In the current market, there have been new job opportunities in the field of operation management. Many have been left wondering what is operations management? It touches on every aspect of our lives. It encompasses from our daily use of a multitude of physical objects and a host of services. We delve deep into the organizational processes that guide from the production of goods and services for our daily uses. It revolves around the study of operations with how the products and services that is purchased and consumed daily.
There are many concepts of defining what operations management is. The simplified version being; the administration of the business practices to develop the highest levels of efficiency in an organization. It deals with the conversion of materials and the labor to the goods and services efficiently to increase the profitability of the organization. With the operation management team in play, they aim to balance the costs in line with the revenue to attain the maximum operating profit.
What is operations management definition?
Different firms undertake different operation functions. The main objectives of the firms are to ensure the continued production regarding goods and services. The overall procedure carried out in the firm includes the resource procurement, conversion to outputs and final distribution to the customers. The operations part of the firms entails the systems needed for the development and delivering of the goods and services to the end users in the channel.
This forms the basic and essential operational areas inclusive of established and complex firms. The workers are individually assigned with the management responsibilities which guide the daily operations of the firm. This plays a crucial role in the determination of customer satisfaction rates to the products and services offered by the firm. The operations manager is interested in the procedural steps from the point of design, production, improvement and the control of the entailed systems for the development of the goods and services.
There are hosts of a wide variety of career opportunities when it comes to the branch of operation management. Interested individuals can pursue the course and end up with career opportunities such as:
- Logistics manager
- Supply chain manager
- Supply chain consultant
- Production planner
- Inventory control manager
- Quality assurance manager
- Warehouse manager
Breakdown of operations management
The process is involved in the utilization of the resources from the staff, materials, equipment and the technology. The operations managers are required to acquire, create and deliver the goods and services to the needs of the clients and the abilities of the organization. This reflects on the role of the overall managers in contributing to the activities that develop the goods and services of the organization.
Responsibilities of operational managers
- Human resource management: The workers that are employed in the task force by the organization are either directly involved in the development of the goods and services or offer support to the ones in manufacturing. The management of the organization requires viewing of the workers as a critical resource.
- Asset management: The facilities of the organization such as equipment, stock, and buildings are directly involved in ether production of the goods and services and the operation functions.
- Cost management: Most of the costs that are incurred in the production of the goods and services are directly linked with the acquirement of resources, transforming and the delivery of the customers. As applied in the private sector, a common feature is the reduction of the costs through the efficient operations management that offers them a definite competitive edge.
As an operation manager, the central role that is maintained is in the process of decision making. Some of the operation management decisions that are used include the following;
- Designing of the operation system
- Management of the operation system
- Improvement of the operation system
The kinds of different decisions that are made are related to the;
- The production of goods and services
- Quality of products and services
- The number of products and services
- The stock of material in the production of goods and services
- Management of human resources
The operation management includes the different strategic issues that consist of the determining of the size of the manufacturing plants and the project management methods and the implementation of the structure of the information technology networks. Some of the other operational issues that are accompanied include the management of the inventory levels, the work-in-process levels and the acquisition of the raw materials. Other processes that are involved are quality control, handling of raw materials and policy maintenance.
The process involves the intimate study of the use of the raw materials to guarantee that there is less waste produced. Then it is followed with the utilization of the different criteria for determining when and how large the inventory order process and the amount of inventory to hold.
What are supply chains and logistics?
Logistic simply refers to the activities that happen within the boundaries that affect an organization. Supply chains, on the other hand, apply to the networks of the firms that coordinate together with their actions to offer the goods or services to the ready market. Some of the activities involved in logistics include procurement, distribution, inventory management, and maintenance. The supply chain management also includes activities such as marketing, new and advanced product development, finance and customer service.
The essential function of operations management is related to the management of inventory through the supply chain. It comprehends the local and international trends, the different customer demands and the available ready resources for the use in production. It moves towards the acquisition of the raw materials and the timely use of labor in a cost-efficient manner for the delivery of the expectations of the customers.
The stage involves the monitoring of the inventory levels to ensure the excessive is in check. It is considerate for the discovering of the vendors that supply the goods at regular prices and deliver the goods or services needs.
