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The Ins and Outs of Operations Management 

Updated: June 19, 2024 | Published: February 28, 2023

Updated: June 19, 2024

Published: February 28, 2023

Operations management copy

What is the backbone of any successful business? If you guessed operations management, you are right. Running a business is never an easy feat, and one of the most crucial roles in any company is operations management. Operations management gives a company the ability to stand on its feet by ensuring that products and services that meet customer needs are created efficiently while keeping costs under control. While that job description rightly sounds integral to a business, you’re probably left with many questions. Like, what exactly does an operations manager do?

So, let’s start with the basics. What is operations management? 

What is Operations Management?

At its core,  operations management aims to improve the overall quality of a business by maximizing efficiency and minimizing waste. In practice, this means ensuring that products and services are efficiently delivered to customers at the correct price, right time, and with the best quality. Sounds like a lot to juggle, right? That statement couldn’t be more true. The role of an operations manager requires a lot of effort as he designs, implements, and controls processes and systems that switch inputs into outputs. Some examples of systems of operations management include supply chain management, quality control, and inventory management. The importance of operations management can’t be overstated! 

What are the Skills of an Operations Manager?

Working in operations management is a challenging role that requires a variety of skills. Here are the top five skills an operations manager should have: 

  1. Leadership Skills

In order to be a successful operations manager, you need to be an effective leader who can motivate, inspire, and positively guide your teams in order to reach a higher level of productivity. This includes having the ability to communicate clearly, delegate tasks, and provide constructive criticism. The result of a great leader is having a team that works together to achieve common goals and get the job accomplished.

  1. Time Management Skills

Due to the fact that operation managers are often loaded with many different tasks that must be completed within strict deadlines, they need to be able to manage their time effectively. One who has proper time management skills will prioritize their workload, and delegate tasks while ensuring that their team is working efficiently and well.

  1. Analytical Skills

Having strong analytical skills is perhaps one of the most important qualities necessary for an operations manager. A large part of the position includes using analytical skills to gather data and make informed choices and strategies based on the information discovered. This skill will come in handy while assessing the performance of a team, identifying areas that need improvement, and making decisions that will help the business grow. 

  1. Technical Skills

Operation managers also need to have a widespread understanding of technical aspects that relate to their industry. Knowledge about software programs and equipment will be extremely valuable when an operations manager makes a decision regarding technology upgrades and process improvements.

  1. Problem-Solving Skills

Finally, operations managers need to be excellent problem-solvers who can think critically and come up with creative solutions to complex problems. You will be responsible for identifying issues within your team or operations and finding ways to overcome them. A great operations manager will be able to think outside the box and develop innovative solutions that benefit the company as a whole.

What Can You Do With a Degree in Operations Management?

A degree in Operations Management can open doors to a variety of exciting and rewarding career paths. Here are five jobs you can pursue with a degree in Operations Management:

  1. Account Manager – account managers work directly with customers to understand their needs and develop strategies in order to meet them. They oversee all aspects of customer accounts which is anything from sales and marketing to customer service and support.
  1. Business Analyst – what does a business analyst do? business analysts help companies improve their overall performance by noting the areas that need improvement through analyzing data. This involves working closely with stakeholders to understand their needs and making plans to increase growth and profit.
  1. Project Manager – project managers oversee all parts of a project–from start to finish. This comes with the responsibility of managing resources and ensuring that the project is delivered on time and within the set budget.
  1. Quality Control Manager- quality control managers are in charge of ensuring that a company’s products meet a set standard. This role includes creating a quality control process, looking at data to spot areas that could be improved, and collaborating with the involved departments to make sure the best quality is delivered. 
  1. Business Technology Analyst – business technology analysts assist companies by utilizing technology in a way that encourages the total profit and growth available.  Like with the jobs mentioned above, this includes working closely with stakeholders to understand their goals and develop strategies to apply and manage technology solutions that drive business.

How to Become an Operations Management Professional?

If the job prescription of an operation manager sounds appealing to you, now is the time to take the next step. How exactly do you become an operations management professional? 

Let’s break it down. In order to become an operations manager, you need to have a degree in operations management or a similar field. Some popular degrees include Bachelor of Science in Operations and Supply Chain Management, Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, and a Bachelors of Business Administration in Operations Management. In addition, related work experience through internships and obtaining certifications like the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) or the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) can improve your job prospects.  

If you don’t have a degree in the field, no worries! A degree in Business Administration could be a great related degree or alternative to help you achieve your goals. If you are already in the workforce, obtaining an online Business Administration degree can help you develop the necessary skills for operations management. At University of the People, you can study at your own pace as you complete your tuition-free degree completely online. This way, you can still earn money as you earn your Bachelor’s degree which will allow you to take your career to the next level. 

Closing Thoughts

That’s a wrap on all the information you need on operations management. Now that you know the role of operations management in a business and the qualities needed to fulfill the position, you can decide if it’s the right career path for you. This is the time to examine yourself and your interests so that you can make an informed decision. And hey, if an online degree would suit your lifestyle and goals, then check out UoPeople today!

At UoPeople, our blog writers are thinkers, researchers, and experts dedicated to curating articles relevant to our mission: making higher education accessible to everyone.