Operations managers oversee the production of goods and/or provision of services. Their job is to make sure an organisation is running as well as it possibly can, with a smooth efficient service that meets the expectations and needs of customers and clients.
An operations manager has a broad role, and the specific responsibilities will vary between different companies, but generally include:
Relevant professional management qualifications are often required for this job. It is common for operations managers to hold an honours or master’s degree in business administration or a similar subject. Many have obtained, or are working towards, an MBA. Some lower-level operations managers step up into the role from a slightly junior position within the same company. In industries such as retail or transport, it is possible to start employment in a general role as a college-leaver, and then work your way up to a senior role. However, chief executives often prefer to employ those with managerial experience when hiring from outside the organisation.
Contact each institution for their specific requirements, but these subjects are recommended:
• Computer Applications
• Information Technology
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
National Diploma: Operations Management
Durban University of Technology
Operations and Quality Management
Tshwane University of Technology
Diploma: Business Management (Production and Operations)
The Association for Operations Management of Southern Africa (SAPICS) – www.sapics.org
What training did you undergo?
I studied for a BCom Marketing degree and BCom Honours in Strategic Management at the University of Johannesburg. In addition, I undertook the Management Advancement Programme with Wits Business School and an Online Marketing Course at the University of Cape Town.
How does experience compare to formal training?
One needs to complement qualifications with relevant on-the-job training and experience in order to reach the highest level of effectiveness.
Describe your typical day
Firstly, I plan for the day and prioritise key projects and tasks. A key component of my job is ensuring that all content (film, games, publications) that’s submitted to the FPB is classified in line with the FPB Act and the relevant classification guidelines, and that content that is in cinemas and at various retailers and distributors is monitored to ensure compliance with our regulations.
What do you like most about your job?
Knowing that each day we are making a difference in at least one child’s life, in terms of what media content they are exposed to.
Which aspects are you least keen on?
The thought and the reality that we live in a society wherein certain individuals have made it their life mission to exploit and expose young children to inappropriate adult experiences, such as child pornography.
What’s been the highlight of your career thus far?
Having worked in the media industry (Radio, and Film and Publication Board) where my work touches millions of people and brings about positive change in their lives.
Your future goals?
Not even the sky is the limit for me. Due to the rapidly changing environment, I align my goals to environmental requirements at that point in time.
What advice would you give to young people starting out?
You must be passionate about public service, and love working with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. This is not a typical 8 to 5 job; it requires complete dedication, commitment and self-motivation.
Describe your job in three words
Exciting • Fulfilling • Edifying