The Basis of Business Operations Pt.1
Alarming Signs that show your employees need training!
March 4, 2019
Business – The Conversion of Time into Money
March 11, 2019

Operations management is the administration of business practices to create the highest level of efficiency possible within a company.

First thing to note: Operations is fluid and is different for each company but at the same time, it comes back to the core point of efficiency. When a client picks up the phone and calls your company or walks into your company, everything that happens to point where the client hangs up or walks out (happy or not) is the result of the work of operations.

The broad definition of the term is set in stone but the acts of operations itself is not. It is meant to allow an overview and provide oversight in regards to a company’s activities.  It helps with assigning clear-cut roles and responsibilities, with the management of risk, resources and allocation as well as with revealing the best course of action at all times. They are both a guide and a failsafe, ensuring that a company stays within its budget and that departments cooperate effectively. Here is where theory ends and practice starts; a point where variables must be taken into consideration.

A company’s success or failure relies heavily on the efficiency of it’s operations.

Let’s take a product manufacturing company. Depending on what it produces, the supply chain can be longer or shorter. Depending on how many processes are automated, the number of employees can differ. If the company sells its products through stores, it’ll need physical locations, while if the company’s involved in eCommerce, the business will require suitable software and a means to deliever. These are only a few factors that can influence business operations within a company.

Operations are also subjected to change as the business grows. While it’s common practice in a small company for a single person to have more responsibilities, the same is hardly ideal in a larger one. Business operations should evolve alongside the company, or glitches in the system will soon make their presence felt. If there’s too much pressure or too many responsibilities resting on the shoulders of one individual, here will be errors and omissions almost inevitably. This, in turn, tends to become cumulative and will lead to more of the same, creating a destructive domino effect.  It’s up to all departments to continually adapt and tweak business operations to keep up with the company’s growth.

While strategies and processes can always change, certain business operational guidelines remain true for almost any business that wishes to grow. Here are some guidelines that all companies should consider adhering to:

  1. Building the right foundation from the start. A close-knit team that shares the same goals and is dedicated to achieving those goals can make a huge difference down the line;
  2. Aiming for transparency within and between departments. The more information travels from one team to another, the lower the risk of errors and mishaps;
  3. Choosing the right person for the job. Different individuals have different qualities. It’s important to delegate with this in mind;
  4. Making use of data for decision-making. Caution is advised when planning for the future. Data collection and interpreting can eliminate a number of variables and increase the chances of smooth-sailing;
  5. Receiving team feedback. Founders and stakeholders can easily lose track of core operations, which impedes their decision-making capabilities. Having constant communication with employees can eliminate this;
  6. Focusing on customer service. Whether a manufacturer or a service provider, a business relies on its customers. They should never be ignored or even underestimated;
  7. Having a long-term plan. Constant change in external factors can topple companies lacking foresight. Good adaptability and planning can ensure both the survival and growth of a company.
To be continued.

Need assistance with your company’s operations cycle, structure or manual? Get in touch with us on 0244 521 528 or email us at consulting@ekowmensah.com.

 

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