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Careers in Operations Management
Job Options

There are a wide variety of career options in the field of operations management. Some key opportunity areas are:

Operations Manager
The operations manager is focused on optimizing general corporate infrastructure by monitoring and changing the work environment, vendor selection, supply chain management, real estate and budgets.

Materials Manager
Stores a product through all phases from production to finished goods, shipping between departments, transportation to distribution centers, warehouses, and customers. Materials mangers must insure that the firm has the right item, at the right time, for the right price. This holds for both good and services. For services, the emphasis is on ordering, receiving, storing and distributing any resources required to perform the service. Jobs include: traffic manager, warehouse manager, logistics manager, materials manager.

Purchasing Manager
Buys the goods and services, raw materials, and supplies required by the firm for its operation. They coordinate the quantity, quality, price, and timing delivery appropriate for the firm's needs. Every firm makes certain purchases each day. Basically every sector deals with purchasing: public and private. Purchasing people spend on average, half of the income of the firm for which they work. Jobs include: expediter, buyer, purchasing agent, purchasing manager.

Industrial Production Manager
Coordinates the activities of production departments of manufacturing firms. They are responsible for the production scheduling, staffing, quality control, equipment operation and maintenance, inventory control, and coordinating the unit's activities with that of the other departments. Jobs include: line supervisor, manufacturing manager, production planner, production manager.

Operations Research Analyst
Decides on the best allocation of resources within an organization or system. Resources include time, money, people, space, and raw materials. They might also compare competing research projects to determine what one performs best on time, results, and cost given a fixed set of resources and recommend what project to keep and what project to drop. Jobs include: industrial engineer, systems analyst, office manager, forecaster.

Quality Assurance Manager
Works on the prevention of product deficiencies through prevention, detection, and correction. They ensure that production goals and quality are met. They might sample, inspect, and test operations and set standards. With the advent of the Malcolm Baldridge Award many of these manager are part of a firm's total quality management strategic initiatives. Jobs include: quality assurance manager, inspector, technician.

Facilities Coordinator
Designs the physical environment of a company. Work on building design, furniture and associated equipment.

Logistics Manager
Responsible for supply chain management in a key area of the corporation. Focused on efficiency and accuracy in receiving and shipping goods. Highly process focued.


"Our business is about technology, yes. But it's also about operations and customer relationships.

Michael Dell, Dell Computer


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