Introduction to Operations Management

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Role of the Operations Manager

Being an operations manager involves overseeing and having responsibility for all the activities in the organisation which contribute to the effective production of goods and services. Depending on the organisational structure, the exact nature of tasks that are classified under the operations function may differ from business to business. However, the following activities are usually applicable to all types of operations:[1]

  • Understanding strategic objectives: Operations managers must clearly understand the goals of the organisation and develop a clear vision of exactly how operations will help achieve them. This also involves translating these goals into implications for the operation's performance, objectives, quality, speed, dependability, flexibility and cost.
  • Developing an operations strategy: Due to the numerous decision-making involved with operations, it is critical that operations managers have a set of guidelines that are align with the organisation's long term goals.
  • Designing the operation's products, services and processes: Design involves determining the physical form, shape and composition of products, services and processes.
  • Planning and controlling: This involves deciding what the operations resources should be doing and making sure that it is getting done.
  • Improving the performance of operation: Operations managers are expected to continually monitor and improve the overall performance of their operation.

[1] List adapted from Slack, N, Johnston, R, Chambers, S 2007, Operations management, 5th edn, Prentice Hall/Financial Times, New York.

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Operating Plan

Q.1 Will you be hiring an operations manager or will you be undertaking this role yourself? Give Answer