A Day in the Life of an Operations Manager:  Duties and Responsibilities

An operations manager on a score board planning
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Duties of an Operations Manager: Building an efficient business with an optimized operational procedure is a simple way, to sum up the duties of an operations manager. They ensure the continuity of a business by handling daily operations and ensuring profitability in all processes. 

In most businesses, operations managers oversee the road map of their organization. They take charge of all the activities happening behind the scenes. 

If you are interested in this career path, this content is for you. Read on for details on the essentials for this career.

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What is an Operation Manager?

An operations manager is a key figure within an organization responsible for optimizing and overseeing the core operational functions of a business. 

They coordinate various departments and resources to achieve smooth execution and maximize efficiency. From manufacturing, retail, healthcare, or any other industry, their impact touches every corner of the business.

More so, operations managers wear many hearts and there are different levels to this role and different titles describing the same person. For instance, sometimes operation managers are known as chief operating officers or COOs. 

In other instances, they are called general managers. Consequently, operations managers create the paths for a smooth flow of business proceedings.

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What does an Operation Manager do?

Operation managers are highly skilled professionals. Hence, depending on the industry, the duties of an operations manager are diverse.

In a glimpse, operation managers ensure the smooth flow of an organization’s operation processes. This covers the allocation of resources for different projects, and designing standard procedures to enhance and maximize efficiency across various departments.

Additionally, Operation managers also oversee the performance of employees by ensuring the availability or provision of a conducive workspace to improve workers’ creativity. 

More so, they organize. training, seminars, and quality management sessions to equip workers with the right skills for office operation and overall goal performance.

Duties and Responsibilities to the Operating Manager

In this section, we will go more in-depth into the duties of an operations manager. Also, note that, while different industries determine the job description of an operations manager, the purpose of these roles still revolves around the same point, to enhance the productivity of an organization. 

Their responsibilities, duties, and tasks can be broadly categorized into four main areas:

1. Process Optimization and Performance Improvement:

  • Streamlining Operations: Operation managers are bosses in identifying and analyzing operational processes. These help them create standard processes to eliminate bottlenecks and implement improvements to boost the efficiency and productivity of the team and organization at large.
  • Quality control: In the bid to ensure quality at its perk, operation managers establish and manage quality assurance protocols in the organization by monitoring key performance metrics and identifying areas for improvement to maintain high-quality standards.
  • Strategic Planning: They collaborate with other departments to formulate strategic objectives, identify operational goals, and develop action plans to achieve these goals.
  • Budgeting and Cost Management: Operation managers oversee operational budgets for specific project execution. More so, they manage the expenses incurred during project execution and ensure cost-effective resource allocation.

2. Duties of an Operations Manager: Team Leadership and Management:

  • Recruitment and Hiring: Operation managers are responsible for identifying and recruiting qualified personnel, conducting interviews, and overseeing the onboarding process for new team members. Hence, they operate as Human resource generalists enabling the smooth transition of new hires while ensuring optimum performance after onboarding.
  • Training and development: As a key part of the onboarding process and employee management scheme, Operation managers provide training and development opportunities for team members. This is necessary to ensure have team members possess the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the role.
  • Performance management: They set performance goals, conduct regular performance evaluations, and provide feedback to ensure team members are meeting expectations.

3. Resource Management and Procurement:

  • Inventory management: Operation managers are data-savvy enthusiasts who oversee the inventory levels, forecast demand, and implement efficient inventory management systems to ensure sufficient stock availability.
  • Supply chain management: They manage relationships with vendors, negotiate contracts, and ensure these products never miss a deadline. 
  • Equipment and facilities management: Operation managers ensure the proper maintenance and upkeep of equipment and facilities, and coordinate any necessary repairs or upgrades.

4. Communication and Reporting

  • Internal communication: Operation managers are chief communicators, as they often serve as the bridge between top investors and the organization. Therefore, they strive to maintain clear and effective communication with all stakeholders, including team members, leadership, and other departments.
  • Customer Service: Operation managers maintain a healthy relationship between customers and the organization. Therefore, to ensure consistency in messaging, they address customer inquiries and concerns and ensure overall customer satisfaction with the operation’s performance.
  • Project management: This is the crown of the duties of operation managers. They lead and collaborate or collaborate on project initiatives to ensure timely completion of projects within budget and according to set scope.

