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Role of Operations Manager

The operations Manager is th key figure in the system. He has the ultimate responsibility for the creation of goods or provision of services. The kinds of jobs that operation manager oversees vary from one organization to organization largely because of the different products/services involved. Thus managing a Banking operation required a different kind of expertise than managing a steel making operation. But in both cases they are managers. In every case, the Operation manager must coordinate the use of resources through the management process of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. However the major functions of Operations manager are: Planning it involves Capacity Planning Location Planning Product and services planning Make or Buy Layout Scheduling Projects Organising it involves Degree of centralization Process Selection Staffing it involves Hiring/ Layoff Use of overtime Directing it involves Incentive plans Issuance of work orders

Job assignment Controlling / Improving Inventory Quality Cost Productivity

Challenges faced by Operation Manager

1. Coordinating the relationships between mutually supportive but separate organizations Recently due to availability of fast and inexpensive communications, business firms are now going for contract manufacturing. The contract manufacturers are the firms that specialize in performing focused manufacturing activities. Companies are now focusing on their core competencies and outsourcing the other functions like information systems, product development and design, engineering services, packaging, testing and distribution etc. The ability to coordinate these activities is a significant challenge for the operation manager. 2. Optimizing global supplier, production and distribution networks - An operation manager may face problems due to global suppliers, production in some other countries and distribution of the product across different countries. This requires a careful understanding of where control should be centralized and where autonomy is important, among other issues. An operation manager has to take advantage of this information system to optimally control such resources as inventory, transportation and production equipments. 3. Increased co-production of goods and services - The Internet has opened new ways for the customer to interact directly with a firm. A customer can monitor the progress of order, placed by him or he can register his complaint on the companys websites. How to provide efficient service to the customer is a challenge for an Operation manager. 4. Managing customer touch point A company can become efficient by providing customer support personnel, help lines and checkout counters. This increases cost of staffing. An operation manager has to utilize the resources effectively by comparing implicit cost of lost customers as well as direct costs of staffing. 5. Raising senior management awareness of operations as a significant competitive weapon This is a challenge to the operation manager to increase the awareness of senior management who may be having finance, marketing or different backgrounds regarding operations can be used as a significant competitive advantage. E.g. Tata Nano, Indigo Airlines.