Operational excellence managers are individuals who help their companies to streamline their procedures so that they operate more efficiently and profitably. They must have solid leadership skills and be persistent and self-directed. A person who is interested in becoming an operational excellence manager typically has to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree in business administration followed by a two-year master’s degree in this subject area. This type of manager strives to keep a company from being wasteful in the manufacturing process and studies customer views on the organization’s products. He or she also produces and analyzes financial reports in addition to training staff.
One major responsibility of an operational excellence manager is to apply lean manufacturing principles to help an organization to become more productive. These concepts essentially address how a business can trim off parts of the process of producing a good that are wasteful — anything that adds no value to a potential customer. A manager’s goal is to help the company to only produce what a client actually is willing to pay for so that it does not lose time, money, or other valuable resources.
Soliciting customer opinions on a business’ performance also constitutes a job position in this industry. An operational excellence manager, for example, might create surveys to gauge customers’ satisfaction with various products. His or her goal is to get ideas on how to improve the business’ offerings from a client’s standpoint so that the organization better retains customers and attracts new ones. Building relationships with buyers further helps a company to increase the amount of profit that it makes.
Professionals in this field must have an understanding of finance principles as well. A person who strives to improve a company’s productivity has to collaborate with the entity’s finance department to produce reports on the business’ revenues versus the costs involved in generating products. An operational excellence manager regularly puts together these documents so that he or she can determine whether his or her lean efforts are working.
Training employees is additionally critical in this career area. Operational excellence managers have to teach other supervisors and personnel the concepts of lean manufacturing and cover specific ways that they can cut costs while still maintaining quality. For this reason, these business leaders need to have solid verbal communication and presentation skills. They also should attend industry conferences so that they remain up-to-date on developments in the field.