Vice-President Operations Custom Manufacturing GTA (West)

About the Comapny 

Our client is a Canadian manufacturer of custom products for specialized indoor and outdoor applications.  The firm is an uncontested leader in its field with customers across North America. The firm is growing, profitable and exceptionally well regarded in its industry.

Our client’s success has been built on innovation, uncompromising service excellence, flexibility, value, and passion for its customers’ success. A loyal, committed and entrepreneurial team makes this all possible.

Long privately owned and founder-led, several years ago our client chose to accelerate its growth by welcoming private equity partners. The results have been success on every front. As the firm now prepares for the CEO’s planned succession it is creating a new position, that of Vice-President Operations, that will have the specific responsibility of ensuring that the operations organization continues to execute and scale to meet that growth. In parallel, the incumbent will learn the business and prepare for broader leadership responsibilities at the firm.


Scope of Position

Reporting to the company’s CEO, the VP Operations will be responsible for all matters relating to the company’s production processes from the ordering of goods and raw materials through to the efficient assembly and quality of products sufficient to keep pace with market demand.

In achieving this, the VP Operations will evaluate all existing systems, processes and metrics with a view to recommending and then implementing continuous improvement mechanisms and disciplines which will minimize production costs and waste while maximizing production and quality outputs.

No less important, the VP Operations will achieve these results by cultivating positive relationships across the organization while nurturing a culture of excellence.

This is an outstanding opportunity that features:

  • Strong industry and market leadership
  • Committed Ownership
  • Growing market opportunity
  • A chance to make a real difference
  • An opportunity to grow into a full P&L role.

   Functional Tasks 

  • Develop, align and execute operational plans to strategic plans.
  • Assess and evaluate all current production processes, make recommendations and execute ongoing changes that improve efficiencies and cost effectiveness.
  • Refine key performance indicators (KPIs) and other metrics by which to better monitor, manage and improve operations.
  • Develop strategic projects to identify and deliver key business improvements throughout operations from identifying initial potential opportunity, delivering the business case, gaining approval and delivering to agreed scope, budget and timescale.
  • Cultivate a continuous improvement or related lean manufacturing (eg. Kaizen) culture across the organization.
  • Play a hands-on role in managing all day-to-day operations working closely with key managers and team members.
  • Supervise preparation of production schedules and plan ordering cycles to ensure production volumes can be met.
  • Implement and manage systems for the ordering or goods and raw materials that minimizes stockholding quantities yet is suitably timed to ensure uninterrupted production of all of the company’s product lines in keeping with the market demand for each product. Work closely with the sales organization on demand planning/forecasting processes.
  • Continually evaluate costing and supply chain strategies and approaches against best practices.
  • Strategic planning, budget preparation and accountability for operational matters within the budget process.
  • Ensure that all team members understand their objectives and that they are monitored. Provide regular and constructive feedback.
  • Manage and oversee the maintenance and servicing of the company’s production equipment to minimize down times while maximizing the efficiency and working life of all production equipment and machinery.
  • Ensure that operations provide input into current performance management systems. 
  • Ensure that operations are compliant with all provincial and national regulatory standards pertaining to health and safety, quality and labor management.
  • Ensure that quality processes and standards are compliant and continually enhanced.
  • 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.
  • Proactively pursue strong positive relationships with employees while implementing an appropriate culture of accountability.
  • Motivate staff through being a positive, 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 sales to ensure expectations are aligned.
  • Support the CEO in refining the roadmap for the business. This will include an assessment of the company's existing market opportunities, competitive positioning and growth opportunities going forward.
  • Work closely with the other management team members to learn the business

Key Performance Deliverables

In light of the identified responsibilities, the following are specific deliverables that the position is designed to achieve.

To be discussed and agreed upon with the successful candidate


Competency Profile

The following competencies listed below define the role of Vice-President Business Development at our client

Results Orientation
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. Stays ahead of the noise and sets the tone and agenda daily to drive the management team and employees towards the company’s goals.

Planning & 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 task 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.

People Management
Establishes and communicates clear priorities and sense of direction. Clarifies roles and responsibilities. Adapts management style to achieve optimum results.

Customer/Client Orientation
Strives to provide customers/clients with personalized and efficient service. Anticipates customers'/clients' needs. Quickly follows up on customer/client contacts and complaints. Monitors and acts on measures of customer/client satisfaction.

Strategic Approach
Develops a strategic plan to realize the vision. Revises strategy in light of changing circumstances. Takes a long-term view of organizational success. Works to clarify long term organizational goals. Able to stand back from immediate problems in order to focus on more far reaching ideas.

Information Seeking
Consults widely for business or technical advice, probes for facts and obtains information from a wide variety of sources. Differentiates the critical from the irrelevant or trivial.

Industry & Market Awareness
Seeks to anticipate and respond to industry and market changes/challenges by understanding key characteristics, issues and the factors driving them. Aware of competitor's products, services and position.

Commercial Acumen
Applies appropriate commercial and financial principles; Understands situations in terms of costs, profits, added-value and return on investment; Imagines future possibilities. Thinks broadly and investigates a wide-range of alternatives in developing a vision for the future. Selects the most promising vision from a range of alternatives and communicates this vision to others.


Preferred Experience / Education

The following indicates specific industry, academic and functional experience/qualifications that are important to the successful achievement of the identified responsibilities and performance deliverables.

  • Minimum of 15 years of experience in customer or low volume/high mix manufacturing processes;
  • Experience in implementing best practices in operations, quality systems, and engineering
  • Significant change management, business transformation experience within mid-sized and private businesses.
  • Take charge orientation.
  • Experience in striking a balance between substantive yet measured change that moves the organization forward without risking its future.
  • Complementary business experience that can be leveraged in the current role and for future growth opportunities.
  • A track record of success distinguished by having cultivated positive working relationships with staff, peers and superiors.
  • Project management experience beneficial.
  • Excellent communication and analytical skills.
  • Strong leadership abilities.
  • A dynamic and self-motivated person with structured working style who can achieve results without much supervision.
  • Experience in complex ERP/manufacturing/business systems and their utilization
  • Experience gained within a sheet metal assembly, tech/electronics manufacturing environments advantageous
  • Proven experience working with and developing high performance teams
  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, business or finance, or combination of work history and education.

Remuneration & Benefits

  • Competitive base pay, variable and long-term incentive plan.

If interested, please contact:

Robert Hebert

StoneWood Group, Toronto
Bus. (416) 365-9494 Ext. 777
Mob. (416) 889-9494
rhebert@stonewoodgroup.com