Operations managers have a tough and challenging role, particularly in 2021. As we move towards a ‘new normal’, businesses are facing unexpected obstacles. As a result, innovation and ingenuity is more important than ever before. If you’re working in operations management, or you aspire to become an operations supervisor, take a look at some of the challenges you’ll be facing in 2021:
1. Supply Chain Uncertainty
There’s no doubt that supply chains were significantly impacted by COVID-19. Although firms were quick to respond to the upheaval, many companies remain concerned about the vulnerability of lengthy supply chains. However, the competing demands of globalization mean that long supply chains are often essential or advantageous.
Operations managers and supply chain managers can overcome this particular challenge by partnering with leading logistics firms. Choosing a logistics provider who can offer a wide range of transportation, such as HLOGCAM, ensures a variety of supply routes can be accessed at short notice. In addition to this, using more than one mode of transportation enables companies to have greater control over the speed at which their goods and shipments are moved from one location to another.
2. Cost Cutting
The on-going impact of the coronavirus pandemic means that millions of companies are slashing their budgets. After a year of disrupted cash flow and trading restrictions, it’s not surprising that firms are being forced to rethink their expenditure. While reducing costs and maintaining productivity has always been a key objective for businesses, it’s fast becoming a critical aspect of their long-term survival.
Within operations management, personnel are going to be under pressure to maintain or increase productivity while minimizing inputs. To achieve this, there is likely to be an increased focus on automation. By introducing new automated processes, for example, managers can maintain their operations with a reduced staff. In addition to this, automation can positively impact efficiency, which, in turn, will optimize productivity without substantially increasing costs.
3. Increased Sustainability
Although most companies will face financial and practical challenges throughout the year, environmental concerns will still be highly relevant in 2021. Indeed, the reduced emissions and carbon footprints seen at the height of the pandemic, when entire sectors were brought to a standstill, have highlighted the environmental impact that industry has.
As a result, there is public and governmental pressure on businesses to reduce emissions further. In order to achieve this, operations managers will need to ensure sustainability is a key issue during every decision-making process. By weighing the environmental effects against the financial impact of a new process, for example, operations managers can find solutions that meet a company’s needs without increasing the firm’s carbon footprint.
Building a Career in Operations Management
As you can see, operations management is an exciting area to be involved in. For current and future professionals, the competing priorities, emergence of new tech and practical demands ensure that a career in operations management will continue to be challenging, thought-provoking and, ultimately, highly rewarding.