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Operations are the lifeline of a business. These operations are overseen and managed by the operations manager, who is one of the most important professionals in the manufacturing business. The operations manager wears many hats and juggles many responsibilities, so it takes quite a lot of skills and talent to succeed in this profession.
If you are contemplating a career in operations management, you should know about the skills required for this profession. These skills will give you insight into the world of operations management and help you understand what all is needed to pursue the career of an operations manager.
If you are thinking of pursuing the operations manager profession, you need to have certain skills to be an effective manager. These skills will ensure you do well in your job and keep growing as a professional.
Here are 7 skills of an effective operations manager:
One of the most important tasks of an operations manager is managing the people involved in operations. There are many people involved in the whole operations process, and handling them all can be a challenge. The operations manager has to ensure everyone is doing their jobs and are facing no problems. The manager has to create lines of communication between all so there is coordination in the manufacturing operations.
Managing employee shifts, granting leaves, looking out for their welfare, settling disputes, and ensuring safe working conditions are all part of the operations managers duties towards the employees. Only excellent people management skills will help them do all duties efficiently. An operations manager also has to know what work suits which employee and has to place people accordingly to ensure the best output. Managing people is tough as they are unpredictable but an operations manager has to do it.
Manufacturing operations are like a well-oiled machine. Each part needs to be working together for operations to run smoothly. Hence, operations managers need to have great organisational skills. They oversee the supply chain where their organisational skills are put to the test. They have to organise the inventory for raw materials in such a way that supply consistently meets anticipated demand and there is no compromise on the quality of the product.
Operations managers have to organise the duties and work schedules of all employees working in operations. They have to expertly plan for leaves and even unforeseen circumstances to ensure there is no break in manufacturing. They also schedule regular maintenance work, quality checks, product testing, demand surges, storage, warehousing, and delivery. None of which can be done without organisational skills.
In manufacturing operations, employees have to keep doing the same thing day-in and day-out. Its easy for them to lose focus and motivation. An operations manager has to keep them motivated, so the work does not suffer. They have to motivate them to achieve their manufacturing targets without compromising on quality. They need to meet with all employees, give them a patient ear, and listen to all their issues and sort them out.
Another area where their motivational skills come in handy is when employee morale is down. Occasionally, events can happen that can demotivate employees like an accident at the plant, reduction in wages, mass layoffs, and technological changes in operations. Its the job of the operations manager to ensure employees take it all in their stride and continue giving their best output. The operations manager also has to motivate other managerial and administrative staff to carry on the good work and keep employees motivated.
Operations are all about technology, and the operations manager has to know the technical operations well. From the machinery used in the plant to the software systems used in operations, the operations managers should know each one well, and if the time comes, they should also be able to step in and troubleshoot problems.
Operations managers also have to bring in technological advancement into operations. For this, they have to travel throughout the country or even overseas and attend technology fests, trade fairs, and business expos. They have to meet with engineers and innovators and bring in technology that will ensure high output, low costs, and standardised quality.
Manufacturing processes can be quite complicated. The operations manager has to analyse every step and the aspects involved in the process to find faults, areas for improvement, and spot issues even before they become a problem. Strong analytical skills will help them make huge strides in improving overall operations. Operations managers also have to analyse products, packaging, services, customer feedback and have to suggest improvements.
Analytical skills will also help the operations manager in assessing performances and spotting talents. They have to analyse an employees performance and give them motivation and resources to improve performance. They also have to spot talented employees that need to be promoted and placed in leadership positions. Another new area where analytical skills can come into practice is the use of analytics software. This technology is going to be a part of most areas of business and can benefit operations in a big way.
The operations manager position is a position of responsibility. They are expected to take important decisions that can have a widespread impact on operations. Therefore, an operations manager needs to be a good decision-maker. There will be a time where they have to analyse their decision, think about the repercussions, the impact it will have, and then make an informed decision.
Other times, there will be no time to assess different factors. The decision taken has to be quick and has to be taken on gut feeling. Therefore, an operations manager also needs to have good instincts which can guide them well in the time of need. So, an operations manager needs to be good at informed decisions and instinctive decisions.
This is one of the foremost things expected from an operations manager. They have to maintain the quality of the raw materials, machinery, manufacturing procedures, packaging, delivery processes, and the finished product. All these parts are like gears that work together, so a fault in any of them can bring the operations down. Therefore, an operations manager needs to have a strong hold over the quality standards of the products.
The operations manager has to create uniformity in all the processes, so they can be implemented at other manufacturing units. This will ensure the product is of the same quality standard in all manufacturing units and there is no disparity. This is for the benefit of the customers and for the products to attain quality hallmarks and ratings. An eye of quality is one of the key skills for an operations manager.
The operations manager is one of the most important and respected positions in the manufacturing business. Their work is integral to the success and growth of a company. If you are considering this as a career, you need to have the above-mentioned skills to be an effective operations manager. You can also attain these skills through an excellent MBA in operations management course. So, you should consider getting this professional degree.