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Administrative managers are often the glue that holds the office together. Also known as an office manager, business manager or the director of operations, these individuals may manage a specific department in a large company or oversee the office operations of the entire organization in a smaller company. Depending on the organization, this person may have a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree in a subject like business or facilities management. Regardless of the organization's size, administrative managers often juggle a laundry list of activities to ensure that the company runs smoothly.
Coordinating the company’s administrative operations to make sure the office flows smoothly is a key objective of the administrative manager. The office is the central hub of the company, and one of its functions is to ensure that the rest of the company can work unhindered and undisturbed, which requires coordinating activities. For example, when the conference room is going to be painted, the rest of the staff should be notified in advance and, if possible, provided with an alternate meeting room. If the alarm system is going to be tested, or the air conditioning is going to be cut off, these notifications should also be provided.
The office’s functionality is another key objective of the administrative manager. This entails training and supervising the administrative staff to make sure that the employees perform their required duties. Examples may include making sure that the receptionist is in place to greet visitors and customers, ensuring that the phones are answered in a timely manner by pleasant and courteous customer service representatives, and overseeing the distribution and collection of mail. It may also involve supervising employees or contractors who handle cleaning, maintenance, repair and other essential functions. Written policies and procedures typically play an important role in achieving functionality.
Administrative managers are responsible for maintaining the various types of equipment used by a company. This may range from purchasing, leasing, keeping records of, placing service calls for and replacing such office equipment as copiers and telephones. It may also include ensuring that company vehicles function properly and have current license, registration and insurance documentation. The administrative manager may also be charged with overseeing the maintenance of equipment, machinery and tools specific to the company’s business. Good negotiation skills are beneficial in bargaining for the best price when purchasing or leasing equipment.
Maintaining a well-stocked supply room or other designated area is another objective of the administrative manager. They ensure that supplies are ordered, stored, distributed and restocked. From copier paper, notebooks, file folders and other paper items to staples, tape, pencils and pens, employees depend on the administrative staff to keep administrative items on hand. Other types of supplies may include laptop and cell phone batteries, coffee, bottled water, and toiletry items. Administrative managers often negotiate contracts to get better prices for supplies, especially if they order in bulk.
Sustaining the Facility
Another objective of the administrative manager is sustaining the overall appearance and condition of the facility. This involves making sure the building adheres to health and environmental standards. It also includes handling the security of the facility, which may involve overseeing the distribution of building and office keys and observing security monitors. Overseeing construction, renovation and maintenance projects is also a part of sustaining the facility, as is the maintenance of signage and lawn and exterior areas.