In today’s business world, most up-and-coming entrepreneurs are more concerned about the latest trends and emerging consumer demand than falling back on solid business fundamentals. While you can make a case for both, it’s clear that the latter deserves more attention. You see, no matter how impactful the next wave of breakthrough services, products, or technology may appear at face value, no first-mover advantage can be sustained without a robust framework to support it.
Specifically, operations management has taken a back seat in most companies’ priority lists. Although it’s given some form of scrutiny when observing well-established brands, startups and small-to-medium enterprises have their sights set elsewhere. However, considering all the volatility in the market and the relative uncertainty present in most industries as of current, sustainable operations management is becoming increasingly important in 2022.
People, Production, and Delivery Require Supervision
To put things into context, whether it’s handling human resources and resolving conflicts, managing production schedules, or monitoring service delivery, supervision plays a crucial role in guaranteeing quality and proper execution. And even when you take into a different field of expertise like serving papers and court filings, legal departments also emphasize appropriate oversight on core functions and operations.
In essence, businesses rely on these operations plans and control measures to increase efficiency and avoid unnecessary errors in the process, rounding out overall productivity in more technical requirements.
What Does Operating Management Cover?
For the uninitiated, the term operating management may seem like a broad business application that can be placed anywhere. While that’s true to a certain extent, a better way to describe it would be associating these processes with operational efficiency. Among the most common practices and strategies that fall under this category include managing product quality and customer expectations, layout strategies for the increased productivity on the shop floor, and scheduling and overall maintenance of equipment and machinery.
Managing Product Quality And Customer Expectations
Although most people would associate product quality with teams assigned for research and development, operations management personnel highlight the lower limits of cost and the higher limits of expected quality. As a result, sustainable operations management establishes specific policies and procedures to best attain these goals while also considering the human resources required.
Layout Strategy For The Shop Floor
Apart from task assignment and preparing policies to meet quality demands, operations management also covers the layout strategy for the shop floor to increase productivity. Operations management is directly in charge of monitoring capacity needs, inventory requirements, and personnel levels. All of which can determine the most efficient flow of materials, people, and information.
Scheduling And Overall Maintenance Procedures
Another critical aspect of operations management is scheduling business processes and the relevant maintenance procedures that consider facility capacity. Since work environments and external threats necessitate flexibility, operations management implements intermediate and short-term schedules that can meet changing consumer demand and retain stable business processes without compromising quality or the core functions of the company.
What Measures Should You Implement to Increase Sustainability?
Although most would guess that improving the sustainability of operations management is reasonably challenging to accomplish, there are operations management practices that can be immediately integrated into a system. And while these will vary depending on the industry, we recommend utilizing work breakdown structures to better plan for large-scale projects and calculate the variability in the slack time between activities.
Utilize Work Breakdown Structures
Nowadays, even small-scale operations handle projects with multiple subcomponents that can be pretty tricky to manage and appear difficult to execute at face value. However, the practice of work breakdown structures can help define critical milestones to focus and divvy up the tasks into manageable steps that any firm can lay out in a timetable. Operations management can better allocate the gross requirements for people, supplies, and equipment.
Variability in Slack Time Between Activities
Efficiency isn’t always about getting things done the fastest. When you consider the concept of slack time, delays that create a grace period for other processes to catch up are essential in improving service delivery. Most businesses that operate with large-scale production lines and packaging have areas wherein unfinished goods stockpile, so calculating the variability of slack time in these functions can highlight what processes may increase the risk of wastage.
Overall, there’s only so much you can do to rework and improve your operations management from the ground up before you start running into resource constraints, considering that today’s economic outlook is a battle between positives and negatives. So, instead of doing everything by yourself, we recommend investing in competent and reliable operations managers to ease the process and increase sustainability.