The day-to-day operations are broken into two categories of functions:
· Line: Those that contribute to the creation of products and services
· Staff: Those that support the ones creating the income-generating assets
These functions are symbiotic, and the management of the two groups are not for the faint of heart. The mounting task of managing the day-to-day operations grows in complexity alongside the business.
Meeting the Goals: The Day-to-Day Operations
What goes on throughout the day to meet the goals of business?
- Managing employees
- Protecting and optimizing data & resources
- Directing finances, supply chains, and environment
- Handling customer service and the fulfillment of orders
The overall goals remain the same between the line and staff but, being separate entities, there are differences and overlaps in the day-to-day operations.
Employee management begins early and continues throughout the day. Scheduling and dictating tasks take on the brunt of the management. These tasks adhere to legal guidelines (handled by HR).
Tasks for the line may include:
- Research & development
Management overlaps between the line and staff, but differences arise as they tend to take focus toward safety (line) and interpersonal communication (staff).
The research & development tasks handled by the line are not always aligned to the goals of the staff. Those on the line seek functionality of the product or service through efficiency – typically does not have an intuitive user experience and attractive design. Marketing, part of the staff, must find a way to bundle the offer into an enticing presentation. Clashes erupt until a middle-ground is found through compromise.
In logistics, the line uses optimized routines developed by staffing contributions (see finances) yet develop systems that are efficient for their workflow. The day-to-day operations of the line of logistics must adapt to sales fluctuations and timing.
The protection of data & optimization of resources ensures the business operates smoothly. These are daily challenges considering the demand for data security. This includes using policies for user permissions, protecting intellectual property, and customer information. As the complexity of business operations expands, so does the need for the appropriate resources.
The challenge of HR and management is satisfied through business intelligence tools. If they are well-trained, then they know what to look for in BI software to condense multiple platforms into a central hub, optimize workflow, and produce actionable reports.
Customer relations are at the center of attracting and retaining customers (thus creating the baseline revenue for operations), improving profits (through their care), and reporting to the line operators with feedback from customers (to improve product/service development).
Duties are handled using a CRM (customer relationship management) tool. Management spreads to other vital areas including social media, face-to-face interactions, email, and documentation.
Duties for the staff may include:
- Customer service
- Order management
The finances are all-encompassing and are typically handled in-house through DIY book keeping solutions for many small businesses. Though, it’s the reason for a dedicated, well-versed individual (or team) to take control of the financial management once the business grows.
Daily duties of these individuals include the management of:
- Revenue and expenses
- Payroll and tax obligations
- Accounts receivable/payable
- Inventory holding and control
The financial department also plays a role in determining operations planning and setting benchmarks against competition within the industry. This may change daily depending on the success of ad and marketing campaigns.
To Each Their Own
Every business has an inherent need for the basic day-to-day operations to stay afloat and turn a profit. Some businesses take a wildly different approach, while others remain conservative. Whichever approach your business chooses – align the goals of the line and staff to encourage success.