Education Requirements for an Operations Manager

Employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in management (Finance, business, supply chain) or business fundamentals and other related fields for the role of an operation manager. 

More so, a degree in this course indicates that candidates are familiar with the mathematical and business‌ model that makes an operation manager thoroughly understand business management. 

Additionally, earning an advanced degree, e.g., a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) gives you an added advantage because it serves your chances of hitting the sweet spot in your operation manager interview. 

However, most employers may not emphasize your academic background, some only want to see your expertise and professional certification. An example of a certification course you can take to improve your chances includes the Certified Operations Manager certificate from Certified Professional Managers. Doing this creates a sense of distinction and authenticity.

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Duties of an Operations Manager: Operations Manager Skills Requirement 

As with every other profession, to succeed as an operations manager, you need these skills in your portfolio to defend your agility and strength in handling challenging situations that come with the role of a community manager. Some of these roles include: 

  • Strong communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Decision making
  • Stress tolerance
  • Organizational Skills
  • Financial management
  • Technical Skills
  • Strategic planning 
  • Leadership
  • Risk Management
  • Project management 

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Fields for Operations Manager

The Operations Manager’s job description varies depending on the field or industry involved. Choosing the right field as an Operation Manager involves introspection about your desired work environment, industry interest, and specific Skill-set preferences. 

Do you want to be hands-on in production, thrive in a fast-paced service environment, or strategize in project management? Once you identify your niche, you can tailor your Skillset and experience to flourish in that field.

1. Production Operations

  • Manufacturing: This field is about overseeing production processes, inventory management, and quality control in factories and workshops.
  • Food and Beverage: Here, the operation manager manages food processing lines, ensures safety and hygiene standards, and optimizes yield.
  • Pharmaceuticals: In the pharmaceutical section, the operation manager may be involved in controlling drug production, adhering to strict regulations, and maintaining high-quality standards.

2. Service Operations

  • Customer Service: This service covers supervising call centers, managing customer inquiries and complaints, and ensuring efficient service delivery.
  • Healthcare: This entails managing hospital operations, scheduling appointments, optimizing resource allocation, and improving patient experience.

3. Project Operations

  • Construction: Managing construction projects, coordinating with contractors, monitoring budgets, and ensuring timely completion.
  • Software Development: Leading software development teams, managing timelines, and resources, and ensuring project deliverables.
  • Event Management: Planning and executing events, managing logistics, and budgets, and ensuring smooth execution.

4. Supply Chain Operations

  • Logistics and Transportation: This involves overseeing shipment logistics, managing warehouses, optimizing delivery routes, and minimizing costs.
  • Procurement: Sourcing materials and equipment, negotiating contracts with vendors, and maintaining supplier relationships.
  • Inventory Management: Forecasting demand, optimizing stock levels, and ensuring product availability across the supply chain.
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Operation Manager Salary Expectation 

The salary expectation for operation managers is not a fixed figure, as different industries charge according to the task performed by the operation manager. Also, salaries are determined by some other factors such as location, size of the organization, years of experience, and much more. However, below are different salary expectations as processed by various trusted jobs and salary websites:

  •  PayScale: According to PayScale, the average salary for an Operations Manager is $72006 in 2024. 
  • Glassdoor Salaries: According to Glassdoor, ‘the estimated total pay for an Operations Manager is $86,228 per year in the United States area, with an average salary of $78,595 per year.’
  • Salary.com: According to this website, ‘The 2023 average Operations Manager salary in the US is $120016’ There might be a slight increment for that of 2024 or not.

Therefore, an average of these figures would give approximately $93,000 as an average annual salary for operations managers. This may be way higher in some countries or even less. 

N/B: This comparison is for the senior-level operation manager’s role.

Conclusion on Duties of an Operations Manager

If you value working with a large team and making key decisions that affect the performance and growth of an organization, Operations manager is a great career you can explore. 

Operation managers paint the picture of an organization’s success. They play significant roles in ensuring the execution of tasks. Some fields where you can work as an operation manager include Human resources, healthcare, supply chain, project management, and more. 

However, to excel in this role, you must have strong leadership and communication skills. In addition, you need the ability to nurture interpersonal relationships, because this is a key factor that determines your success. 

If this sounds like what you can do, head to our job board for operations manager job listings. Good luck in your job search and career progression.

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