OPS Career Opportunities

Demand for UD graduates in operations and supply management has been traditionally strong in manufacturing with growing demand from the distribution/logistics/transportation, health care and consulting sectors. Professional operations and supply management is seen as increasingly important, with more executive level positions as ever before in many organizations.

Operations and supply managers are typically involved with the planning, coordination and control of the production and delivery of goods and services. They ensure the correct amount is produced at the right cost, at the right level of quality and at the right time. The scope of the job depends on the nature of the product or service. Many companies are involved in several types of operations, adding to the complexity of the job.

Typical work activities (which depend on company size and industry):

  • overseeing the production process, drawing up production and work schedules;
  • ensuring that the production/delivery is cost effective;
  • making sure that products are produced on time and are of good quality;
  • working out the human and material resources needed;
  • estimating costs and setting up the quality standards and programs;
  • monitoring the production processes and adjusting schedules as needed;
  • being responsible for the selection and maintenance of equipment;
  • negotiating and selecting suppliers and weighing transportation options
  • ensuring that health and safety guidelines are followed;
  • supervising and motivating a team of workers;

An operations manager is involved in both the pre-production (planning) stage as well as the production (control and supervision) stage. A large part of operations and supply management involves dealing with people, particularly those who work on your team. Operations managers are also involved with product design, purchasing and distribution. In a small company you may have to make many of the decisions yourself, but in a larger organization, planners, controllers, production engineers and production supervisors will assist you. The operations manager's role is closely integrated with other functions, such as marketing, sales and finance.

In small enterprises you will spend considerable amounts of time on the shop floor supervising staff, where the environment can be both quiet and pleasant, or noisy and dirty, depending on the nature of the organization. Operations is where the action is; operations managers are actively engaged in moving a company forward; they don’t sit in a cubicle waiting to see what happened last week.

The job can be extremely rewarding; and you will definitely need good time management and attention to detail skills. Many operations managers tend to be based on one site, while others are responsible for operations in a number of locations, including locations abroad, thus giving rise to the opportunity for travel.

Operations and supply management majors at UD are consistently among the highest paid students leaving the School of Business.