Once these strengths are identified, they can be used to the advantage of the business. This also gives the employee a sense of worth and involvement in the company, increasing morale. Once this individual has his or her feet on the ground in regard to the team, then other strengths can be worked on throughout the rest of the team or organization.
Personally, I enjoy the operations side of a business. It’s very rarely the same thing day after day. It’s a roller coaster of emotions, having to know how to play the politics within the company, being a leader and a follower when appropriate, and taking ownership in the role. The operations side of the business, for me, is quite rewarding, interesting, and enjoyable.