inventory management

What is an Operations Manager: A Guide for Small Manufacturing Businesses

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Scaling a small manufacturing business solo can be a daunting task: on one day you might be counting stock, and the next, you’re handling a query about your product on social media.

If you are feeling that you are at the point in your business growth that you need to start delegating some of the day-to-day, then hiring an Operations Manager may be your next best step to guarantee your future growth.

In this guide we will look at what an Operations Manager can do for your small manufacturing business, and how they can help you succeed.

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What Does an Operations Manager Do?

Let’s start with defining what an Operations Manager is.

An Operations Manager is a member of the team that is responsible for ensuring your supply chain and manufacturing processes are reliable, predictable and - above all else - sustainable.

This role typically includes areas such as budgeting, production scheduling, inventory control, quality assurance, and employee relations.

The operations manager also ensures that all activities are completed in a timely manner and within budget. They are responsible for setting targets for production and ensuring that these targets are achieved.

Additionally, they will monitor and analyse any problems that may arise in the production process, and take steps to resolve them as quickly as possible.

What Skills Does an Operations Manager Need?

A successful Operations Manager needs to have a wide range of skills in order to be successful. They should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as they will need to collaborate with various departments within the business such as marketing, sales, and finance. They should also be analytical and have an eye for detail, as they will need to identify any problems that may arise in the production process.

Additionally, they need to be organized and able to manage multiple tasks at once, as well as have experience with project management and inventory software (we’ll cover a typical tech stack for an Operations Manager later in this article).

Finally, a successful Operations Manager needs to be able to think strategically and come up with creative solutions for any challenges that may arise.

What is the Job Description of an Operations Manager?

A typical job description for an Operations Manager in a small manufacturing business might include:

  • Overseeing day-to-day operations, including production, supply chain management, inventory control, quality assurance and customer service.
  • Developing, overseeing, and monitoring budget and production targets.
  • Analyzing production data and creating manufacturing dashboards to identify any problems or potential improvement areas.
  • Maintaining an accurate inventory of materials and products.
  • Ensuring that all staffing needs are met in a timely manner, and that all employees have the necessary training and resources to do their jobs effectively.
  • Coordinating with other departments, such as finance, marketing, and sales.
  • Developing policies and procedures to ensure the smooth running of the business.

What is a Typical Tech Stack for an Operations Manager?

Most operations managers will need to be familiar with various software tools in order to do their job effectively. This could include a spreadsheet program such as Excel, inventory management software like Craftybase, and or project management tools like Monday, Trello or Asana.

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Additionally, depending on the integrations you need to maintain between shipping and fulfilment systems, they may need experience with various programming languages in order to write code, no-code or low-code for automated processes or custom reporting.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Operations Manager?

Hiring an experienced Operations Manager can provide your small manufacturing business with a number of benefits.

Firstly, they will be able to help you streamline and optimize your operations, allowing you to focus on other aspects of the business that contribute to “moving the needle” such as sales and marketing.

A good operations manager will be able to ensure that all production targets are met in a timely manner, while keeping costs under control - as maintaining profit margins is key to growing your business this position can almost “pay for itself” in the long term.

Once your operation manager has the key quality processes in place, they will also be able to identify any potential issues before they arise, helping you avoid costly delays or disruptions in production.

How can Craftybase MRP help supercharge your new operations hire

Craftybase is a software solution designed to help small manufacturing businesses manage their manufacturing processes more efficiently.

The software tracks inventory, costing, and production schedules, providing real-time data to help you make informed decisions about your business. By using Craftybase, your newly hired Operations Manager will be able to quickly access the data they need in order to successfully manage production and maximize efficiency. Additionally, Craftybase is also able to automatically sync with many popular e-commerce and POS systems, allowing you to keep track of orders, customers, and inventory levels in one easy-to-use platform.

With its powerful features and user-friendly interface, Craftybase can be a great asset to your business and help supercharge the effectiveness of your operations hire. Try our free 14 day trial today!


In conclusion, an Operations Manager is a crucial role for small manufacturing businesses. By hiring an Operations Manager and utilizing software like Craftybase, your small manufacturing business can thrive and grow.

Nicole Pascoe Nicole Pascoe - Profile

Written by Nicole Pascoe

Nicole is the co-founder of Craftybase, inventory and manufacturing software designed for small manufacturers. She has been working with, and writing articles for, small manufacturing businesses for the last 12 years. Her passion is to help makers to become more successful with their online endeavors by empowering them with the knowledge they need to take their business to the next level.