Operations Management and its Definition, Principles, Strategies, Scope, Nature


Operations management is the field of management where the administration involves its best business practice to achieve the maximum levels of effectiveness and efficiency in using the organisation’s resources.

It was historically referred to as production management, simply indicating its roots in manufacturing. Primarily, it started with the separation of labour, beginning with the period of the ancient artisans. After that, it expanded more broadly only after contributing to the idea of the interchangeability of parts in the eighteenth century. Eventually, this ignited the industrial revolution.

When markets in the developing world increasingly moved to service-based, all business activities, including inventory management, began to adapt. Then, the operation aspect continued its strategy by extending inventory management concepts to the preparation and coordination of systems to the extent that it made sense to use it to control operations.

These parts must be managed correctly, from the strategic planning stage, the execution stage, production monitoring, and even the final assessment of future innovation outcomes. The company remains competitive and profitable in its sector. Operations administrators have a tremendous duty to handle day-to-day operations’ policy, planning, and oversight. Proper management of material resources, labour, machinery, and technology to generate high-quality goods and services that benefit the company is included in this job.

operations management
January 13, 2022
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Table of Contents


Principles of Operations Management

There are ten principles followed in operations management which Randall Schaeffer first presented. Operations managers apply these to have a leading level of efficiency and effectiveness. These principles were first presented in a regular speaker at conferences organized by APICS, the leading supply chain and operations management association in the United States.


Operations managers, in reality, rely on challenges that occur, which are dynamic and not on strategies, since there are no methods to offer standardized answers.


The industrial methods of production are interlinked. All components must be stable and reliable to produce the same earnings and generate good revenue in the future.


Operations management should learn to stick with all the fundamental rules, which is the secret to success in the manufacturing cycle. It is necessary to ensure that product records, BOMs, and other general activities are correctly working to produce the required results.


Managers must set down guidelines and targets to assess their employees’ roles and periodically review how the goals are being accomplished. This is the only way the operations manager can extract the desired output from the workers.


Variance in procedures must be welcomed. This is because variations may be a source of innovation if properly handled. Also, they might lead to increased efficiency of the workers.


Even though the most serious attempts are made, difficulties can always occur. Managers ought to identify the root cause of the issue so that things won’t get any worse. The things may have triggered the same causes and issues and come again.

Managed Passion

Employee productivity can be the main factor affecting business success. Managers should be willing to encourage and inspire their employees to be excited about jobs.


Sometimes everyone has to deal with an arrogant know-it-all. This is also necessary for operations managers to view themselves as average citizens who do not know anything and may make errors, just like any individual.


Managers ought to be able to accurately identify what they find to be effective so that everyone in the organization knows the guidelines to deal with in meeting the goals.


Everybody in the business must prepare to respond to developments in the industry. It involves knowing the customers, the intended markets, and their desire. It, for example, always requires the usage of digital systems to ensure that the business is still a move ahead.

The Importance of Operations Management

So it’s not a misconception to say that all facets of a company rely on the management of an activity. It can prepare, guide and promote the development of products and services. To succeed in an ever-changing sector, corporate executives must be willing to function effectively and productively to increase income, the core determinants of company success.

Operations management may affect customer service, product and service efficiency, clear operational practice, business competition, technical advancements and productivity. There might be hefty losses for the organization if the organization’s operations aren’t managed.

You may also like to read our blog on Production and Operations Management.

Strategies of Operations Management

An operations manager mostly functions as an engine to the company’s powerhouse. In operations management, many roles and functions are involved in the development of various essential strategies and preparations that ensure the smooth implementation of duties and responsibilities to rely on:

Leveraging Data

Savvy and experienced operations managers mostly rely on quality, accuracy, and reliable data for planning and creating strategic marketing and decision making. Efficiency and effectiveness metrics are two types of data analysis commonly used.

Controlling Data Challenges

Often the samples can be very broad, and the findings can differ, rendering it impossible to compare. However, with sophisticated tools and applications, administrators can view, handle, and interpret data more effectively.

Analyzing Inventory

The product can be evaluated efficiently if the organization utilizes material control programs and software. Moreover, this method would also make it easy for administrators to categorize their goods (known as the ABC analysis).

Designing Processes

Operations managers are constantly working to produce the best understanding, reliable forecasts and correct implementation of efficient processes that are available at the moment. Both of these measures will ultimately contribute to long-lasting progress.

Forecasting and Setting Goals

Having objectives provides guidance and inspiration to the organization and its staff. Forecasting offers optimism and an incentive for the business to brace for poor performance. Forecasting includes precise and reliable historical details. Usually, that takes a long time, but this can be accomplished very simply and quite rapidly due to ERP tools.

Collaboration Between Departments

Collaboration helps in the smooth functioning to develop a business. It blends accounting, distribution, marketing and human resources to work together. The ERP program facilitates inter-departmental cooperation by supplying unified knowledge to all agencies, making coordination simpler and clearer.

Social Responsibility

Responsibility for the climate and the societies that enterprise impacts are the key issues that an organization needs to resolve. This is particularly true of producers that sometimes struggle with waste generation.

HR Management

Managing workers is a critical function in any business expansion because workers are the organisation’s foundation. Without such individuals, everyday market operations will stop. Moreover, the organization may also not manufacture high-quality products or services.

Required skills

skills required to perform in operations management

The skills are pretty diverse to perform in operations, just like its functions. The most important skills are:

Organizational Abilities

Organizing procedures in an enterprise requires a range of expertise. It starts from planning to creating goals for implementation as well as tracking. Together, these skills help the boss maximize profitability and performance.

