Sobhan Mohmand, Career Expert 1 Aug 2019
An Operation Manager is a senior business professional responsible for the overall smooth running of the organisation’s day-to-day activities and operations. Their main responsibilities include overlooking or managing projects, critically evaluating the effectiveness of current business operations and improving the overall productivity of the organisation.
Day-to-day activities and responsibilities
- Ensuring that the day-to-day requirements of the business are met
- Identifying and driving through continuous improvements to systems
- Formulating and improving the guidelines and policies of the organisation
- Devising the disciplinary actions for the employees who break the guidelines and policies
- Managing and coordinating with the support services such as IT, Admin, Finance and HR
- Finding ways to improve the communication between each service or function to enable coordination
- Overseeing the implementation of payroll rules and policies
- Performing daily staff management duties, including monitoring absences, time-keeping & holidays, staff training and performance monitoring
- Managing logistics and ensuring regular maintenance of machines and equipment
- Checking the available materials, stocks and products
- Effectively planning the resources and work schedule in the shop floor
- Monitoring the production schedule against the deadline and ensuring timely delivery to customers
- Determining and negotiating the cost of products that need to be bought and sold
- Determining the prices associated with the products
- Deciding which product needs to be marketed
- Sending the required checks to the agents or other organisations
- Reviewing the financial statements regularly to ensure the business runs smoothly
- Effectively communicating with managers from different departments on a regular basis
- Ensuring products are well packaged, labelled and sent out for delivery to customers
- Ensuring the product with defects are treated with high priority and are quickly sorted
- Ensuring new employees are recruited as per the requirements and business objectives
- Identifying in-house training for staff
- Maintaining a good relationship with the customers and ensuring a timely response is provided for their queries or requests
- Providing policy guidance to employees
Workplace and working hours
Operations Managers work the standard working hours between 8AM-6PM, Monday to Friday. Overtime may be required when there is a change in the production schedule or to meet strict deadlines.
The work will be carried out in a normal office space but will be required to regularly visit other departments, clients, the shop floor or suppliers – depending on the employer and specific job role.
The starting salary would typically range from £26,000 to £30,000, depending on location, candidates experience and the size of the employer.
With more experience, the candidates can expect the salary up to £60,000 when working for established organisations.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
The successful candidate should possess excellent communication skill, supervisory skills, team working skills and the aptitude to multitask. Other skills such as negotiation skills, management, customer service and the ability to manage stress are must-haves as well.
In general, companies expect the candidates to possess a Master degree in Business Administration or other equivalent qualifications.
Many employers will expect a candidate must have a minimum of 3 to 5 years work experience in roles related to Operations, Production, Finance or other similar roles.
It is also possible to progress into this role by working in lower-level jobs and gaining the relevant work experience.
Skills and personal attributes
As the Operations Manager needs to oversee an entire team of staff and operations-related activities, it is essential for the successful candidate to possess outstanding communication, scheduling, people management, delegation, motivational and team working skills.
Job likes and benefits
- Gaining experience in multiple areas of business: As this role is not specific to one single function, an Operations Manager can gain experience and knowledge on a range of functions such as Administration, HR, Finance and IT.
- Career benefits: The demand for this role is relatively high in the business industry and the long-term job security combined with promotions and bonuses make this an attractive role to attain.
Job challenges and disadvantages
- Demanding and stressful work: As the work involves working on major projects and a lot of multitasking, it can be hugely demanding and the candidate would be required to work outside office hours when needed. Operations Managers will be required to make improvements and changes to current operations, which can pose a series of serious of challenges; uncooperative higher management, inability to implement plans and resistance from current staff to changes. Additionally, it can also be physically challenging sometimes as the job holder needs to frequently visit clients, the shop floor and meetings to ensure work is carried out efficiently.
Job progression and career prospects
A natural progression from this role is securing a job in the executive board where board members are the top executives of the company with the ability to take crucial decisions regarding the company’s growth and goal.
With relevant work experience and a good understanding of the company’s objectives, an Operations Manager stands a good chance of securing these top executive positions in the company and advance their careers.
The Chartered Management Institute