Operations & Logistics Manager Career Information
What an Operations & Logistics Manager does
The operations team creates the infrastructure of a company. You will help determine where an organisation should be based, its employment policies, accounting practices, distribution channels and much more. While individual departments determine how corporate procedures are implemented, Operations Managers make sure that they are designed optimally.
Let's look at an e-commerce company, for example. When a consumer logs to place an order, he/she expects certain things to happen. First, the order process should be short and simple. The consumer's credit card must be billed properly and the product shipped. A few days later the product will arrive as expected. But how does the product get from the warehouse to the consumer's door? Who decides how an order will be routed through a company? Such decisions are made by the Operations Department.
The Chief Operations Officer is a senior member in most organisations. The COO works with the CEO and company president to determine the company's vision. Their ideas filter down to the rest of the company.
Senior Operations Managers determine the location, its facilities, which vendors to use, and how the hiring policy will be implemented. Once the key decisions are made, lower-level operations personnel carry them out.
Accountants and controllers watch the books. Administrators and managers supervise line employees. Sales representatives and customer service agents ensure that the clients get what they've paid for. In case of a problem operations personnel will be the first to hear about it. Operations Managers work to find a solution and then set about fixing the problem.
While operations is a key component of any successful company, it is a back-end work. Most support functions fall under operations' control. Such functions include customer service, logistics, production, maintenance and administration.
Sometimes, depending on the size and scope of an organisation, operations will also include sales, accounting, programming and marketing. The goal of the operations department is to find solutions to problems before they affect the bottom line.
Anyone considering a career in operations should be able to see the big picture. Since problems often show up in the most unexpected places, you need to see beyond your current task. Most operations departments are team environments. There are many employees engaged in the same tasks. Daily meetings may be required to set up group goals and assignments.
Operations personnel should also be highly analytical, detail oriented and able to work with different people throughout the organisation. Remember, this is support work. You should be prepared to serve the needs of the rest of the organisation.
There are various areas, in which one can specialise within the purview of Operations Management. These are:
Estate & Support Manager - design the physical environment of the organisation. He is interested in how a building's design, layout, furniture and other equipment affect the efficiency and profitability of the business.
He will buy office furniture and supplies, determine when more space is needed, select appropriate vendors and be responsible for the facilities budget. Besides having a business management background, the facilities coordinator needs to have a keen understanding of how working environments affect employee productivity.
Logistics Management - An organisation needs to plan how work orders will be distributed. The Logistics Engineer is the person responsible for such planning. He or she is interested in improving the efficiency and accuracy of order fulfillment and will map out the process from beginning to end, always on the lookout for possible improvements. This is a detail-oriented position that requires strong problem-solving skills and an in-depth analysis of business processes.
Project Manager - Most projects will have a single leader who watches over them from beginning to end. The essential role of the Project Manager is to establish group goals. He or she will also supervise the work of lower-level staff, ensure deadlines are met, put in requests for additional supplies and staff and keep a particular project on time and under budget. In most cases the project manager will report to the Operations Manager.
Operations Manager - The Operations Manager or Director watches over his/her department, the size and scope of which depends on the organisation involved. A large company may have several Operations Managers. Their job is to determine how the processes in their departments should be implemented and what duties need to be performed.
An Operations Manager also hires and manages lower-level staff, selects the vendors, completes departmental financial analyses and determines the budget. The Operations Manager reports to the VP of operations or Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Integrated Supply Chain Management - You will be in charge of managing the supply chain. You will make various strategic and operational decisions in supply chain management, including supply chain modeling.
Quality Management - Quality leadership is recognised as the key to business success. Strong customer focus on all products and services, teamwork throughout all areas of the organisation is essential for company competitiveness. You will be in charge of issues of total quality management. ISO 9000 standards, cost aspects, quality improvement tools, quality function deployment, business process reengineering, benchmarking, etc.
Manufacturing Resource Planning - You will work out the manufacturing module of any standard ERP package.
You will get jobs in the production, manufacturing, operations, logistics and quality management function of large companies in various sectors. For example, you will get jobs in:
• Large-scale industries
• Courier and Cargo companies
• Amusement Parks
• Large Retails outlets
• IT consultants
With the advent of the service sector the number of jobs being offered to Operations professionals are increasing. The boom in service sectors like retail, courier and cargo are creating a demand for such professional. So overall, the future is good for the operations guys.
Abilities & Traits Required
• Above average analytical and logical reasoning skills
• Excellent communication skill - both verbal and non-verbal, both in English and regional language
• Above average leadership abilities
• Very good organising abilities
• Very good ability to develop inter personal relations
• Ability to take initiatives and work very hard
• Meticulousness and objectivity in day to day activities
• Enterprise and ability to be an entrepreneur
• Ability to innovate and thoughtfulness
• Ability to think creatively and think fast
• Preference for group activities rather than individualistic activities
You will need to have an MBA, BE/BTech/ME/MTech as your educational qualifications.
Starting salaries depend on the size and status of the organisation you work with, your qualifications and the institute you passed from.
An MBA from a top business school/MTech from IITs and other top grade engineering institutions get about Rs 240000-400000 or more p.a. in the beginning.
A middle level Manager earns Rs 240000-500000 or more p.a.
A top level Manager earns Rs 600000-1400000 or more p.a.