Food Manufacturer – Vice-president Operations – GTA


About the Company

Our client is a fast-growing, well-established food manufacturer headquartered in the GTA area with manufacturing facilities in Canada and the US. The company manufactures and distributes products to bakeries, delicatessens, grocery and food service operators throughout Canada and the US. The company boasts a dominant market position in several of its product categories which continue to be expanded upon.

Privately owned, our client has a rich tradition of innovation and an impeccable track record of long-term growth and profitability. Over the past five years alone our client has more than doubled revenues while successfully undertaking several major equipment/capacity expansion initiatives. A loyal, committed and entrepreneurial team makes this all possible.

With further growth and expansion on the immediate horizon the firm is seeking to fill the position of Vice-President Operations, which will have the specific responsibility of ensuring that the operations organizations in Canada and the US continue to execute and scale to meet that growth.

Scope of Position

Reporting to the company’s President, 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 production and quality of product quantities sufficient to keep pace with market demand. The successful candidate will be responsible for the manufacturing facilities in Canada and in the U.S.

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
  • Highly innovative and motivated culture
  • Growing market opportunity
  • An opportunity to make a real difference
  • Succession opportunity

   Functional Tasks 

The VP Operations will provide strong leadership to the operations-related functional (production, quality, maintenance, supply chain and sanitation) ensuring that the team are encouraged and feel free to contribute and implement ideas that will improve the business.

The areas of responsibility include:

  • 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.
  • Develop meaningful 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.
  • Set up working systems which minimize loss of packaging materials during the production process.
  • 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.

Key Performance Deliverables

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

  • Evaluate current KPIs: recommend appropriate changes to, implement, report regularly on and improve eg. expenses, product costs, lead times, safety and client service.
  • Instil continuous improvement and service delivery culture of excellence and accountability within operations
  • Team work – Effectiveness in working with the sales, finance and product development teams to achieve the business objectives.
  • 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.

Competency Profile

The following competencies listed below define the role of VP Operations at our client:

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.

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.

People Management
Establishes and communicates clear priorities and sense of direction. Clarifies roles and responsibilities. Adapts management style to situation to achieve optimum results.  Develops a high-performing team that delivers in a highly complex organization or situation.

Leading Change
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 action plan to implement change and monitors results.

Quality Orientation
Strives for excellence in products, processes and/or services through continued evaluation, enhancement and redefinition of quality standards.

Developing & Coaching Others
Accurately assesses strengths and development needs of employees. Challenges others to improve their abilities and actively supports their development. Continually provides timely and constructive feedback, coaching and challenging learning opportunities. Adjusts coaching style based on each employee’s ability and motivation level.

Adopts an energetic approach; Works towards goals and willingly tackles demanding tasks; Demonstrates capacity for sustained effort and hard work over long periods of time, even in the face of adversity.

Self Confidence
Expresses and conveys confidence in own ability to complete tasks successfully. Displays personal resolve in the face of opposition. Seeks challenges and independence.

Team Skills
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.

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.

  • 10 to 15 years of broad-based manufacturing, operations, engineering process management, process improvement and related experience within the food, beverage or pharmaceutical sector.
  • Experience in implementing best practices in operations, quality systems, and engineering in multi-plant environments
  • 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.

Remuneration & Benefits

  • Highly competitive compensation package tailored to the successful candidate.

If interested, please contact:

Robert Hebert
StoneWood Group
Bus: 416-365-9494 Ext. 777
[email protected]
Natália Scodino
StoneWood Group
Bus: 416-365-9494 Ext. 221
[email protected]

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