The secret weapon of someone who works in operations is efficiency. A habit of someone in operations is to optimize processes to decrease the cost of goods per unit, making it possible to sell at a lower cost and leaving a margin just high enough to remain agile in competitive business environments.
Today’s efficiency models date back to when Toyota shifted to a “just-in-time” model, focusing purely on production costs, product quality, and delivery, and worker involvement to minimize excess time and overall costs. This model became the foundation for today’s more commonly used efficiency model, lean manufacturing. Production from a system pushing out products in batches is taken to a flowing system that systematically produces single units as needed, at an optimum cost.
See The Big Picture
If you work in operations you have to make sure your focus remains on the overall objective, instead of the narrow focus of different department goals. Operation leaders are team players who can pull everyone together to push towards the main goal.
Focus on Quality
Anyone who knew the way Steve Jobs ran Apple, knew he held his products to a high standard and expected his employees to mimick his demand for production. By setting high standards for himself and everyone around him, Jobs was able to take Apple from a company once in decline, to the most valuable company in the world in 2012 at $623.5 billion — exceeding the previous record of $618.9 billion set by Microsoft on Dec. 30, 1999.
Focusing on quality can also drive down costs by helping you gain an advantage over the competition.
Working in operations, you’re keeping track of a million things at once, so making sure you have a good system in place to keep everything on schedule is a great habit to have. Be familiar with Slack, Asana, Deputy, Hubspot, Hootsuite, and Excel. Knowing how to stay on top of everything and not procrastinate will serve you well in this field.
Operations is a multi-faceted field, even though being in Operations may not mean you’re in the spotlight of the company, it does mean you’re a vital part of the company. Without you performing the everyday, nitty-gritty tasks keeping everything from falling apart, the business wouldn’t last any longer than the pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day.