There are a lot to consider when overseeing even 1 business operation, managing all business operations seem far-fetched. Especially if you have to do it with efficiency and efficacy.
Operations managers (OM) have a lot on their plate, at all times. A successful OM can save and make a company a lot of money through efficient resource management, setting goals and good communication skills. To understand how one person can make a huge difference in a company, we will explore the skills of a good operations manager with the help of Joanna Wyganowska (Atlas Business Solutions Inc.).
1. Understand Customers and Their Business
What is your unique sales proposition (USP)? What would make customers choose your product instead of your competitor’s? The key here is to be objective and unbiased. The OM understands this very well. The best way to establish the USP is to shadow a customer and watch them do daily tasks. You will see first hand what your customer’s pain point is and understand completely how your product can help them. Don’t worry though, in-depth and ample phone conversations can do the same thing.
Knowing the USP for a customer allows the OM to price intelligently, decrease customer churn rate, increase profitability, improve recurring customer rate and minimize customer acquisition rate. This alone goes a long way in the profitability of your company.
2. Communicate Effectively
For the OM, it is absolutely necessary to be able to communicate on different levels with a wide range of personalities and roles. Effective speaking and use of language is as important as active listening. The aim is merely to control the response of the listener with carefully considered body language and word choice.
We civilians struggle to articulate basic sentences correctly, OMs have psychology behind every word.
3. Understand Financial Performance
The OM is an integral link in the company’s financial performance. Important duties like preparing sales projections and expense budgets, and analyzing profit & loss statements and balance sheets all fall in their court. To give you an idea of how all elaborate these functions are, here’s how to prepare a successful sales projection:
- Establish who your ideal customer persona is and create a report on their trends. Then research how your product meets customer expectations.
Create a spreadsheet, recording historical data of revenue generated from your ideal customer persona. Use this as a guide for expected sales revenue for this persona.
- Establish and target geographic locations by the amount of revenue generated in that area.
- Determine whether your competition has left you some market share in different selling areas and increase your market share there.
Keep up to date with your competitor’s product development and make sure they don’t offer something you don’t.
Let different branches of the company compile sales forecasts with you.
Measure your data with other branches’ forecasts and determine monthly sales forecast for the coming year.
Preparing expense budgets is a whole new can of worms and arguably one of the most important business planning functions. The method of creating a budget requires educated guesstimating. To predict yearly revenue and expenses accurately, budgets should be updated on a monthly basis.
4. Motivate The Team
“Operations Leaders Do Not Manage; They Lead.” Yu Xiaomin
The performance of staff members are the OMs responsibility. For this reason, the OM has to work closely with their team to ensure full productivity. Staff members have to work great as a team and excel as individuals. The best way to achieve this is to inspire, motivate and lead the team to success.
5. Track an Measure Staff Performance
To improve team performance, we suggest that staff members are involved in setting up individual work goals. When OMs work with staff in this manner, the desire to achieve the goal is increased plus team members have the opportunity to excel and identify areas for improvement.
6. Create a Positive Learning Environment
If your team is highly skilled, you can delegate with confidence. That can save an OM a lot of time. Do this with training courses, respectful mentoring and constructive feedback. Like performance goals, your team also need training goals. This of course includes your own training and self-improvement because you lead by example and need all the knowledge you can master to teach your team.
7. Maximize Staff Utilization
OMs have to know exactly what the threshold limits of their staff are and when to make adjustments. This could involve relocating staff to bottleneck areas or hiring new staff in dire situations. To save time, the tedious task of staff scheduling should be done with scheduling software. Such software keeps track of personnel skills, limitations and scheduled leave.
The aim is to have the whole team working like a while oiled machine. Planning and scheduling can allow the OM to manage it all without much stress.
If you think you will do everything yourself so it’s done right, you are wrong. A good OM can delegate just as well as they can do. They know that delegation frees up their time to do planning, motivates employees and encourages collaboration.
“It fosters trust, boosts morale, promotes high productivity and efficiency, and generates a culture of enthusiasm, innovation, creativity, cooperation, and openness. It will reduce employee turnover and furnish the organization with better-qualified, more skilled employees.” James A. Baker
We can clearly see that all these points are equally important and to get stuff done, you need the personality for it. Doing research for this article, this blogger found new respect for the operations manager. So here’s to you OM!