Report Evaluating the Role of the Operations Manager
Because Operations management closely connects to the result of business, it is a critical Elemernt of a successful business. Operations managers who take the major responsibility of operation management are in the position to integrate all kinds of resources and information (Slack et al., 2007). What’s more, operations managers answer to every demand of operation process, try to improve operation system, and consequently influence the future of a company. Thus, not only for the operation management, but for the entire process management, operations manager are the key person to lead the company to go forwards.
Operation can support and drive the strategy of a business, but its function is not constrained into these two areas, operation also works in implementing a strategy. It has a big influence on the communications between operations managers and their customers as well as the translation of customers’ requirements from operations managers into performance objects. In order to work efficiently, operations managers have to be able to completely understand company’s strategy and be aware of the inner or external factors that influence operation strategy. As Reid & Sanders (2010) said, the importance of operations strategy is that it could develop the functions to focus on competitive priorities which will satisfy the demands of long-term plan. In order to improve competitive priorities, five competitive objects are taken into consideration by operations managers, they are cost, quality, speed, flexibility and dependability.
-Cost. As the other performance objects are also the factors to influence cost, stabilizing cost per unit at a lower level is a major way to measure cost performance as well as other objects. The regular methods used by operations managers to reduce the cost are to limit the productivity of volumes at high cost, provide less individual product or employ low-skill labors. Other two ways can also be taken to reduce cost which are to wildly use automatic production system and utilize the centralization product layout. In one word, the aim of operations management is to produce maximum items at a mMIMIMUMcost.
-Quality. High quality always implies the excellence of a company, and this performance usually influence the direct feelings of customers (Slack et al., 2007). High quality enhances company’s dependability, decreases cost and reduces customers’ complaints that bBernefitto keep the good reputation of a brand. Therefor, operations managers should devote into maintaining product’s high quality. Four ways can be taken: careful inspection, regular review, using process control as well as quality control. The typical object of quality is to collect and use appropriate information and resources to meet the specific demands of product and service.
-Speed. Speed can be defined as the time from customers purchasing product or service to getting them at hand (Slack et al., 2007). Speed saves customers’ time, shortens the waiting line, accelerates production cycle and lowers the risk. As long as the company responses customers’ requirement rapidly, the speed to collect information and materials would become quick, and customers can receive their goods in a shorter time. Operations managers should also focus on shorten delivery time, it is necessary for them to aware that speed contains both on-time producing and on-time delivering.
-Flexibility. There are two types of flexibility which are product flexibility and volume flexibility. A company with higher product flexibility can spend little effort to transform productivity between two or more items, and it is easy for the company to customize product to meet customers’ specific demands. A higher volume flexibility allows company to flexibly change the productivity to meet the market’s demand and to widen the range of the products. Operations managers who have developed flexibility are able to quickly adapt to the changing demands of market and customers, avoiding the waste of productivity.
-Dependability. The last performance object is dependability. As dependability offers reliable resources and information to the company and customers, it reduces confusion, saves the time of distribution and rescheduling, ensures on-time delivery and bBernefit to maintain the good image of company. Operations managers focus on dependability performance should review the sources of information, make sure that no inaccurate information is transferred in process.
Operations managers are trying to improve their operation’s performance through influencing the design and development of process, eliminating failures and keeping quality. The five performance objects could be divided into some more details.
Day-to-day activities are one part of the operation that needs operations managers to plan and control. Day-to-day activities contain oversea delivery, schedule capacity, manage quality, cost control and health & safety. When operations managers are running day-to-day activities, they should be aware of the most two significant parts in day-to-day activities operations, which are schedule capacity and liaise with other departments in company. Another role of operations managers is to deal with people, including communication with customers, negotiation with suppliers, talks between employees, stakeholders and other managers. More over, in order to keep operation strategy working efficiently, operations managers need to pay attention to some external influences, like legislation, globalization, environmental deterioration and social responsibilities.
Generally speaking, asthe layout decision is critical, difficult and expensive, when operations managers are making layout decision, they have to completely understand the objectives. The role of supply chain is to meet customers’ demands based on the achievement of five performance objects. What’s more, an optimum capacity run by operations managers can avoid a unforeseeable level of unit cost.
All in all, operations managers are the person to take more responsibilities in operations management. When it refers to some specific areas, such as the influence of globalization, the pressure coming from environmental deterioration, the requirement of taking social responsibilities and the development of company’s inner staff, operations managers are supposed to involved more. Besides that, operations manager should become the leader in the aspect of being consistent with company policies.
Careerbear.com (n.d.) Untitled. [online] Available at: http://careerbear.com/operations-manager/article/what-does-an-operations-manager-do[Accessed: 27 Mar 2013].
Masterclassmanagement.com (2011) Operations Manager - Free Management Training Business Course Online. [online] Available at: http://www.masterclassmanagement.com/BusinessManagementCourse-DayToDayRunning.html[Accessed: 27 Mar 2013].
Reid, R. and Sanders, N. (2010) Operations Management. 4th ed. Wiley.
Slack, N. et al. (2007) operations management. 5th ed. Madrid: FT Prentice Hall.
Wps.pearsoned.co.uk (n.d.) Chapter 2: The strategic role and objectives of operations. [online] Available at: http://wps.pearsoned.co.uk/ema_uk_he_slack_opsman_4/17/4472/1144836.cw/[Accessed: 27 Mar 2013].