8 Facts About Director of Operations

When you work at a company it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations without looking too far out in the future. Manufacturing plants are fast paced environments with a lot of moving parts.

Unless you have someone to set long term goals then things can get swept under the table which could mean disaster later on. So it only makes sense that companies hire an individuals with the foresight to look into the future. Who are these individuals you might ask?

Well the the professionals who make sure that these disasters do not happen are known as Director of Operations (A.K.A Chief Operations Officers). Not to mention they are highly experienced professionals with a lot of knowledge backing them up.

This week FoodGrads is uncovering the facts behind this important job and the people who do it.

1. The Director of Operations organizes and oversees daily operations

The Director of Operations is the individual responsible for:

supervising the day-to-day operations of a food manufacturing plant and establishing long term goals for a company. In order to achieve these goals they assign schedules, work tasks and ensures that all shifts reach optimal schedules. They oversee all aspects of a manufacturing processes including maintenance and facilities, production and shipping and receiving. Through analysis and collaboration they are able to improve business processes and ensure that plants work at the highest levels of operation efficiency. The director of operations apply lean manufacturing concepts to reduce cost and improve productivity by developing continuous improvement programs. Overall, they provide leadership for manufacturing operations.

2. Director of Operations perform continuous improvement 

The director of operations implements methods and procedures to drive continuous improvement and cost reduction initiatives. One way of doing this is by developing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the success of manufacturing processes and initiatives. Measuring these allows the these professionals to know what areas they are on track and what ways they need improving.

For example, they may change the plant layout in order to drive a higher level of efficiency. This eventually leads to cost reduction and higher efficiencies over time.Image result for kpi

3. Director of Operations have this education

Due to the oversight needed for this profession is not uncommon for a company to require an individual to have at least 10 years of experience working in a senior management role within a manufacturing facility. This is important because it allows the individual to have the insight to where improvements can be made within a manufacturing plant. 

It is almost always a requirement that the director of operations as a bachelors degree of some sort. Many companies do not specify which types of degree are required but common educations backgrounds include Operations management, Industrial Engineering, Logistics. If you are are interested in this position it is also ideal that you look into obtaining an advanced degree such as an MBA.

4. The Director of Operations create avenues for employee development

In order for a company to grow they need the workers to grow with them. One of doing this is by promoting a culture of accountability and team work within a plant.

The director of operations develops the capacities of front line leadership through mentoring, training, and coaching. Furthermore they develop working relationships with internal and external customers and foster positive associate relations.

african african american agenda agreement american black business businessman businesswoman cafe coffee shop congratulating corporate corporate business deal development employee greeting handshake man marketing mature meeting notebook notes optimistic partnership plan planning positive positivity research restaurant shaking hands strategy success suit tanned team teamwork technology white woman worker hand professional

5. The Director of Operations follow regulations 

You might think that only Health/Safety Managers and Quality Managers are knowledgeable about food safety regulations but this isn’t necessarily the case.  The director of operations must ensure that their manufacturing plant are compliant to all food quality employees health safety rules.

6. Director of Operations need experience in demand planning

One important aspect that a director operations needs to undergo during their job is demand planning. This is a skill that becomes better as time goes on. These professionals are responsible for planning, scheduling and coordinating the workload schedules of day-to-day activities of the operation.

Overall, they need to determine the current and future equipment needs to allow for increased production volume and quality enhancements for the efficient production of both current and new products. laptop macbook working cafe coffee technology drink business brand design graphs charts

7. Director of Operations create recommendations

Formulates and recommends manufacturing policies and programs that guide the organization in maintaining and improving its competitive position and the profitability of the operation. They also direct and monitor shift supervisors to accomplish goals of the manufacturing plan, consistent with established manufacturing and safety procedures.

8. Director of Operations have these set of skills 

As with any occupation there are certain sets of skills which will aid you better than others. For a director of operations these skills include:

  • Leadership- The director of operations needs to be an energizing, positive cheerleader who promotes ownership and accountability. In this role you are constantly encouraging people to improve and by having the right attitude this can help moves changes along in the right direction.
  • Decision Making- In order to be an effective leader, director of operations take their time when making decisions by going through a process. Once a decision is made they stick to their choices because they know they have analyzed the situation. Being able to make strong decisions lead better visions and goals with in a company.
  • Interpersonal skills- Director of operations communicate constantly with outside vendors and members within their organizations.  Interpersonal skills like listening, decision-making and verbal communication have to be strong as these professionals are looked to for leadership.

Author: Veronica Hislop – Veronica is a recent FoodGrad working as Quality Assurance Technician at a snack food company. She graduated with a Chemistry degree at Ryerson University and has a passion for bringing awareness to sustainability in the food industry. When Veronica is taking a break from her food endeavours you will find her at home reading a great novel and playing with her cats.


Would YOU like to learn how to get involved and become a FoodGrads Campus Ambassador/Career Partner? What about sharing your voice when it comes to promoting food SUSTAINABILITY? Great, we’d love to have you!

Interested in a career in Food & Beverage?  Join FoodGrads for FREE today! www.foodgrads.com 

Please leave your comments below 🙂