A different aspect of operations management is the delivery of the goods and services to the customers. This brings out the element of commitment with time when it comes to delivering the goods and services to the customers. The follow up to guarantee that the goods and services that had been given to the customers meet the quality and quantity expectations of the customers.
Generation of feedback after the customer consultation to ensure that there is room for improvement. This considers the customer complaints, grievances, the usability of the good or service or suggestions.
What are the skills required for an operation manager?
The skills that need to be possessed to perform such work are diverse given with the nature of the function. Some of the essential skills required include:
1. Organizational abilities
The processes of organizing in a firm require a set skill that encompasses the functions of planning, prioritizing, execution and monitoring. With the combination of the above abilities, an operation manager can increase efficiency and achieve productivity.
2. Analytical abilities
The operation manager must be in full awareness of the process in the specific area of interest. This requires knowledge of the functions and procedures in their area of duty. A more in-depth analysis of the details is paramount for all the processes involved.
3. Coordination of processes
After the comprehension and analyzation of the operations in the organization, they must be optimized to achieve the maximum efficiency. This requires a lot of impromptu decision making as a well and clear, thought-out problem-solving criterion.
4. People skills
Due to the many processes involved in the chain, there are a lot of interactions between workers and other individuals in the supply chain. The presence of flaws in the code of cooperation between the workers and other senior management members lowers the productivity. There needs to be clear communication of all the tasks, goals to act as a motivation and guide to all those involved in the processes.
When things are going unplanned, there needs to be a creative approach to arrive at a problem-solving solution. This helps eventually to find better ways of addressing the challenges and thus improving the performance.
What is TPS in operations management?
TPS in this term is about the Toyota Production System. This denotes a fundamental system of integration that incorporates the socio-technical system developed by Toyota. This is created with the management of the philosophies and the related practices. The system organizes the aspect of manufacturing and logistics for the automobile dealer which is inclusive of the suppliers of the raw materials and the end users.
The system was put in place with the primary aim of designing out the overburden (Muri) and the inconsistency (Mura) and also getting rid of the waste generated (Muda) finally. Some of the essential aspects of the process that includes the value delivery are attained through the designation of the process that can deliver the required results in an efficient manner. It is also critical to guarantee that the process is also flexible without any overburdening stress due to the production of waste.
The means of waste improvement is also crucial to the process. The following kinds of Muda are entailed in the TPS:
- Waste of the plight of overproduction
- Waste on time waiting
- Waste of cost of transportation
- Waste of stock available currently
- Misuse of the processing
- Waste of movement
Activities involved in operations management
There are different types of activities involved in the operations management but the major one includes the processes of planning, organizing, and the supervision. These processes are engaged with consideration to the assets, costs and the human resources that are available.
Before the process of planning, operation management is involved in the analysis of the market to test the demands. Plan commences a niche immediately in the market has been established. The process of planning includes the designing of a new product from the raw material state to the launch of the product. This requires consideration of the means of technical and business requirements.
In typical scenarios, the processes are updated through the designing of a new supply chain or other operations in the logistics. There are considerations given to the different requirements such as the contact levels of the customers. In this critical path analysis, it sets the appropriate measures during the planning phase to check on whether the actual performance meets or there is a dire need for changes.
Once the design of the product is ready for production, there are considerations on the raw materials and the human resources. This provides the starting point in the maximization of the efficiency of the operations. There is a need for regular management to avoid the occurrence of unexpected results in the processes of planning. Also, the adjustment of the production to the change in the costs and production to maintain the efficiency.
The operation manager requires to select the schedules for the processes to acquire the optimal performance. This is in line with the raw materials and the ideal quality and the perfect capacity. Another aspect of quality management activities includes the maintenance of the equipment used.
Unique facts about operation management
Managers in different companies have a bachelor's degree in the field of business administration, supply chain management, logistics, and transportation management. A significant benefit of the career in operations control is that it can be applied to a host of different business careers and opportunities.
Operation management is important in the modern business environment. With the highly competitive nature of the market today, it can make a difference for the organisation. There are a many activities that can be improved by an operation manager. This is a profession that is worth venturing into.