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What is an Operations Coordinator?

By Cassie L. Damewood
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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An operations coordinator is the person in charge of organizing and synchronizing the activities of various managers and departments within a company. Unlike an operations manager, who directs the company’s actual operations, an operations coordinator makes sure that the schedules, meetings and goals of each department work in harmony. His or her job is to spot conflicts early on and resolve them to the satisfaction of all of the involved parties. Depending on the industry and the discretion of the human resources director, the position might also be referred to by another title, such as events coordinator or information coordinator.

Communication Skills

This person must be a master communicator to be effective and successful. He or she also must be able to adapt quickly to change. If even one department changes its plans, goals or objectives, it could significantly affect the company’s overall operations. The coordinator's role requires him or her to quickly assess the effects of changing circumstances and develop strategies that will minimally influence other departments. The ability to quickly and independently process ideas and implement changes is an invaluable attribute for an operations coordinator.

Planning and Scheduling

Proactively planning and scheduling projects is another important part of an operations coordinator’s job. This requires interacting with outside agencies and organizations as well as making sure that the company’s key personnel are available as needed. Many times, the job entails simultaneously arranging multiple projects, which requires exemplary scheduling and time management skills. It also requires meeting with outside contractors, service providers and vendors to settle on specific details.

Computer Skills

Having excellent computer software skills is a great asset for an operations coordinator. Being able to electronically communicate internally and externally saves time, and planning schedules is simplified by the use of computer spreadsheet and calendar software. Expertise in creating visual presentations with multimedia software also can be helpful.

Supporting the Operations Manager

An operations coordinator is often expected to assist the operations manager in addition to his or her other responsibilities. This generally requires regular reviewing and sometimes revising the manager’s schedule. The position also might require him or her to make travel and hotel arrangements for the operations manager and to confirm itineraries.

Qualifications

Educational requirements for an operations coordinator position vary greatly from one company to another. A bachelor’s degree is sometimes required, but the requirement might be waived if comparable work experience is evident. A suitable work background might include clerical or administrative support positions that proved the candidate to be an excellent communicator and to have proficient multitasking skills.

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Discussion Comments

By anon992904 — On Oct 10, 2015

I started out as an administrative assistant. After 8 months, I was promoted to operations coordinator. I got a pay raise, and I'm involved with 95 percent of all activities and functions in our branch. To be an OC, you kind of need to have OCD (just came up with that). You need to be highly organized, on target with time management, be a multitasking fiend, communicate with various types of personalities ( internal employees and external partners), handle human resources matters, train new hires, stick by the book (enforce any and all policies). On top of the daily tasks I submit our merchant files to corporate for our in-house product.

It's a lot of work, but if you don't love the task loads, don't even go for it. I do it because I like knowing that what I do has a direct effect effect in our branch's growth. I love being the core of the organization. One works behind curtains, with little to no recognition. Finishing a difficult task or having an upbeat day is fulfillment enough.

By anon304952 — On Nov 23, 2012

I was a service crew in McDonald's. After six months, I was promoted to Store Activities Representative (STAR) and stayed in that company for four years.

Afterward, I joined Wendy's as Assistant Restaurant Manager. Now after six months of experience, I was offered a job in VeganBurg, Singapore as an Operations Coordinator. Don't give up! There are always opportunities. It might not be in the company you work in, but maybe outside? Good luck guys!

By anon286209 — On Aug 20, 2012

@ReallyWillie: My advice is to be proactive, take on more, revolutionize your responsibilities, identify gaps and close them in your position. Stand out, show you're serious about your career and being a team player. I started as a call center rep three years ago and will be applying for a Ops Coordinator position today, having had a myriad of experiences over my time.

By Greenivy — On Apr 30, 2011

@reallywillie - I had to leave the company I worked for to make a move up. I moved up from the front desk to become a scheduling coordinator. Believe me, if you're pinning all your hopes on things changing once you become an operations coordinator, you might want to think again. Many of my duties are the same, I just make more now!

By ReallyWillie — On Apr 29, 2011

I want to be an operations coordinator and am a receptionist right now. Has anyone moved up successfully into this from an entry level position where they work?

By meghan36 — On Apr 26, 2011

Wedding coordinators are some of the most efficient operations coordinators out there. They have one chance to make sure everything goes correctly. Seeing the big picture and remembering small details is a must.

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