The key functions of operations management at the airport
An operations manager in the airport is concerned with the day-to-day running of activities, including short-term and long-term planning. Key functions of an operations manager involve ensuring the steady movement of people in the airport through the setting of effective processes. It is also his duty to maintain runways in a bid to reduce snarl-ups. In addition, operations manager agrees and oversees slot allocations for airlines.
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Moreover, he must ensure safety measures are undertaken to enhance the security of customers through the implementation of safety management systems. An airport is seen as a place that involves a lot of movement and various tasks, thus making any potential disaster to have a significant impact. Therefore, it is the duty of operations manager to ensure that emergency teams, including fire department within the airport, have well-trained personnel and effective equipments.
Operations managers work with different departments to ensure efficiency. In many ways, the operations manager oversees different operations in all sections of the airport including ensuring that customer service is upheld and maintained at the highest quality level possible; for instance, any problems arising have to be solved within the shortest time possible. An operations manager is involved in long-term and short-term planning in an organization.
In relation to Birmingham International Airport’s case, the operations manager, Richards, shares long-term expansion plans to accommodate the highest number of people in the airport (Robinson 73), thus enhancing growth.
In any organization, growth is one of the most important goals. This initiative calls for improved and quality customer service delivery, efficient operations and processes, and dedicated human resources. Ensuring the correct infrastructure that is necessary for certain processes is important for the airport. An operation manager is an overall leader on the ground who must possess adequate skills and qualities to provide motivation and leadership to all employees for the benefit of all stakeholders in the airport.
In the airport, the operations manager’s functions include overseeing airlines, as well as handling agents, retailers and cargo handlers. Improving and safeguarding the environment is important, as it helps a company to improve its reputation and brand image in the face of the community in which the company operates. Indeed, it is part of compliance with the call for corporate social responsibility (Robinson 85).
Key responsibilities of the operations director including main issues/problems he faces in managing the airport
It is the operations director’s responsibility to implement processes within an organization for efficient work processes. An operations director has the mandate to coordinate and lead different teams and departments for good customer service. In addition, it is worth noting that operations directors must align themselves with the objectives and goals of an organization in order to enhance effective planning and policy implementation processes (Badenhorst-Weiss, Brevis and Cant 43).
Infrastructural development is also part of the responsibilities of an operations director, which he handles through establishing ways of building capacity in terms of customers. In terms of infrastructure, it is his responsibility to ensure that all structures within and outside the airport are in good shape. Expansion of infrastructure is always included in long-term planning of an organization, as it is one area that requires a lot of input in terms of resources and time. In this regard, operations directors use forecasting methods as a tool for expansion of the company’s facilities. Indeed, the success of such forecasts leads to improved profitability, customer loyalty, and market share within a stipulated timeframe (Mahadevan 402).
An operations director faces several challenges, which he must find solutions within the shortest time possible in order to enhance continuity in operations. One of the challenges includes diversions or delays in checking-in or checking-out at the airport’s terminals. This means that there would be more people within terminals than normal; thus, it is their duty to communicate what is happening and keeping everybody updated on the situation.
In such functions, terminal managers assist in ensuring the smooth flow of information. Incidences such as bomb threats provide operations directors with the additional responsibility of ensuring safety to all customers at the airport. Moreover, during strikes or any other incident that may paralyze operations at the airport, they are mandated to provide accommodation and transport to all passengers, including ensuring their safety.
Relationship between day-to-day tasks and long-term issues: How Richard manages to oversee both at the same time.
The primary day-to-day tasks include ticketing, baggage handling, ground crew operations and information desk activities. In addition, such tasks may also include ensuring cleanliness in common areas of use by passengers, such as toilets and other specified areas. Long-term issues involve expansion of structures to ensure more capacity for passengers within the airport or for future income streams. This calls for well-strategized operational planning to ensure the effectiveness of the airport while ensuring customers are served well. Richard, the operation manager, is in charge of all these functions, which are all expected to run smoothly.
Richard is efficient in undertaking his work of ensuring there are set processes for every function within the organization. He agrees that the job is not easy and sometimes requires common sense in order to solve certain challenges. He attributes successful operations to teamwork, as the work involves different departments. Good communication, coordination and corporation among people from different departments ensure that functions are undertaken effectively and exhaustively. In this case, Richard works closely with operations managers in different departments in order to provide a platform for sharing ideas about development and processes (DuBrin 118).
During challenges, especially regarding the security of passengers, everyone is normally asked to be vigilant and keen in order to enhance safety. However, having well-trained firemen is a strategy that will keep them prepared during times of emergencies. Richard should also ensure swiftness in terms of passenger control; this includes passenger processing and security clearance procedures. All these functions will help operations managers devise well-thought strategies that would ensure that the airline is running smoothly, as well as identify places where improvement is required (Hirst 184).
It is worth noting that day-to-day tasks fall well into strategic plans to be used in the future within the airline. They form a guideline on improvements to be undertaken; here, management is mandated to deliver on set guidelines. Both the day-to-day and long-term issues are related, as they form the company’s objectives in terms of growth in the market and objectivity in terms of conditioning improvements.
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It is important for companies to have a well-thought strategic, operational plan in order to enhance and strengthen practices within the airport. With such guidelines, they are able to make better choices in terms of machinery and digitalization of different departments for efficiency and effectiveness of work. Since airports deal with people, good and quality customer service is essential, as it guarantees customer loyalty to the airport (Hirst 274).
Badenhorst-Weiss, Hannie, Tersia Brevis and Mike Cant. Business Management: A Contemporary Approach. New Delhi: Juta and Company Ltd, 2010. Print.
DuBrin, Andrew. Essentials of Management. OH: Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
Hirst, Mike. The Air Transport System. Cambridge: Elsevier, 2008. Print.
Mahadevan, Bangalore. Operations Management: Theory and Practice. New Delhi: Pearson Education India, 2011. Print.
Robinson, Peter. Operations Management in the Travel Industry. Oxfordshire: CABI, 2009. Print.