Operations management involves overseeing business practices and processes to make sure they are running with maximum efficiency. The way resources, equipment, and technology are utilised have a big impact on the success or failure of the company. Even with the challenges in operations management, the goal is to balance the expenses of the organisation and achieve the highest profitability possible in any given situation.
Here are the top challenges in operations management that may be keeping you awake at night.
- Streamlining processes
There is always something to improve in every aspect of the business. Even if the company has been doing the same thing for years – same client, customer, raw materials, and processing techniques – there will always be areas that needs to be updated.
As the manager, you must regularly monitor changes in market demands, consumer trends, and government policies. Adaptability in these areas is vital to make sure the company remains in business and stays competitive in the arena.
Scheduling a regular review of existing practices will help you catch the areas that are bogging down the organisation. Being proactive in this situation will help stop issues in operations management from getting out of hand before they catch your attention.
Small errors can pile up and be costly to the organisation, especially when done several times. Oftentimes, the fault lies in misunderstood processes, vague guidelines, and inconsistent implementation in policies. When people follow a wrong system, expect their output to be erroneous as well.
When people start getting used to a wrong system, it will be hard to pull them back to the right path. Catching loopholes and correcting wrong processes are the challenges in operations management that you must resolve immediately.
- Consumer satisfaction
Guaranteeing customer satisfaction is one of the challenges in operations management that must be prioritised and continuously monitored for performance. Handling returns, investigating complaints, and responding to concerns all have scores that count toward consumer approval.
According to research, dependability is one of the key factors that drive the success of operations. Providing consistent, fast, and reliable customer service help establish brand loyalty.
Customers understand that there will be times they will encounter a problem with the product or service they bought. However, they expect excellent customer service to make up for the hassle. It is your responsibility to make sure adequate support is given to customer concerns.
- Internal conflicts
Friction between employees or departments is one of the unavoidable issues in operations management. It is your duty to de-escalate conflicts and guide everyone to come to an amicable conclusion that all parties can agree with.
While there are rarely any cases that elevate to a point that needs intervention from the management, the probability of it happening is still there, especially when everyone is in a bad mood and is rushing to meet deadlines and quotas.
Teams coming from different departments are often the ones that clash because of contrasting agendas. For instance, the development/manufacturing team may come in conflict with the marketing team because the latter sells products and services that the former knows are impossible to do. To make matters worse, the finance team might add pressure to the development team to do what the marketing team is requesting because the project can turn into a huge profit once completed.
Clashes between teams are detrimental to the productivity and efficiency of the whole organisation.
Operations management problems like this can be resolved by establishing clear-cut standards that everyone in the company should follow. Open communication must be enforced across teams and departments to ensure everyone is on the same page on the company’s goals, capabilities, and limitations.
- Productivity concerns
One of the challenges in operations management you will continuously face is to find ways to increase productivity. It is part of your responsibility to push people to work better, faster, and with more efficiency, but the burden lies on the method to do this.
Those who are already doing their best to perform the assigned tasks might be at their wit’s end. Carelessly pushing them to do more without checking the workload, capacity, and situation might work against pulling out their maximum potential.
The best way to resolve productivity issues in operations management is to have the proper metrics in place. Set KPIs to gauge the performance of each employee and determine which areas can be worked on to improve productivity and efficiency.
For those who fail to pass the test, offer support programs that can be headed by more experienced and senior members of the team. By providing real-time guidance, fewer errors will be committed once the employee starts to work without supervision.
- Business continuity
The ongoing pandemic has brought new challenges in operations management as it continues to upend existing processes and short- and long-term targets. In situations like this, there is no leeway for indecision as the organisation is given two simple choices: to evolve or to perish.
With limited supply, constrained logistics, disrupted workforce availability, uncertainty in regulations, and seesawing market demands, you must find ways to stay afloat and flourish amidst the crisis. You must look for solutions to retain market relevance and customer demand while adapting to new regulations and expectations.
A good example of implementing business continuity to work around the challenges in operations management is the adoption of work-from-home policies.
During these times, when going to a crowded office space is not the best choice, enabling employees to work remotely is the best option. IT companies can provide laptops so that people can still do their tasks at home and keep the business running.
Communication software to allow seamless messaging across teams can be installed on the devices. Time tracking can be difficult to do, so switching to an output-based system may be a more viable option. For productivity, an app like Focos can be introduced to the team to increase focus and minimise distractions.
- Integration of new technology
The adoption of new technology has often been the solution to the most common issues in operations management, especially in the execution of repetitive tasks. Your role is to fully understand the key features of the technology that is to be implemented. Conduct in-depth research on its potential advantages, future value, and the benefits it can provide to the organisation.
Being an early adopter of new technologies has its benefits. Technology can give you a competitive advantage, save on costs, or streamline existing processes. Being a forward-thinker can make your brand stand out and attract customers who embrace progressive and sustainable thinking.
Before considering automation, make sure all the processes have been well-established to harness optimal efficiency. Running new technology on a system with loopholes will just result in more issues in the future.
Increase Productivity With Focos
Looking for tools that you and your team can use to answer the challenges in operations management? Focos is a tool that increases productivity, focus, and efficiency.
Switching between tabs and apps, logging in and out of multiple accounts, and searching for the right software to work with are minor actions that unknowingly eat away your time and focus. You need to find a way to make your life easier while at the same improving the productivity and efficiency of everyone in the organisation.
Focos offers features that let you manage multiple accounts, tabs, apps, URLs, and other tools with minimal effort and distraction for better efficiency. It is a single place for all your apps, designed to keep you focused on the tasks at hand.
The user-friendly and intuitive layout of the Focos app needs little to no training to get you started. But if you need a demonstration of the app that you can present to your team, we can schedule one for you.
Book a demo with a product specialist.