Aerospace Electronics - Director Operations, Toronto
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About the Company
Our client is a Toronto-based world-class designer and manufacturer of advanced microwave, millimeter-wave and electro-optic components and sub-systems.
Our client was founded in 1992 on a mission to provide high reliability, cutting-edge RF solutions. The company has grown by focusing on customer success and by assembling a fully-integrated, skilled team of experts in high frequency circuits and systems, communication and radar subsystem design, engineering and custom manufacturing.
The firm is uniquely vertically integrated through all key functions including RFIC design in GaAs, GaN ,SiGe and CMOS, thin film manufacturing, automated HMIC (Hybrid Microwave Integrated Circuit) Assembly, CNC machining, PC Board population, and system integration and test, allowing responsive, high quality support of customers’ demanding requirements. The firm’s expertise in developing customized RF and electro-optic sensing and communications solutions makes our client a critical partner in commercial aerospace, defense, industrial, medical, space and SatCom markets.
Our client consistently invests heavily in IR&D and boasts a large engineering team with most having advanced degrees in their realms of specialization. In the past few years our client has further augmented its R&D footprint by developing strategic research partnerships at selected universities in Canada and the US.
Our client occupies a 65,000 square foot state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing facility in Toronto including Class 1000 to 10,000 clean rooms. The firm’s systems maintain compliance to AS9100C and ISO9001:2008 and encompass all the core capabilities needed for end-to-end electronic product development, redesign and life cycle maintenance. The firm also maintains a second facility in Canada.
To best serve US customers with ITAR restrictions, and to provide a 2nd source with identical capability, our client has also established a US-based design and manufacturing facility focused on MMIC and high power device design.
Scope of the Position
Reporting to the President and CEO, the Director of Operations will be responsible for ensuring that the organization's manufacturing strategy and execution capabilities are consistent with the company’s strategy of establishing and maintaining unique and defensible manufacturing barriers to entry within the global Space, Aerospace and Defense industries.
This will include the control and management of all direct manufacturing operations in Toronto as well as the company's smaller manufacturing operation in other non-US locations. The organization's 175-200 strong, non-unionized operations (planning, testing, assembly, automation etc.) team is seasoned and knowledgeable.
Our client is committed to operational excellence in a rapidly changing and growing global market. The Director Operations will be called upon to play a leading role in achieving that ongoing goal.
This is an outstanding opportunity that features:
- Strong industry and company growth
- Proven, innovative technology
- A successful organization with committed ownership
- Highly entrepreneurial culture
- A highly educated and diverse employee structure
- An opportunity to make a real difference
- Evaluate existing manufacturing processes, policies and practices in the areas of planning, manufacturing/assembly, test, materials usage, shipping and receiving, production scheduling, safety, customer satisfaction, and performance metrics/measures. Make recommendations to improve each, focusing initially on current bottlenecks.
- With the support of the CEO, implement enhancements as required.
- Instil ‘best practices’ culture of excellence
- Evaluate staff related processes and procedures including work rules, position descriptions, responsibilities, training etc. with a view to both optimizing productivity and enhancing employee relations. Gain alignment with needs of the business
- Oversee operations budgets to ensure compliance with organizational expenditure targets seeking always opportunities for cycle time and cost reductions.
- Manage materials/inventory and vendors to ensure that production and financial goals are achieved
- Ensure that operations capabilities are scalable to meet future growth projections for the business
- Ensure that operations group has a clear, well conceived roadmap for growth
- Ensure that operations are compliant with all provincial and national regulatory standards pertaining to health and safety, quality and labor management
- Work closely with and ensure alignment with the quality function and processes
- Proactively pursue strong positive relationships with employees while implementing an appropriate culture of accountability.
- Motivate staff through being a positive, objective and encouraging yet non-compromising champion for continual improvement.
- Mentor and coach staff and provide them with development plans to continue their growth.
- Contribute to the overall executive management of the firm, as part of the senior management team.
- Work closely with finance and business development to ensure expectations are aligned.
- Remain abreast of the industry, competitors and trends
- Report regularly and proactively to senior management on results, challenges, opportunities and plans going forward.
The following competencies listed below define the role of Director Operations.
Established and communicates clear priorities and sense of direction. Clarifies roles and responsibilities. Adapts management style to achieve optimum results.
Focuses strongly on achieving agreed upon outcomes and ensures that key objectives are met. Conveys a sense of urgency and drives issues to closure. Aims to improve upon past performance. Establishes aggressive personal targets and strives to achieve them.
Recognizes when change is necessary. Challenges the status quo and champions new initiatives. Acts as a catalyst to change and stimulates others to change. Develops an effective plan to implement change and monitor results.
Planning and Objective Setting
Systematic in approach to work. Produces action plans in which objectives are defined and steps for achieving them are clearly specified. Plans by breaking down large tasks into subtasks. Develops plans that anticipate obstacles. Is realistic about time-scales and builds in appropriate checkpoints, milestones and controls in order to ensure that desired results are realized.
Applies appropriate commercial and financial principles. Understands situations in terms of costs, profits, added-value and return on investment. Appreciates the commercial impact of own work on the organization's total expenses and revenues.
Strives for excellence in products, processes and/or services through continued evaluation, enhancement and redefinition of quality standards.
Scalability and Automation
Recognizing that our client’s immediate focus is to maintain manufacturing in Canada, the US and Europe where skilled labour is both expensive and limited, the ability to implement and execute scalable processes will be a critical measure of success.
Helps to create a sense of team spirit and harmonious relations through cooperation and support. Balances personal goals with those of the team. Fosters collaboration among team members.
Demonstrates critical technical or professional knowledge/skills related to the role. Has thorough knowledge of relevant products, services and methods. Expands technical knowledge/skills and keeps up-to-date in own area of expertise.
Key Performance Deliverables
In light of the identified responsibilities, the following are the type of deliverables that the position is designed to achieve.
- Evaluate current KPIs: recommend appropriate changes to, implement, report regularly on and improve eg. expenses, scheduling, product cost, safety and client service
- Instil continuous improvement and service delivery culture of excellence
- Team work – Effectiveness in working with the sales, finance and product development teams to achieve the business objectives.
- Building overall effectiveness of the team along with morale
- Client satisfaction – delivery of a quality product that meets or exceeds client requirements
- Expense control – Meet or exceed approved budgets or forecasts.
- Employee Relations – employee churn, grievances, productivity, satisfaction etc.
- Reporting – On-time accurate monthly reports and forecasts.
The following indicates specific industry, and functional experience/qualifications that are important to the successful achievement of the identified responsibilities and performance deliverables.
- Proven experience in driving change and in aligning manufacturing to rapidly changing global markets
- 10-15 years progressive manufacturing management experience
- A track record of manufacturing excellence
- Experience in sophisticated electronics manufacturing environments
- Engineering degree, preferably with an advanced business degree
- Experience in mid-sized growth-oriented private manufacturing companies would be highly valued.
- Strong team orientation well suited to building consensus
- A bias for action combined with a hands-on approach and an entrepreneurial spirit.
- A sophisticated understanding of the processes and metrics required for manufacturing success
- Highly competitive compensation commensurate with the right candidate.