Updated on: 09.02.2022

Operations Manager and Operations Management

Subject area


Operations Manager - Is everything running?

The Operations Manager is responsible for the delivery processes of a company.

What does an Operations Manager do?

An operations manager (OM), also called an operations or production manager, plans, manages and controls the delivery processes of a company that are necessary for the production of products or the provision of services. The focus is on the continuous optimisation of internal processes.

What are the tasks of an Operations Manager?

In general, an operations manager takes on a wide range of communication and management tasks. Depending on the industry and size of the respective company, the specific tasks of an OM also vary.

In manufacturing companies, the operations manager ensures that the machines are optimally utilised. Bottlenecks or free capacities in production should be avoided. Long set-up times during which the machines are at a standstill must also be avoided. If necessary, he plans and implements set-up time optimisations. With the help of certain key figures, for example output, costs or productivity, the OM ensures that the production process runs efficiently. If this is not the case, he also supports the implementation of optimisation projects, for example in the area of lean management.

In companies in the service industry , the operations manager is responsible for the smooth running of the service. He also checks whether the company's safety, hygiene and quality standards are being implemented or maintained. He is thus instrumental in increasing the quality of service. He is also the contact person for customers and employees and thus contributes to ensuring customer satisfaction.

In logistics, the Operations Manager is responsible for the correct and efficient running of those processes that are necessary for the movement of goods. This starts with the optimal handling of incoming goods and ends with the on-time delivery of goods to the customer. If there is a need for improvement, he is also significantly involved in the coordination and implementation of optimisation projects in the area of materials management and logistics. The Operations Manager is a central contact person for suppliers and customers. He supports with his professional know-how in negotiations with suppliers and measures customer satisfaction with the help of certain tools. In addition, he often monitors compliance with certain legal regulations on occupational safety.

Regardless of the industry, the most important tasks of an operations manager can be summarised as follows:

  • Continuous analysis and optimisation of the relevant processes based on specific key figures (costs, quality, output, customer satisfaction)
  • Planning and implementation of optimisation projects
  • Coordination, communication and reporting with departments and management
  • Leadership of employees

Further functions of the Operations Manager

Due to globalisation on the one hand and increasingly individual customer needs on the other, many companies today are under high competitive pressure. Due to this dynamic business environment, efficient processes are important in order to remain competitive and successful as a company in the long term. In his job, the OM ensures an efficient organisation of the important company processes. He is therefore an important factor in achieving the company's goals and increasing its success.

Typical areas of application

As an operations manager, there are many employment opportunities in companies in a wide range of sectors, such as logistics, hotels and restaurants, IT, retail or banks. Larger companies in particular often employ one or more operations managers. The job of an operations manager is a management position, usually with personnel responsibility. He or she cooperates with various departments and usually reports directly to the management. Therefore, many job offers require an academic education, several years of professional experience in the relevant field and leadership experience.

Frequently asked questions - Operations Manager

What distinguishes the Operations Manager from the Supply Chain Manager?

Both roles are characterised by their control function in operational performance processes. In terms of content, however, the tasks of the supply chain manager tend to concentrate on the design of network processes, while the operations manager has a stronger focus on the internal provision of services.