Analytic Capabilities/Understanding of the Process

The ability to comprehend processes in your expertise often includes a broad understanding of all other functions. An eye for detail is often helpful in deepening the analysis and understanding.

Coordination of Processes

For optimal performance, a heavy study and recognition of the system happen. Fast decision-making is a major asset here, as is a strong emphasis on problem-solving.

People Skills

Failures in communications with staff or senior management representatives will significantly hinder efficiency. This means that the project manager will have the expertise to navigate the fine lines with their subordinates properly. Furthermore, the consistent coordination of goals and priorities is a huge encouragement and a priority for all.


Again, problem-solving skills and techniques are vital to a modern approach if situations don’t go in the proper direction. Creativity tends companies to discover fresh avenues, and companies boost organizational efficiency as they start.


It is important to upgrade and develop systems due to the rising era of technology. Familiarity with technology is an ability that no one can overlook. Operations managers must acquaint themselves with more prevalent innovations employed in their businesses. They need to provide a much greater knowledge of the unique operational technology in their organizations.

The ever-reducing product life cycles, new trends in the workforce, environmental impacts and the digitization of processes require new ideas for operations management. Several factors have a huge influence on training today.:

Business Process Reengineering (BPR)

It’s a revolutionary solution to developing key processes: take all you’ve seen previously, delete everything, and then continue anew from scratch. With Business Process Reengineering, you will promote creativity and significantly boost every chosen step. When you choose to do something right, concentrate on bringing additional value to the consumer.

Lean and agile manufacturing

Formed by Toyota Motors, lean manufacturing is now a common phenomenon in the industry and is used interchangeably with Just-In-Time output. The idea behind this is the continual enhancement of operations to raise excess inventory and optimise the production of high-quality, low-cost goods and services.

Sigma six

A recent take to this definition is agile, or better as “modern lean.” It has its roots in web engineering. However, various other industries utilize this concept. The explanation it came to existence was the increasing sophistication of the systems, and it is distinguished by the creation of tiny increments and super-fast decision-making methods. These together ensure the necessary flexibility and interactivity, proven remedies for unpredictable changes in market demand.

Reconfigurable manufacturing system (RMS):

Another potential way of reacting to sudden shifts in the industry is RMS. It is a manufacturing machine that can be combined for various functionalities within the same category. For an RMS, you may make cost-effective improvements to your output.

Scope of Operations management

Operations management is mostly concerned with converting input to physical resources that cater to the customers’ needs. They need to reach effectiveness, efficiency, and adaptability in an organization.

Facility Location

The option of the venue is a crucial factor in the making of a plant and other facilities. The inappropriate position of the plant can contribute to an incorrect location of the plant, causing a massive wastage of time, money, and resources. After this, the position of the plant focuses on the growth of the business project. Moreover, it also centres on various other sectors. For instance, strategy, commodity diversification program, shifting sources, raw materials, and several other considerations.

Material handling

Material handling refers to the ‘moving of materials from the storeroom to the machine and from one machine to the next during manufacture.’ This activity is specialized for modern manufacturing concerns. Firstly, minimization of costs by proper segment and process. Secondly, maintenance of facilities for treating goods. Thirdly, material handling facilities increase performance efficiency, hence speeding up distribution. And lastly, it reduces the cost of development and production. Stock management is also a prime concern in constructing a new plant and maintaining current plants.

Product design

Each company enterprise will plan, produce, and execute new products as a strategy for sustainability and development. Developing and launching new products on the market is the greatest challenge facing organizations. The whole cycle of recognition of the need for physical processing of the goods requires three functions. Firstly, Branding and promotion. Secondly, plant and creation. Lastly, manufacturing.

Product design and creation connect marketing, consumer demands and preferences. It also offers activities needed for the manufacture of the product.

Process design

Product design and creation connect marketing and consumer demands and preferences. The relevant decisions in the process design stand important. In addition, it evaluates the workflow for transforming the raw material to the finished product. And in the end, to pick the workstation for each one used in the workflow.

Production Planning And Control

Planning and management of output is the planning process of pre-production. It specifies the exact route of each object fixes the starting and finishing dates for every product. In addition, it also includes sending orders for output shops. It also tracks the production of goods according to orders.

Quality control

Quality Control is a system that maintains a desired level of quality in a product or service’. It is a systematic control of various factors that affect the quality of the product. Quality Control aims at the prevention of defects at the source. It also relies on an effective feedback system and corrective action procedure.

Material and maintenance management

Materials Management is a big part of the management system. It includes the procurement, control and usage of the materials required. Moreover, it also affects the manufacturing cycle’s distribution of products and services. Equipment and machinery are a very important part of the total productive effort. Hence, their idleness or downtime becomes very expensive. This makes it very important for proper maintenance of the plant machinery.

The core goals are:

  1. To ensure a reduced deterioration to maintain the plant in good working order at the lowest possible expense.
  2. Maintaining computers and other equipment in such a state that they can be operated at their full potential without disruption.
  3. Ensure the supply of equipment, infrastructure, and utilities. This ensures the success of the other parts of the factor functions for an acceptable return on investment.

Guidelines to be a Successful Operations Management

Without a well-grounded operational manager, you can’t expect the success of a company’s operations management. It is about being adept at managing and involves having the skills of a good leader. They have to incline and be a good motivator for employees.

Final Thoughts

Operational managers are responsible for preparing, forecasting, and assessing different facets of output. Therefore, they are very reliant on the quality of the results they receive. The ERP program allows operations managers to produce real-time inventory, production, and revenue data reliably. The program even enables inter-departmental collaboration. In this, workers with separate departments (and even locations) communicate together in the same framework.

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