Operations Director Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Operations Director, or Chief Operating Officer (COO), ensures the everyday activities of the company run smoothly. Their duties include coordinating efficient production of the company’s goods, ensuring that the company’s overall operations are cost-effective and supervising the company’s retention procedures and processes.


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Operations Director duties and responsibilities

As high-level executives, Operations Directors are responsible for a wide variety of tasks. Their main duties and responsibilities include:

  • Developing, improving and implementing operations and production plans to meet company goals
  • Managing the day-to-day operations of every department, establishing company policies, implementing necessary changes and adhering to compliance procedures, laws and regulations
  • Evaluating overall company performance
  • Providing all necessary reports, assisting management in goal setting and promoting company growth and anticipating and forecasting trends and patterns of the company and marketplace
  • Managing finances, developing, monitoring and analysing the departmental and company budgets and financial reports
  • Creating financial plans for increasing revenue margins
  • Allocating the company’s resources, materials and equipment to the most productive functions, supply chain and delivery management
  • Creating operation strategies to minimise stock losses, implementing initiatives to reduce company costs and increasing employee productivity


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What does an Operations Director do?

The Operations Director is second in command of a company just after the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), usually working 40 hours per week. Sometimes they need to work longer weekly hours, which includes travel. Operations Directors work in almost all industries including retail and wholesale companies, manufacturing, government, hospitality and banking sectors to improve revenue and decrease costs. Some companies hire one or two Operations Directors, while larger companies may employ more depending on the size of their organisation.


Operations Director skills and qualifications

An Operations Manager must demonstrate exceptional organisation and planning skills. Other skills and qualifications include:

  • Excellent computer skills with the ability to analyse business intelligence and big data that identify revenue opportunities and operations improvements
  • Expert use of word processing and spreadsheets, MS Office and business software such as WMS, ERP and CRM
  • Ability to use dashboards to drive performance measures, maximise company growth and asset development
  • Strong leadership and communication skills for training and motivating teams, creating the vision for the future of the company
  • Problem-solving for improving processes, increasing efficiency and profits
  • Expert knowledge of safety, efficiency and product quality standards
  • Expertise in managing vendor and partner relationships, contracts, agreements and the procurement process
  • Knowledge of industry’s legal rules, guidelines and diverse business principles and functions


Operations Director experience requirements

An Operations Director requires five years of experience in a management role and 10 or more years of experience as an Operations Director or equivalent. Experience in managing and leading a team in fast-paced work environments within the same industry is important. Employers also look for statistical proof of expertise in lowering a company’s costs and increasing productivity and revenue.


Operations Director education and training requirements

Larger corporations often require the Operations Director to have a master’s degree in business administration, including studies in organisational behaviour, strategic and financial management and operations management. Smaller company employers may only require an Operations Director to have a bachelor’s degree in operations, business management or related field. Highly valued certified qualifications include a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) qualification at Level 6 or Level 7 and Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) certification. Other esteemed certified qualifications include  Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) and those from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).


Operations Director salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Operations Director is £75,445 per year. Salary may be dependent on experience, location and company.


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Operations Director job descriptions FAQs


What is the difference between an Operations Director and an Operations Coordinator?

Operations Directors have full responsibility for cost-effective production, reducing costs and increasing revenues. They deal with all departments and oversee company finances. Operations Coordinators handle project management, ensure sufficient resources and materials are allocated and have some financial oversight. They play a role in the disciplinary and termination process.


Who reports to the Operations Director?

The Operations Director supervises high-level managers, including General Managers from different areas of the company, the Operations Manager and Operations Assistant. Department heads or Vice Presidents in sectors such as manufacturing, purchasing, quality control and human resources also report to the Operations Director.


What should you look for in an Operations Director CV?

Look for a master’s degree in business administration or operations management with prior experience as a Director or Operations Manager. The CV should include results-driven analytical skills and cost improvements in operational decisions. Reliable references and continuous dates of employment are also a plus.


What qualities make a good Operations Director?

Qualities that make a good Operations Director include quick decision-making and successful problem-solving skills. A positive attitude is great for team building. Curiosity leads to improved processes and procedures, and excellent planning skills result in strategic and long-term production plans.

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