Frequently asked questions

  • What are the three roles of operations management?

    Operations managers have a huge array of responsibilities. Three key areas that they run include planning, organising and controlling/improving.

    Planning involves setting a business’ strategic objectives and deciding how the company is going to use its resources to reach those objectives.

    In the context of operations management, organising describes creating an internal structure for the business, deciding which jobs are needed and making sure that departments are sufficiently staffed to reach their targets.

    Controlling and improving involves making sure that a business both maintains its standards and, where appropriate, exceeds them.

  • What are the four Vs of operations management?

    The four Vs of operations management are volume, variety, variation and visibility.

    Volume refers to the overall amount of products or services the business produces. Some businesses will create a huge amount of products, like fast food restaurants, for example. Others, such as a hand-crafted furniture business, will have a much lower output.

    Variety describes the number of different types of products and services a business produces, and how different they are from each other.

    Variation covers how predictable a business’ operations are. Is there always a spike in sales over certain months and a drop in others, for example.

    Visibility is how much the business sees the customer and vice versa. A restaurant or shop, for example, would have high visibility. Something like a factory, on the other hand, would have low visibility.

  • What are the five basic principles of operations management?

    The five basic principles of operations management are planning, process, people, possessions and profits.

    Planning involves setting goals and strategies and creating budgets. Process describes how the business is run. Technology such as Square’s online checkout and point-of-sale system can help ensure the payment-processing side of the business runs smoothly.

    The people are the staff working for the business. Possessions are the business’ assets and capital, while profit is the money the business generates after all of its outgoing costs have been accounted for.

  • What is an example of operations management?

    A manufacturing firm might make household appliances, say irons or kettles, for example. They will have processes in place to turn the raw materials into the finished article and it’s quite common to employ an operations manager who will oversee the procurement of materials, the production line, inventory, quality and maintenance.

  • What is the purpose of operations management?

    Healthy profits rely on good, lean and efficient running of a business. A poorly run business is at risk of lower profits or even closure. Operations management ensures resources are used effectively and efficiently to achieve maximum output whilst minimising cost and risk.

  • Importance of operations management for business success

    Operations management may not be the most captivating part of business but it is a critical one. It’s the oil that keeps the engine running smoothly, it streamlines and optimises business processes, reducing costs and increasing profits. It has a direct impact on a business’s reputation and perceived customer experience increasing its chances of growth and long-term success.

Information at any stage.

Previous stage: Launch your business

From choosing the right business licence and insurance to setting up payroll and hiring your first employee, we’ve got the resources and information you need to start your business successfully.

Next stage: Grow your business

Growing your business is always an exciting challenge. From tactiful marketing advice to business expansion strategy, we have the tips and tricks to help you take your business to the next level.