A career in Operations Management - All you need to know!

Sanjib Biswas Faculty Member Decision Sciences, Operations Management & Information Systems Calcutta Business School (A Unit of Shikshayatan Foundation) 

Operations Management (OM) is one of the key functional areas of any organization irrespective of its nature. OM is concerned with managing a series of processes and activities which transform inputs (e.g. materials, labors, energy, knowledge etc.) into outputs (e.g. products and services). OM is responsible for dealing with the questions like What to produce? How much to produce? Where to produce? (e.g. facility) What processes should be used? How to design and manage those processes? (e.g. Job design, process flow, sequence, technology, etc.) What are the resources required and how much? (e.g. labor, materials/inventory, energy, etc.) How to plan and manage the resources? (e.g. sales and operation planning, aggregate planning, resource planning, inventory management, etc.) How to ensure quality and continuously improve? How to design and manage project works? How to deliver the products and/ services to the customers? Organizations can leverage efficient and effective OM for gaining competitive advantages in terms of the abilities to respond to the customers’ requirements quickly at the lowest possible cost and with the highest possible quality. Multiple important factors like productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency, depends on the Operations department. People with a knack for details and perfection belong to this sector. As an Operations Management, the core quality organizations look for is the ability to identify weaknesses in a process and converting them into strengths. 

As competition is getting intensified at open and global marketplace day by day, it becomes imperative for the organizations to run their operations efficiently and to exploit their resources productively. Professionals in this industry are required to think out of the box and have the confidence to experiment with new approaches. Moreover, with the industry rapidly evolving, improving and optimizing processes has now become a must. Prominent organizations are adopting the latest methodologies to gain an edge over their competitors. 

The operations department is a significant part of every organization due to the plethora of advantages it offers to a business, such as: 

  • Increase in revenues 
  • Improvement in the quality of products and services provided Meeting the expectations of the customers 
  • Fulfilling the demands of the industry 
  • Optimized utilization of available resources 
  • Productivity and motivation of the employees, and a lot more. 

Skills required for becoming a Successful Operations Manager 

Operations Management demands multiple skills in an individual as this department is crucial to all aspects of a business. To be a successful Operations Manager, you must develop leadership skills, communication skills, planning & organizational skills, business negotiation skills, problem-solving, decision-making, critical and analytical thinking skills, influencing skills, adaptability, and more. The curriculums and teaching methodologies of colleges and institutes are constantly being redesigned and upgraded to focus on instilling these skills within the students. 

Scope of Operations Management 

Every business needs to have a robust Operations Management department, so it's evident that the scope of this field is widespread globally across all industries. The Operations Management department is responsible for various aspects related to the Location of Facilities, Product & Process Design, Material Management, Technological Solutions, Quality Control, etc. 

Career Prospects after Operations Management 

Operations Management is a broad discipline that provides umpteen career opportunities. Some of the sought after job descriptions are given below: 

  • Supply Chain Manager 

Ensuring that the goods and services required for the organization are available whenever they are needed is the most significant responsibility of a Supply Chain Manager. Acquiring high-quality products at the lowest possible price is another responsibility of the Supply Chain Manager. 

  • Logistics Manager 

Logistics Managers are closely associated with the purchasing, marketing, and manufacturing departments. They are responsible for coming up with cost- 

effective solutions for handling and managing the supply chains - be it export or import. Logistics Managers create strategies and schedules for the process of distribution. 

  • Project Manager 

Planning of a project, procurement of the materials required for the same, systematic implementation and successful execution of the project, all of this is dependent on the Project Manager. If there are any problems or issues in any department, a Project Manager is always the concerned person to contact. 

  • Process Analyst 

As organizations are constrained by resource and time, it has become quite imperative that processes must be robust and effective. Hence, analysing the processes and ensuring the conformity with the standards are of paramount importance today. Here comes the role of an expert in the field of operations management. Irrespective of the type of industry an expert certified and capable of handling process analysis with six-sigma precision shall find his/her requirement in industry in coming decades. 

  • Operations Supervisor 

The Operations Supervisor records, tracks, and supervises the routine activities of an operations unit, by defining the workflow and introducing fixed schedules related to various policies, procedures, reports, workers, and more. 

Advantages of an Operations Management Specialization in your PGDM Programme 

The greatest advantage of choosing Operations as your specialization is that you will be able to comprehend the specific demands of the industry. This will make it easier to determine how much you must learn and improve to be successful and to stand out in the cutting edge business world. An Operations specialization will give you extensive knowledge about Operations and its many concepts and models. This knowledge helps you acquire all the essential skills required to succeed in the industry. Another factor is that digital marketing is revolutionizing the way Operations Management is implemented and executed. Today, it is not restrained to the manufacturing, SCM, or logistics sector - it is also playing a massive role in defining Industry 4.0. Therefore, it's easy to see the high demand for professionals in the industry. 

All in all, the Operations industry is thriving with new job opportunities for all those who possess the right skills. Now is the time to pursue a PGDM in Operations Management. 

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