Career Development

What Does an Operations Support Do?

Find out what an Operations Support does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as an Operations Support.

Operations Support roles serve as the backbone of a company’s daily functioning, ensuring that all departments have the resources and guidance they need to operate efficiently. These professionals work behind the scenes, coordinating various tasks such as managing databases, handling logistics, and providing administrative assistance to keep the workflow smooth and uninterrupted. Their efforts are geared towards creating a structured environment where both the technical and non-technical aspects of a business harmonize, allowing teams to focus on their core activities without being bogged down by operational challenges. By maintaining a keen eye on the operational needs of a company, individuals in Operations Support positions facilitate a seamless execution of tasks, contributing to the overall productivity and success of the organization.

Operations Support Job Duties

  • Manage and maintain inventory levels, ensuring availability of necessary materials and equipment for smooth operations.
  • Process and document orders, ensuring accurate entry into the system and timely fulfillment to meet customer demands.
  • Coordinate logistics and shipping schedules, liaising with vendors and transportation providers to ensure on-time delivery of goods.
  • Implement and monitor operational procedures and workflows to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Handle customer inquiries and resolve issues related to orders, deliveries, and services to ensure customer satisfaction.
  • Analyze operational data and reports to identify trends, forecast needs, and recommend improvements.
  • Oversee maintenance and repair of operational equipment and facilities to ensure they are in good working condition.
  • Develop and conduct training programs for new hires and existing staff on operational processes and systems to ensure compliance and proficiency.

Operations Support Salary & Outlook

For Operations Support, salary variations often hinge on industry sector, company size, and specific role responsibilities. Experience level significantly influences earnings, with those possessing niche skills or expertise in high-demand areas commanding higher pay. Additionally, the complexity and scope of the operations managed can greatly affect compensation.

  • Median Annual Salary: $49,875 ($23.98/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $105,000 ($50.48/hour)

The employment of operations supports is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

This growth is driven by the increasing complexity of supply chain logistics, the need for efficient workflow optimization, and the rising demand for customer support in e-commerce. Operations Supports play a crucial role in addressing these challenges by ensuring smooth operational processes and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Operations Support Job Requirements

Education: Operations Support roles typically require a diverse educational background, with many holding Bachelor’s Degrees in Business Administration, Operations Management, or related fields. High School Diploma holders often complement their education with courses in computer literacy, communication, and basic accounting. Those with Some College Courses or Associate’s Degrees might focus on subjects like project management, logistics, and information systems. A Post-Secondary Certificate in areas such as supply chain management or customer service can also be beneficial, providing specialized knowledge relevant to the operations domain.

Experience: For the Operations Support role, candidates typically possess a blend of on-the-job experience and participation in specialized training programs. Ideal applicants have a background in operational procedures, demonstrating proficiency in organizational and problem-solving skills gained through practical work. Experience in a similar role, showcasing the ability to manage tasks efficiently and support operational goals, is crucial. Continuous learning through formal training programs or workshops to stay updated with industry practices is also valued, ensuring the candidate can adapt to evolving operational needs.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications and licenses are not typically required for Operations Support roles.

Operations Support Skills

Workflow Optimization: Analyzing workflows meticulously to pinpoint inefficiencies and deploying strategic changes enhances operational efficiency and productivity. It involves a detailed examination of processes, identification of improvement areas, and the implementation of effective modifications to boost performance and optimize resource use in support roles.

Inventory Management: Keeping track of stock levels to align with demand without overstocking is crucial. With a focus on detail and market trend prediction, this skill ensures smooth operations by reducing costs associated with excess inventory and preventing stockouts that could lead to lost sales.

Quality Control: Conducting thorough inspections and tests at various production stages ensures products meet established quality and performance standards. A systematic approach to documenting findings and executing corrective measures prevents future issues, maintaining high-quality outputs.

Supply Chain Coordination: Aligning procurement, production, and distribution processes streamlines operations and reduces supply chain disruptions. Attention to detail and risk anticipation abilities are essential for ensuring timely product and service delivery.

Risk Management: Proactively identifying potential threats and developing strategies to mitigate them protects assets and personnel. This skill requires a forward-thinking approach and the flexibility to swiftly adapt and implement effective solutions, ensuring organizational resilience against unexpected disruptions.

Compliance Monitoring: Keeping operations in line with internal policies and external regulations demands a thorough understanding of complex legal requirements. Continuous process monitoring, auditing, and corrective action implementation are necessary to prevent compliance breaches and protect the organization’s reputation and financial health.

Operations Support Work Environment

Operations Support roles often find themselves in dynamic office settings where the physical layout is designed to facilitate both individual focus and team collaboration. The workspace is typically equipped with standard office technology, including computers, phones, and sometimes specialized software to manage operations efficiently.

Work hours might lean towards the traditional 9-to-5, but there’s a growing trend towards flexibility, accommodating different work-life balance needs. Dress codes vary widely, from business casual to more relaxed attire, depending on the company culture, which often emphasizes teamwork, open communication, and a supportive environment.

Health and safety protocols are given importance, especially in ensuring ergonomic workstations. The noise level is generally moderate, though it can spike during busy periods, reflecting the sometimes fast-paced nature of the work. Interaction with others is a constant, requiring a blend of technical know-how and interpersonal skills. Opportunities for professional development are usually available, aiming to keep pace with evolving operational practices and technologies.

Advancement Prospects

Operations Support professionals have a clear trajectory towards roles such as Operations Manager, Project Manager, or even Chief Operations Officer (COO) with the right experience. Advancement often involves taking on more complex projects, demonstrating leadership, and improving operational efficiencies.

To progress, individuals should focus on mastering data analysis tools and software specific to their industry, as these skills are crucial for optimizing processes and decision-making. Gaining experience in cross-functional team leadership and project management is also key, as these roles require a broad understanding of the business and the ability to coordinate diverse teams.

Understanding the financial aspects of operations, including budget management and cost reduction strategies, can set a candidate apart for higher-level positions. Those aiming for top-tier roles like COO should also develop a strong strategic mindset, enabling them to contribute to the overall direction and growth of the company.


What Does a Unit Manager Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does a Concession Manager Do?