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What is an Administrative Services Manager?

By Cassie L. Damewood
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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An administrative services manager is in charge of the services that support a company’s personnel, customers and clients. As opposed to a department manager who focuses on one specific area, such as human resources, inventory control or accounting, this position entails simultaneously overseeing support for several departments. The position may entail procurement of materials or property, allocating employee space, company maintenance needs and records management. This position may also be responsible for ensuring contracts, regulations and standards for safety and insurance are followed. The number of departments assigned to the administrative services manager depends on the size and structure of the company.

All types of companies may employ an administrative services manager. Small- to large-sized companies can benefit from a person who efficiently directs support services for multiple departments. When services are directed by specific departments within a company, there may be conflict and duplication of efforts. An efficient administrative services manager prevents these situations.

In a small company, this position involves managing services for both personnel and physical administration departments. Personnel services focus on internal functions, such as payroll and administrative support; physical administration services encompass operational departments, such as mail distribution, telecommunications and parking. These departments are normally comprised of few employees and require only one person to successfully manage their support service requirements.

Larger companies often employ several administrative services managers. In these environments, the administrative services management hierarchy may be structured according to entry-, mid- and upper-level management requirements. Each tier of management commonly has an administrative services manager who focuses on specific service needs.

Some companies require employees in this position to do double duty. They are sometimes perceived as having a light workload, simply administering services. Because of this, they may be required to serve in other managerial capacities that match their skills, such as personnel, purchasing, contract administration or operations.

An administrative services manager normally oversees such diverse departments as materials handling, data processing, secretarial support, facilities maintenance and payroll. Having a background in any or all of these fields can help her obtain employment as an administrative services manager. Any management experience is also considered an excellent qualification for the position.

The ability to effectively prioritize projects is an asset for this job. It is also helpful to have successful experience in multi-tasking and conflict resolution. Effectively communicating with all levels of management and personnel is highly desirable. Experience in administrative or executive support is an advantage.

A bachelor’s degree in business administration or a field related to the company’s business is helpful in securing an administrative services management job. Background in management may be accepted in lieu of a degree. This position is often a preferred transitional move within a company where advancement into management is desired.

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