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:
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