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4 Challenges Operations Managers Face

Operations Managers

Operations management is an extremely important part of many businesses. This is because operations management departments are responsible for making companies efficient, and for overseeing important business processes that are integral to the overall health of the organization. For example, operations management professionals often have to handle things such as supply chains and logistics, delivery management, and maintaining computer and internet infrastructures.

Due to the many responsibilities that operations management requires, operations managers can often face a number of difficult challenges. Here are some of the top challenges that operations managers commonly face.

1. Sustainability

In the modern business climate, consumers are arguably more environmentally and socially conscious than they have ever been before. Regulations for pollution and waste are also tighter than they have ever been before. This means that sustainability is both a challenge, and also a priority for many businesses.

Sustainability is a growing trend, and in fact, in 2010 alone, 3.1 million jobs in the United States were associated with providing green goods and services. With sustainability being so important, operations managers now have to work to make sure that that their companies are complying with all regulations while also making sure that their sustainability efforts are satisfying their customers.

Pollution or accidents that are harmful to the environment have lasting negative impacts on a company’s reputation. The BP oil spill is a perfect example of this. So, operations managers now must make sure that such accidents never happen, and that their companies are as green and sustainable as possible in order to keep up with consumer preferences.

2. Corporate reporting

Corporate reporting is the reporting that businesses have to provide to shareholders and relevant government agencies such as the SEC. Corporate reporting is a large task, and it involves collecting high volumes of data. This data involves many key business statistics. Investors use these statistics to try to figure out whether or not they want to buy, sell, or hold company stock, and regulating agencies use this data to make sure that the company is adhering to the law.

Corporate reporting can be a major challenge for operations managers because it is time consuming, and because it must be done with complete accuracy. If it is not, then it can lead to penalties and fines, and to other consequences such as investors losing faith in the company. If investors lose faith in the company and start to dump stock, then it can be very bad for a business.

3. Communication

In a company, many different teams operate simultaneously all trying to handle their responsibilities and make help the company to run smoothly. However, these teams often have to communicate with one another and they frequently disagree with one another about policies, strategies, and ideas.

Operations managers have to attempt to resolve disputes between departments and make key decisions which affect each department. They also have to communicate changes, decisions, orders, or other things which can impact multiple departments. Trying to handle all of the communication responsibility that is necessary to do these things can be a major challenge for operations managers. In fact, it can be one of the most difficult things that operations managers have to deal with.

4. Recruiting

Finding and keeping talented workers can be very difficult for operations managers. In fact, in one study, 65 percent of recruiters say that talent shortage is the biggest challenge in recruiting. Recruiting can be particularly stressful for operations managers because obtaining key talent is a high priority in order to create a strong company.

This means that operations managers not only have to work with HR departments to find great talent, but they also have to create a corporate environment that is appealing to talented individuals. If they cannot do this, then it is unlikely that they will be able to bring the most talented individuals to work for their company.


Operations managers are key for many businesses in terms of optimizing efficiency and profitability and helping the company to run well. However, the job of operations manager is not easy and comes with many challenges. Sustainability, corporate reporting, communication, and recruiting are all significant challenges for operations managers.

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