What does a business operations manager do? (With salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 28 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Productivity and effective management are priorities for businesses across all industries. By streamlining processes and managing resources, companies can reduce waste, improve spending and focus on performance. Involved directly in enhancing in-house operations, business operations managers play a crucial role in enhancing productivity and strategically improving day-to-day processes. In this article, we cover 'What does a business operations manager do?', how much you can earn, the qualifications required and the responsibilities for this role.

What is a business operations manager?

A business operations manager is a specialist role that covers all business areas from an operational perspective. Instead of working within a single department, business operations management examines a business's processes, practices and workflows to identify strategies that stimulate progress and enhance productivity. Companies that are expanding or plan to grow in the future often hire business operations specialists to examine the functionality of their business and advise on methods to align teams, improve project workflows and achieve specific goals.

In many companies, business operations managers take on the role of an internal consultant. By advising different departments and helping to manage resources effectively, business operations managers help businesses run smoothly with lower costs. For example, a business operations manager may provide a strategy to standardise reporting between different teams, allowing for smoother transitions and reducing time spent translating information from one system to another.

Related: Operations management: definition and department roles

What does a business operations manager do?

To answer 'What does a business operations manager do?', they use their skills to create strategies and provide insight into how to use resources and improve operational functionality. For example, an operations manager may streamline workflows involving multiple departments to make the process easier and faster for internal and external clients. The size and goals of a business can change the exact role of an operations manager, with some companies focusing on change management for new methods of operation and others looking to improve the standardisation of existing practices. The national average salary for a business operations manager is £44,859.

Related: Change management plans: definition, strategies and benefits

Business operations manager responsibilities

The role of a business operations manager includes working with many different areas of a business to achieve results. For example, as an operations manager, you may work with manufacturing teams, logistics departments and order fulfilment to streamline the process from production to delivery. Some of the critical responsibilities of a business operations manager job include:

Building relationships with different teams

Business operations managers work with different departments and teams across the entire business. This practice makes it essential to build relationships with individual departments, particularly with leaders in customer service, HR, sales and marketing teams. Depending on the organisation's size, business operations managers may have their own team to manage and collaborate closely with.

Supporting all areas of the business

The support that business operations managers provide applies to the whole business. Part of that bigger picture is focusing on individual business areas to create alignment and reduce time wastage and silos. For example, you may work directly with a sales department to improve their reporting methods and process for generating leads, which supports the business by streamlining a practice that affects finance, marketing and other departments.

Creating alignment between different departments

Synergy and alignments are keywords used in business operations to help departments become more interconnected. For example, aligning sales and marketing departments can help reduce confusion in promotions and enhance productivity in advertising product launches, benefiting the whole business. By aligning departments to work together effortlessly, business operations managers can help each department contribute to the wider company's success.

Strategically analysing current operations

To identify areas of change and inefficiency, business operations managers examine the workflows and practices in departments to spot issues. Using metrics and data to analyse the effectiveness of existing methods is a valuable tool in determining which areas are the most important to change. For example, lower productivity statistics in a department can suggest a strategy that boosts productivity is vital to improving operations.

Improving business processes for higher productivity

Following analysis, business operations managers utilise their expertise to design strategies and apply models to specific operations within a business. For example, as an operations manager, you may create a plan to reduce time wastage on workflows between sales and manufacturing to enhance productivity. These plans are typically submitted to upper management to decide which areas to change and when.

Adjusting and pivoting existing strategies to account for change

Over time, the needs and goals of a business can change. Business operations managers adapt to these changes in the market and business focus to make their strategies as effective as possible. For example, the plan for an existing product line may change for a new product line that has more complexity in its manufacturing process, requiring a change in operations to account for this difference.

Reporting and monitoring business metrics

Once new strategies are in place, business operations managers monitor and report on metrics to ensure their changes remain viable. For example, following software alignment across multiple departments, you may continue to monitor productivity to confirm the current method still works for operational purposes. Frequent monitoring can also help to flag issues quickly, allowing for fast change with minimal disruption.

Related: What is an operations officer? (Plus main tasks and skills)

Supporting the resource management process

Business operations managers may implement strategies that require specific resources to succeed. For example, recruiting and training new staff may be necessary to streamline a particular operational department. Where additional resources are necessary, working with HR or upper management to determine those resources and begin the recruitment process may be part of the role.

Researching new theories and technologies

Part of the business operations manager role involves researching and exploring new theories, techniques and strategies for operations. For example, you may explore a new methodology for improving manufacturing processes and create a report for management applying it to the business's operations. By keeping up to date on new and emergency information, business operations managers can continue to improve efficiency over time.

Qualifications for business operations manager jobs

When applying for business operations manager positions, most employers look for candidates with education to degree level, such as a bachelor's or master's degree in business. Additional training in project management or specialised certifications in operations management can be valuable in finding a position within this industry. Many employers consider experience important to this job, whether you have a background as a manager in a specific industry or management in general.

Related: 8 change management certification options to consider

Business operations manager skills

As a role that involves working closely with various departments and using top-down analysis, business operations managers can benefit from a varied skill set. For example, skills in communication, strategic analysis and attention to detail are all helpful for this job. Some of the key business operations management skills to consider include:

Related: How To Write an Operations Manager Cover Letter (With Examples)

Communication

In business operations management roles, you are in continual communication with your own team, upper management and different department leaders. The ability to accurately convey your strategies is essential for successful implementation. Plus, strong listening skills can help in understanding the challenges and requirements in specific departments.

Analysis

An analytical approach to operations is a key requirement for operations roles. The skill to examine whole-business operations and focus on individual components that can affect alignment and productivity is valuable for this job. For example, analysing specific silos or bottlenecks in processes can help create strategies that resolve these issues.

Strategic knowledge

Knowledge of different strategies and methods for business operational improvement is vital for implementing change successfully. For example, using metrics and analysis to create a strategy for adjusting reporting for multiple departments. Understanding different strategic models and methods is important in choosing which effectively fits a business.

Related: What is a business strategy (and business strategy examples)

Organisation

As business operations managers work with multiple departments and teams, organisation is crucial for this career. Being able to multi-task and work on several smaller jobs helps you to manage your workload. Knowing when to delegate to team members and how to organise multiple projects within your team is vital to the overall success of operational changes.

Problem-solving

The ability to solve problems helps business operations managers to resolve specific issues that departments face. For example, identifying that poorly fitting software is a cause of inefficiency can allow an operations manager to resolve this issue with a suitable strategy. Skills in finding different solutions to problems can support you in making tough decisions and reaching the correct conclusion to specific challenges.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Related:

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  • What are business operations and how can you use them?

  • What To Include in an Operations Manager CV (With Examples)


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