Essentials of Operational Management

What is Operational Management?

Operations management (OM) is the administration of business practices to create the highest level of efficiency possible within an organization. It is concerned with converting materials and labor into goods and services as efficiently as possible to maximize the profit of an organization.

Operations management involves utilizing resources from staff, materials, equipment, and technology. Operations managers acquire, develop, and deliver goods to clients based on client needs and the abilities of the company.

Operations management handles various strategic issues, including determining the size of manufacturing plants and project management methods and implementing the structure of information technology networks. Other operational issues include the management of inventory levels, including work in process levels and raw materials acquisition, quality control, materials handling, and maintenance policies.

A critical function of operations management relates to the management of inventory through the supply chain.1 This process is known as operations and supply chain management (OSCM). To be an effective operations management professional, one must be able to understand the processes that are essential to what a company does and get them to flow and work together seamlessly. The coordination involved in setting up business processes in an efficient way requires a solid understanding of logistics.  

An operations management professional understands local and global trends, customer demand, and available resources for production. Operations management approaches the acquisition of materials and the use of labor in a timely, cost-effective manner to deliver customer expectations. Inventory levels are monitored to ensure that excessive quantities are on hand. Operations management is responsible for finding vendors that supply the appropriate goods at reasonable prices and have the ability to deliver the product when needed.

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