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Operational Target


An Operational Target in finance refers to a specific, measurable goal that a business aims to achieve within a certain time frame. This target is directly linked to the daily operations of the company and is designed to improve efficiency, productivity or profitability. It helps a company determine what needs to be done for its growth and raises the effectiveness of its operations.


The phonetics for the keyword “Operational Target” is: /ˌɑː.pəˈreɪ.ʃən.əl ˈtɑːr.gɪt/

Key Takeaways

1. Definition: Operational targets are specific, quantifiable goals that an organization or division works towards in order to accomplish its strategic objectives. These can be related to various aspects of the business, such as sales, productivity, efficiency, or customer service.

2. Implementation: Operational targets are typically set by senior management and communicated to all levels of the organization. They are often tracked and monitored regularly to ensure progress and adjust strategies as necessary.

3. Importance: Operational targets bring structure and focus to an organization’s daily operations. They provide a clear direction for teams and individuals, enabling them to understand their role in contributing to the overall success of the organization.


The operational target is an important concept in business/finance because it serves as a definite goal that an organization seeks to achieve in its daily operations. These targets are the specific, measurable outcomes that are directly related to the company’s strategic goals. Operational targets guide the activity of the organization by providing clear directions and expectations for performance and productivity. This allows businesses to gauge their performance, identify areas of weaknesses, and undertake improvements. In essence, operational targets aid in performance monitoring, planning, decision making and increasing the overall efficiency and profitability of an organization.


The purpose of an operational target in finance or business is primarily to provide a clear outline of specific objectives that a company expects to achieve over a set period of time. These targets may pertain to various aspects of operations such as sales volumes, cost management, productivity, or service quality. By setting these targets, businesses can make sure their day-to-day activities align with their broader organisational goals. They also provide a benchmark to evaluate performance, improve efficiency, and guide decision-making processes.Operational targets are extensively used for performance measurement and management. They enable a company to monitor progress and evaluate how effectively resources are being utilised towards meeting defined objectives. If a firm consistently meets or exceeds the specified targets, it is an indication of strong operational performance. Conversely, if a business underperforms against these goals, it signals a need for reevaluation and possibly, strategic adjustment. Therefore, operational targets are fundamental to operational control, driving continuous improvement, and achieving strategic objectives.


1. Operational Target in a Manufacturing Plant: A manufacturing company can set their operational target for producing a specific number of units within one quarter to keep up with the expected demand. For instance, a car manufacturing company that plans to produce 10,000 units in a quarter. The operations team will then set plans, schedules, and strategies to achieve this target.2. Operational Target in a Banking Institution: In the financial sector, operational targets may revolve around customer service. For example, a bank can set an operational target of reducing customer waiting time to a maximum of five minutes per transaction to enhance customer satisfaction and improve service efficiency. 3. Operational target in a Retail Company: A retail store can set an operational target related to inventory management, such as maintaining a certain stock level to ensure they never run out of best-selling items. If the company identifies that certain products tend to sell out quickly, they may set a target to always have these items in stock and to reorder before reaching a low-stock level to prevent lost sales.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does the term Operational Target mean in finance and business?

Operational target refers to predefined, measurable goals that an organization or business sets to attain specific outcomes. These targets are usually tied to the day-to-day operations and functions of the firm.

Why are operational targets important?

Operational targets are critical as they help businesses stay focused towards their strategic goals. They also assist in resource planning, monitoring performance, and making important operational decisions.

How are the operational targets set?

Operational targets are typically set by the management team based on company goals, market dynamics, competitive landscape, and available resources. They involve a clear understanding of strategic plans and include metrics that are quantifiable, realistic, and timely.

What are some examples of operational targets?

Examples of operational targets can vary across industries and business but may include targets related to cost control, productivity, efficiency, quality, delivery time, customer satisfaction, and employee performance.

How often should operational targets be reviewed?

Operational targets should be reviewed periodically for relevance and practicality. The frequency of review may depend on the business environment, ongoing market conditions, or the specific nature of each target.

Can operational targets change?

Yes, operational targets can and should change as the organizational goals, market conditions, and strategic plans evolve. Changes should be effectively communicated to all relevant parties to ensure alignment.

How do operational targets contribute to the company’s overall success?

Operational targets contribute significantly to a company’s success by providing clear direction, facilitating prudent resource allocation, enhancing performance tracking, improving decision-making, and fostering continuous improvement.

What challenges can a business face while setting and achieving operational targets?

Some common challenges include aligning operational targets with strategic goals, setting realistic and measurable targets, monitoring progress efficiently, managing changes in targets effectively, and ensuring communication and understanding of targets across the organization.

How can a business accurately measure its success in reaching operational targets?

Businesses typically use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure how effectively operational targets have been achieved. KPIs can include metrics such as sales growth, production costs, order delivery times, customer satisfaction rates, etc.

Related Finance Terms

  • Operational Efficiency
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Goal Setting
  • Process Improvement
  • Performance Metrics

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