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Careers in Operations Management
Facts and Trends

Jobs in Every Sector Including Services
Opportunities for operations careers exist in every industry, from manufacturing and service organizations, government institutions, to education, and retail companies. The phenomenal rate of growth in the service sector relative to the manufacturing sector is creating vast opportunities for operations in service industries.

Total Focus on Supply Chain Management
Increased efficiency in product flow is called for in industry after industry, from clothes and cars, to computers and chemicals, executives placed logistics/distribution (getting the right goods to the right place at the right time) near the top of the corporate agenda. Supply chain management / logistics has become the focal point of operations The process by which firms move parts, materials & products to customers. Basically this means getting the right stuff to the right place at the right time. Industry after industry, executives have taken this once dismal discipline off of the loading dock and placed it near the top of the corporate agenda. In 2009, American firms spent $970 billion -- wrapping, bundling, loading, unloading, sorting, reloading, and transporting goods. A whopping 10.5% of the GDP. As competition becomes more global streamlining the supply chain is becoming increasingly important.

Concentration of manufacturing jobs
Half of U.S. manufacturing jobs are in 5 industries: industrial machinery and equipment, transportation equipment, electronic and electrical equipment, fabricated metals, and foods.

Hot growth industries
Bustling activity in manufacturing centers include: robotics, fiber optics, computer software, hardware, and peripherals, laser technology, commercial printing, medical technology, and telecommunications.

Don't let the size fool you
According to Purchasing magazine 80% of purchasing professionals work in small- and medium-sized organizations.

Environmental Innovations come to the forefront
Manufacturers are finding that "green" or environmental solutions are no longer just a government regulation to suffer through, but are becoming an important characteristic of competition. Firms are searching for innovative ways to lower emission releases and new ways to reduce costs for dealing with these releases as a way to gain an edge on the competition.

Determining future need and filling it
Forecasting is becoming an increasingly important tool for goods-producing and service-producing firms. Firms must forecast the pattern of demand for just-in-time production to be effective. In response to intense global competition U.S. companies have adopted a variety of management practices to improve their competitiveness: just-in-time, total quality management, worker empowerment, design for manufacturability, outsourcing, etc.


"It's not a question of arriving and putting in a whole new administration, but instead, arriving and "compacting" things as much as possible, reducing management layers. We want as few management layers as possible, so that executives are very close to the operations. We also don't believe in having big corporate infrastructures."

Carlos Slim Helu


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