The Versatility of Operations

What is operations? That’s what most people ask when they first hear about it. Operations is helping the inner workings of a business run smoothly and efficiently. It requires a lot of problem-solving. If you’re in operations, you need to connect with everyone in the business to solve problems and make everything work behind the scenes. 

What Do You Do in an Operations Role?

An operations role is different in every business. It depends on what is needed. You could focus on software and making it more efficient, handle the finances, or improve the efficiency of sales, marketing, or customer success. Operations requires versatility and adapting quickly. 

Usually, someone in operations hires new employees. You have to think of how well someone will fit into the company. Thinking about their personality, skill set, and enthusiasm helps you decide if someone is a good fit. This goes back to efficiency. Someone who will be a great fit for the team will be easier to integrate and train. It will take you and everyone else less time to train the person. 

My Operations Experience

At Barnes and Noble, every once in a while, we reorganize a section. Recently we reorganized cookbooks because it was getting impossible to find anything. Everything was mixed up and it took us so much time to find one cookbook. I helped go through and organize the cookbooks by type, so it would be easier to find everything. We separated vegan, vegetarian, international, and regular cookbooks. I put each of them in their own section.

This took a lot of time. It was satisfying when we finished, and now it’s much easier to find the correct cookbook. This increased efficiency saves all of our employees’ and customers’ time. We also worked together. Since there aren’t really specific roles at Barnes and Noble, everyone is in sales, marketing, customer success, and operations. 

This goes back to collaboration. Everyone has to work together to make everything run more smoothly and efficiently. It’s important for everyone as an individual to look for a problem and figure out how to fix it. Then it doesn’t fall on one person’s shoulders.  

Conclusion

Operations is probably the most complicated role because it can change so rapidly. You can be responsible for many things and it can be different in every job. An efficient mindset is important. However, this makes an operations role exciting. If you love solving problems and making everything more efficient, operations might be for you!

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