Now that I have talked about Why Every Business Needs to Hire an Operations Manager, let’s take a look at what an operations manager needs to know how to do.
Every operations manager needs to have a basic understanding of nearly everything. Yes, everything. Even understanding how something unrelated to the business works could eventually come into play for an effective operations manager.
For example, if a business is set up to provide a service to other businesses, that business’ operations manager may needs to understand how the vehicles, truck, car, trains.., that deliver the service…all work. If a business sells a product, the operations manager needs to understand the components, all the parts, raw materials, assembly processes.. of every ingredient that goes into the construction of that product.
Why? Because, if anything in the operations breaks down or makes the delivery of product or service unobtainable, the operations is responsible to solve that problem. Knowing why or how something broke is the only way it can be fixed.
Over the years, I had hundreds of opportunities to quickly fix a problem. Most of the time the problems I solved was something my peers or bosses saw as being impossible to even conceive how to even approach dealing with the problem, much less resolve.
Nearly every solution I found was based upon my experience in solving other problems. However, on many occasions I had no idea what the solution would be and just jumped into going through the process of what caused the problem to find the solution.
Fearlessly jumping in to find a solution seems to be very hard for many business owners to do, especially, business owners who are focused only on marketing or have never attempted to gain any practical operations experience. Operations manager have to have the ability to focus on the inter-workings of the business so as to be able to solve the business’s problems effectively.
Many times the operations manager..or director of operations..or top level position of the company in charge of the business’ operations,…may have to temporarily take control of the business in order to solve a problem. This does not mean they start a coup to take over the business, but just be able to communicate the situation to the leadership team the seriousness of the problem and what it will take to correct the problem. This also means the operations manager needs to know every aspect of the business..from the marketing campaigns, customer service policies, all the way through the fine details of the financial and accounts receivables.
This ability to ‘Take Control’ is only obtained from experience. Businesses without someone who is experienced in operations management suffer greatly when either the marketing or account receivables impede the business’ ability to deliver it’s products or services.
Marketing driven businesses and owners of businesses who only see Marketing as the focus for their business model usually are driven out of business because there is nobody to place the Marketing department in check. The operations manager has to sometimes stop the insanity and reel in the marketing oriented business owners to keep the business from hitting a wall.
I’ll be back soon to highlight more reasons why a business operations needs to be a dedicated position immune from being required to sell or market the business .
Let me know how I can help.