What is the link between operations management and strategic planning?

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Let's start by defining some terms. Operations management is essentially about keeping things organized in the operations or production arm of your business. It involves procuring the raw materials required to do the job, managing workers and ensuring that machinery remains in mint condition.

Strategic planning is the process of figuring out where you want your business to go; what areas you want to grow and what your plans for the future are.

So, how do they work together? If strategic planning is the heart and backbone of your business, then operations management is the arms and legs. Strategic planning is where the high level decisions and plans are made, and operations managers are the people who do the work and make these goals realities.

For example, let's consider a factory that makes shoes. Strategic planning, which is carried out by upper management, would determine that output needs to be produced by 20 per cent in the next financial year. Operations managers would then step in and make sure that the factory had enough machines to make the extra shoes. They would also order the extra raw materials required and make sure they had enough staff to keep the factory running for enough hours to meet the new target.

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Operations management can be summarized as planning, organizing, controlling, and performing all activities necessary to turn inputs into outputs. Its main function is to ensure the business processes are performed efficiently by utilizing minimal resources and effectively to produce the output that the customer needs and expects.

Strategic planning is responsible for setting the priorities and focusing all resources available towards achieving the business’ goals and objectives. Its main function is to ensure the best decisions are made with regards to the customer, resources, and business activities.

Operations management is related to strategic planning because planning is a key function of operations. Strategic planning is necessary for ensuring business processes are focused on the intended goals and objectives. It will also eliminate waste of resources and improve the effectiveness of business processes, which is key to operations management.

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