The Many Jobs of a Business Operations Team
The supply chain management part of business can be very intricate and pretty confusing. There are many things that an operations manager of a company is responsible for. For example, a person in operations could be charged with putting together a Houston Contract Warehouse, so the company he/she works for can store their products there and possibly ship them from there as well. Then, another person at the storage facility would be in charge of the Houston Fulfillment, meaning they would keep track of the inventory in the unit. Below is a list of responsibilities of someone who works in the supply chain management part of a company:
1. These people make decisions about how the product will be manufactured, where, when, and how to use the machines to make the product. The operations team would determine when it is most cost effective to use the machines and how much should be put through the machines each day. Then, as far as the machines, this team would figure out how to run everything as efficiently as possible in order to keep up with inventory needs and management requirements.
2. Another responsibility that falls on operations is the decision about transportation of the product. For example, an operations person would decide if a truck, airplane, boat, or train is the most cost efficient and product efficient way to ship the items. This all depends on how much the product cost to make, the different places it needs to be shipped to, and the cost of each transport option. For instance, it would be best to ship clothing to China on plane because fashions go out of style quickly and the product probably cost a lot to make, both of which most likely easily outweigh the cost of the airplane to take the items.
3. Operations make decisions about inventory levels. It costs money to keep inventory because it cost money to make the product, so it is worth money. The more a product cost to make and the longer you hold it in inventory, the more money is wasted. It is important to keep a small amount of inventory, yet you do not want to face a stock-out and risk upsetting either another business customer or a consumer. So, deciding on inventory levels can be a very difficult task. Some companies find it is most effective to bring inventory in “Just-In Time” which means the stock comes literally, just in time to be sold or used to build another product. A lot of car companies use this method because it is easier than keeping expensive automobile parts around that could easily be broken or misplaced if not used right away.
4. Finally, operations managers and employees must choose where and how they will store their products. This decision depends on what the product is. For example, something like ice cream would need to be kept in a very cool environment before making it to the grocery or the ice cream shop.
The decisions made by an operations team are central to a business. Without operations a company could not run because none of the products would ever get to the customer without these people.