Every company needs someone to manage their day-to-day operations. To ensure the company is constantly mitigating its cost structure, the operations manager is relied upon to manage a company’s fixed and variable costs. Whether it’s aligning company wide goals and objectives to internal resources, eliminating redundant work processes and procedures, streamlining reporting structures, reviewing departmental and program budgets, or even just enacting plans to reduce overall business costs, there seems to be no end to an operation manager’s responsibilities.
Most operations manager jobs require a college degree in operations management, logistics, or a related field. Check out the programs below which offer free information:
This position requires someone with the ability to multi-task, lead multiple cross-functional project teams, all the while controlling costs and improving service. It’s a tall order and with it comes a lot of responsibilities. However, because operation managers are strong leaders and have a long list of responsibilities, they are often well compensated. In addition, they enjoy a position not typically afforded to other employees. They are able to parlay their experiences across multiple spectrums and use them to further their careers. As such, they have solid career advancement opportunities within organizations and can make both upward and lateral movements.
Operations Manager Job Responsibilities
Operations managers are most often called upon to improve operational effectiveness by streamlining business work processes, procedures and improving information transfer between internal departments. They are active participants in helping internal departments work more efficiently. They help to facilitate company wide goals by taking part in strategic planning initiatives and aligning strategies with internal resources. They play a pivotal role in cost based management practices and take an active role in the financial management of the company by overseeing and developing annual budgets in conjunction with department heads. They often work side by side with finance to ensure that budgets are maintained and adhered to.
Operations managers are tasked with being the ultimate liaison between internal departments. They must provide a working environment that allows all employees to reach their full potential. As such, they are often involved in conflict resolution between employees and between internal departments. They must also take part in hiring new employees and providing them with a clear and concise career path within the organization. A large part of their responsibilities includes inventory & supply chain management, as well as managing a company’s logistics requirements. It’s this last portion of their job that is often viewed as the most important. The ability to reduce production costs while lowering the cost of inventory, all the while delivering the product to customers in a cost efficient manner, can be viewed as their greatest contribution.
Operations Manager Training and Education Requirements
Because so much of an operation manager’s responsibilities encompass a wide variety of business functions, their education and training requirements have become more specialized over time. Initially a bachelor’s degree in business administration or accounting was all that was required. However, over time and in response to the position’s special requirements, degrees are now specifically designed for operations management. Courses cover human resources, management, accounting & finance, inventory management, as well as logistics and supply chain management. These courses are intended to give the applicant the full range of education needed to excel at the position. For those interested in furthering their education, Universities are now offering MBA’s (Master in Business Administration) in Operations Management.
Operations Manager Salary and Wages
Operations managers are well compensated for their work. Since so much of their responsibilities encompass managing the company’s entire internal structure, they are among the highest paid employees within companies. The position also affords them an opportunity to advance to higher level positions and helps to facilitate lateral movements within organizations.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 50% of operations managers earn an average salary of $44.55 an hour or $92,650.00 a year. The top 75% earn $66.81 an hour or $138,000.00 a year. However, in the biggest companies, where operation managers oversee a corporation’s entire operations in multiple countries and locations, it’s not uncommon for them to earn well over $250,000.00 annually.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Operations Manager Certifications
The most common certifications for operations managers include CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management), CIRM (Certified in Integrated Resource Management) as well as CFPIM (Certified Fellow in Production and Inventory Management). Each of these certifications include courses that help to improve a manager’s abilities to reduce inventory costs, improve logistics, better manage production and streamline a company’s supply chain. They provide the tools managers need to improve inventory forecasting, budgeting, increase inventory turnover rates, as well as provide the training needed to reduce business operating expenses. Most importantly, these certifications are internationally recognized among employers as the most intense training courses available in operations management.
Operations Manager Professional Associations
The most recognized professional association for this position is APICS, which
is simply the American Productivity and Inventory Control Society. It has become more commonly referred to as simply “The Association for Operations Management”. Members enjoy newsletters and up to date information on new and improved training manuals and books. They are also able to purchase these manuals at reduced prices. In fact, APICS provides the testing and certification for CPIM, CIRM, CRPIM and many other certifications for operations managers.