Operations rules everything. It’s the operators in the control room. It’s the engineers trying to figure out why the oxidizer keeps going down. It’s the guy in the warehouse making sure it’s first in first out. It’s the account manager getting yelled at on the phone by a customer. It’s the technician making $15/hour waiting for the viscosity to stabilize before signing off on a passed quality test. You need it all to work in harmony if you want to stay in this game for the long run.
Value a company based on their ability to ship products and samples at progressively higher scales as fast as your customers can send the requests. Bonus points if they can pivot at a reasonable pace when given new information too.