The role of an operations manager is becoming more common. For many organizations, the operations manager is a pivotal role. A good manager keeps a number of plates spinning, ensuring productivity, efficiency, and oversight in many areas.
The ability to see the big picture, while also managing many smaller areas, is a key to the success of this role. It suits problems solvers who can think on their feet and balance the demands of different departments within the business.
What skills does an operations manager need?
The varied nature of the role suits those with a good range of hard and soft skill sets. They must be as comfortable rolling out eMar software as they are inspiring teams. A good range of technical skills and the ability to pick up technology and software systems quickly is a must, as are good people and project management skills.
In addition, the ability to focus and meticulous attention to detail are also vital skills.
What are their responsibilities?
An operations manager role differs slightly between sectors and even company to company.
Generally, you can expect an operations manager to oversee:
Budgets and costs
As part of their role, an operations manager has to devise and oversee budgets for the departments under their management. The ability to budget accurately as well as perform a cost-benefit analysis on all spending is important.
Manage the supply chain
Handling the company’s supply chain and inventory is very important for keeping things running efficiently and on budget.
Working with the HR team, the operations manager needs to recruit, train, and onboard new employees within their departments. In addition, they may need to line manage a number of team members and ensure that all areas are adequately staffed at all times.
Working towards company goals
Every company has its own financial and work-related goals. The operations manager needs to focus their efforts on meeting these targets by developing and improving the systems and policies.
What qualifications are needed to be an operations manager?
There is no one route to becoming an operations manager. Many people work their way up through a company, acquiring skills and knowledge as they go and eventually get promoted to the manager or director role.
The qualifications required differ from industry to industry. Some have their own expected set of qualifications specific to the skills needed to perform the role in that sector.
However, there are a number of more general courses and certifications you can take in order to improve your skills. You can study these alongside your existing role or your company might pay for you to complete them if they are supportive of your career goals.
The role of an operations manager is a challenging one, but one that can be rewarding. The career prospects and salary can be excellent but you can expect some variance between certain sectors.
A good way to determine if it’s a good career step for you is to talk to other operations managers and find out firsthand about their roles.