Operations management is actually covered in a traditional MBA course, so the question is, why would anyone go for operations management education separately?
The answer is less complex than one might realize because the difference between the two exists between a brief introduction and a thorough training. Therefore, if you are already working in operations or plan to do so soon, a degree in business operations management will provide you with the education and training you need to do the job better, hold managerial positions, and get a pay bump.
Operations Managers: What Do They Do Exactly?
The job of the operations manager is critical to any core-level business that is associated with production/packaging/delivery in the B2B sector particularly.
The brief points next will highlight some of the most common work expectations from an operations manager, but depending on the situation, the job description could expand much beyond these:
- Supervising and guiding manufacturing processes
- Supervising quality checks
- Managing logistics and specific sections/the whole supply chain
- Inventory management; warehousing, ordering, record maintenance, etc.
- Forming business connections with important suppliers
- Maintenance of important business connections
- Regulating, supervising, and maintaining connections with delivery partners
Can You Become an Operations Manager?
It depends largely on a few factors, as listed below:
- Experience in operations work
- An operations management degree
- Previous performance as an operations manager, where applicable
If you have been working as a ground-level employee in the supply chain for a while now, complete your operations management degree from Kettering University to provide yourself with the training, skills and education necessary to apply as an operations manager.
The online nature of the course makes it easy for even full-time employees to pursue it, and post-graduation, the degree qualifies them for promotions. Given that the average annual salary of an operations manager in the United States was $97,693 in 2019, it really can be a very lucrative career option for those that embark on this path.
Why Do Companies Consider Operations Management to be Such a Key Position?
The term “operations” essentially refers to anything and everything which is a part of manufacturing and delivery processes. The need for efficient managers to lead, guide, and direct all of that in the most efficient way possible is quite self-explanatory.
If properly qualified operations managers were not there to handle all aspects of a company’s core business operations, it would have to be handled by unqualified individuals. This poses the following threats to a company’s revenues, reputation, and even existence.
- Poor or reduced productivity
- Inability to adapt to changing market situations
- Poor handling of safety hazards in the supply chain business
- Missing deadlines and/or suffering product quality
- Knowledge gaps lead to dependence, which undermines a manager’s leadership credibility
- Chances of fraud and theft are increased
- Overproduction or underproduction
- Loss of valuable business relationships due to poor operations management
- Worker dissatisfaction, injuries, and low morale
- Increased expenses and wasteful investments
Consider these to be just a brief introduction to multiple other issues that crop up over time when there aren’t enough experienced and qualified operations managers at the helm.
Are there Other Career paths that an Operations Management Degree Holder Can Pursue?
Generally, operations management is a very important, but specific, career-oriented program, one that teaches employees and executives to be better at managing core business operations. That being said, there are other career opportunities that a master’s degree in operations management can open up as well.
Research & Analytics
Someone who pursues a career in operations research & analytics will have to settle for comparatively lower pay than that of the business operations manager, but the growth opportunities in this field are quite promising.
As far as the work is concerned, it is less comprehensive than that of the operations manager, but they specialize in a few particular key segments only.
An operations research analyst will mostly be concerned with managing, directing and redirecting a company’s resources. However, the job of the operations analyst takes a more theoretical and suggestive approach to the same, as opposed to the hands-on executive duties of the operations manager.
Managerial Jobs Beyond Operations Management
At times, it is hard to distinguish between the various managerial posts in supply chain and operations. As a matter of fact, the operations manager may very well be able to handle most of the responsibilities on their own, but it depends on the scale and complexity of the processes.
If a company is large enough with significantly complicated processes across its various processes, the jobs are often subdivided into the following categories:
- Traffic management
- Materials management
- Logistics management
- Supply chain management
- Warehouse management
- Inventory management
- Purchase management
Often the same professional is capable of taking on any of the managerial posts mentioned above but cannot handle them all at once due to the scale and complexity of each operation.
To streamline the process and reduce the chances of mismanagement due to overburdening, multiple, specialized management posts are created. The senior operations manager in such cases takes on a supervisory and guiding role for the rest.
What are the Future Prospects?
Operations management is a career path that is so deeply embedded in any manufacturing/supply/packaging business model that there is no chance of its demand going down anytime in the near future.
What may happen though is that executives eventually need to update themselves with technical knowledge regarding modern software tools that are now used extensively for boosting production capacity and reducing wastage. Fresh operations management trainees and graduates, on the other hand, will have all the technical knowledge they need, which will give them an upper hand in the job market because of that.
Supply chain management and operations management are lucrative career paths for anybody who is already working in the field. To them, an advanced degree in operations management is definitely a good course to pursue, especially in light of the flexibility that the recent development of online courses has brought to full-time professionals.