In any business organization, the part in charge for the production of services and/ or goods is referred to as operations. Despite the fact that operations function is accountable for the delivery of goods and services, it requires input and support from other functional areas of the business. In particular, operation is the heart of any business undertaking. Therefore, operations management is basically the management of processes or systems that lead to the creation of goods and services (Stevenson, 2008). The roles of operations management are performed by an operation manager.
The core role of the operations manager is that of decision making or planner. As a decision maker, he/she exerts significant influence on the degree of achieving the objectives and goals of the company. Often, a good number of decisions constitute numerous potential alternatives that may have diverse influence on profits or costs. Accordingly, informed decisions must be made for organization’s profitability. Operations manager is responsible for making key decisions that impacts organization’s performance (Stevenson, 2008).
In essence, operations management experts make decisions that relate to what resources the organization needs and in what quantity, decide on when each resource is needed, when should the work be scheduled, when should ordering of materials and supplies be done as well as when is the corrective initiative required (Heizer, 2010). Equally, they make decisions that regards where the work will be carried out. Operations management professionals also have the sole responsibility of deciding how the organization’s service or product is designed as well as how the work should be accomplished. Basically, they make key decisions that determine the organization of the work, methods of carrying out the work, how the resources should be allocated and the type of equipment that is needed to accomplish the task. Similarly, operations manager is charged with making key decision on who is to carry out the task (Heizer, 2010). However, there are various tools and approaches that help in making such decisions. Such approaches include use of different models, different approaches, analysis of trade-offs as well as use of performance metrics.
The key function of the operation s manager is that of guiding the system through decision making. The decisions generally affect the design of the system as well as the operation of the organization’s system (Heizer, 2010). Therefore, operations managers make system decisions. These are decisions that regard system’s capacity, geographic location of the organization’s facilities, equipment placement within its physical structures, facilities’ geographic location, service and product planning as well as equipment acquisition. Such decisions are essential in an organization. They require commitments which are long term in nature. In essence, they are the organization’s strategic decisions which are only made by operations managers.
Equally, system operation entails is where operation managers make those decisions that relate to the personnel management, control and planning of inventory, scheduling of project management as well the organization’s quality assurance (Stevenson, 2008). Generally, it entails making of operations and tactical decisions. The feedback obtained from such decisions is helpful for control and measurement of the organization’s performance. Usually, operations managers are decisively engaged in making operational decisions. Nevertheless, they have key stake in making system design decisions since it is the system design that fundamentally determines system operation’s parameters (Stevenson, 2008). For example, space, quality, costs and capacities are those decisions which design decisions have direct influence on.
Crainer, S., 2000, The Management Century. New York, Jossey-Bass.
Heizer, J. H., 2010, Operations Management, 10th edition, Prentice Hall.
Stevenson, W. J., 2008, Operations Management, 10th edition, McGraw-Hill.