Often the unsung hero of your business, a good operations manager can have a huge effect on your company when it comes reducing costs and increasing efficiency. But their expertise doesn’t have to only help your procurement practices. Operations managers can share a lot of lessons that benefit everyone in your business, from company executives to those working in your development team. Here are a just a few of the most important lessons you might want to take away.
Lesson 1: Involve Yourself in the Processes
Good operations managers are able to assess their processes accurately by being directly involved in daily operations. By placing themselves on the front lines and observing personnel at work, these managers can ensure that staff is on track to meet company objectives. Watching how the workflow operates first-hand provides managers with a very vivid picture of how a department is performing. Further, it’s the best way to correct mistakes, offer guidance on how tasks can be better completed, gauge efficiency and analyze any problems that may occur. This also allows them to better plan for change that not only address problems, but identify new opportunities as well.
Lesson 2: Cultivate Talent in Your Team
Brilliant procurement operations managers realize that everyone on your team is responsible for maximizing your company’s overall performance, regardless of how menial some of those tasks may be. In order to encourage your team members to buy in, you need to ensure your employees feel valued. Consider how you can nurture the abilities of teammates before trying to lure and groom someone new. Skilled managers are adept at recognizing outstanding talent within their own walls, so keep this in mind when you’re trying to foster company culture and improve the stability of your team.
Lesson 3: Make Small Changes First
None of us learned how to walk before we knew how to crawl. The same metaphor applies to operations managers looking to make changes within a company. Consider the negative effects of large-scale changes before overhauling procedures and make smaller alterations first to test your proof of concept. Examine the current workflow and deftly tweak the process—this could mean giving one colleague an additional responsibility or shortening the timeline of a project. Managers need to then assess the costs and benefits of those changes, factor in delays, disruptions and effects on internal operations. Incremental changes that improve performance without sacrificing quality and staff morale, will indicate how adaptable a company may be to larger changes down the road.
Lesson 4: Never Stop Learning
Leadership authority Ken Blanchard stresses that “When you stop learning, you stop leading.” Even if operations managers are already experts in their field, they should always look for new ways to improve their performance. In particular, managers should always be exploring how new technologies can speed up company workflow and increase efficiency. For example, by using using software from Procurify, managers can automate their purchasing workflow, leaving them with more time to focus on managing their team and identifying new opportunities.
Lesson 5: Take Calculated Risks
It can be comfortable to rest on your laurels, but if you want to push your team and grow your company, you need to put your experience to the test and take risks. Calculate the probability of failure and weigh that against opportunities for success. This will help to mitigate any fears of failure and keep any reckless ventures in check. Regardless of the outcome, the results can serve as valuable learning experiences that can benefit the well-being of an organization in the long run.
Good employees recognize that they can learn important lessons from other members of their team, regardless of what department they’re in. With their wealth of knowledge and focus on streamlining your processes, operations managers are fantastic teachers. Apply what you’ve learned from any of these lessons in your day-to-day operations and see how small changes can make a big difference to your bottom line and company morale.
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