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The role of the Operations Director

23 Feb 2021

An operations director is a pivotal role at the heart of a business. 

The operations director oversees all operational aspects of company strategy, helps set strategic goals and is responsible for the flow of operations information to the chief executive and the board. Responsibilities vary according to the size, sector and maturity of the company.

This factsheet summarises the role, main responsibilities, knowledge, skills and experience required.

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Main purpose

To direct all operational activities of the company to ensure that business objectives are met efficiently and effectively.

Main responsibilities

  • Contribute to corporate strategy in the areas of production, purchase, distribution and supply chain to ensure that the company achieves its short and long-term objectives.
  • Direct and oversee operations staff to ensure that they are motivated and trained to carry out their responsibilities to the required standard.
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure that core operational functions achieve their business objectives.
  • Develop and control operational budgets to promote profitability and ensure the company has all the resources required to meet its objectives within agreed financial parameters.
  • Direct and control production to ensure that finished goods of the required standard are available to customers within agreed costs and at the right times.
  • Oversee purchasing to ensure that the company has the goods and services required for production purposes within agreed costs and quality standards and at the right times.
  • Direct and control warehousing and distribution functions to ensure that customers are supplied with the right quantities of goods at the right times.
  • Direct and control supply chain operations.
  • Develop all necessary policies and procedures to ensure safe and healthy working environments across all company locations.
  • Maintain working relationships with all other directors to ensure effective co-ordination of all company activities in support of corporate objectives.
  • Evaluate overall company performance by gathering, analysing and interpreting data and metrics.
  • Act as the company’s main adviser on all issues relating to operational functions and keep abreast of latest developments to ensure that the company maintains its competitive position.

Knowledge skills and experience required

  • A degree or equivalent and relevant professional qualifications
  • Extensive operations management experience 
  • Significant industry experience 
  • In depth knowledge of diverse business functions and principles eg, supply chain, customer service etc
  • Thorough knowledge of the company and its products and processes
  • Analytical skills to evaluate data and performance/operation metrics 
  • Excellent inter-personal and negotiating skills
  • Excellent organisational and leadership abilities
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Excellent decision-making skills

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