KD Search & Associates
Vice President of Operations – Aerospace/Aviation
Manager and above
Our client is a leading provider of aircraft propeller system maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) services to the regional, commercial, military and general aviation markets. Founded over 60 years ago, it has built an excellent reputation for technical capability, quality of work and customer responsiveness. Primary services include: MRO of aircraft propeller systems, selling of new and reconditioned OEM propeller system parts, light part manufacturing and customer training services. The Company enjoys arrangements with several OEMs allowing the performance of authorized published and non-published FAA approved OEM proprietary repairs. Manufacturing partnerships include: UTC Aerospace Systems (Hamilton Sundstrand), Hartzell, McCauley, MT-Propeller, Ontic, Sensenich, Woodward, and Aero Technologies.
The VP of Operations, will be responsible for developing all global operations strategies for our client and operating best-in-class facilities that deliver high quality products and services through high performing work teams. This position will involve creating high quality, low cost product service and manufacturing facilities and a reliable global supply chain, utilizing continuous improvement strategies such as Lean and/or Six Sigma. The individual in this role will carry out leadership practices that actively involve people, provide professional development advice and appropriate rewards, and use metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs), and visual boards to drive best in class performance.
The VP of Operations will lead all supply chain, materials and product service/manufacturing processes to reduce the costs of poor quality, cycle time, and process variability across all three locations.
• Implement world-class global product repair and manufacturing strategies and practices (global supply chain; inventory management; quality; low cost repair; health, safety, and environmental best practices)
• Ensure operations’ capability to meet or exceed industry and customer requirements for cost, quality and responsiveness as the company grows
• Introduce Lean manufacturing principles into all production, repair and supply chain processes as key drivers of process and productivity improvement
• Implement/maintain continuous improvement principles and techniques and recognized Quality Systems (i.e. AS9100)
• Maintain the necessary facility certifications for an Aviation MRO repair station – FAA, EASA, and additional country specific certifications as required
• Focus on maintaining a strong employee safety record and safe work environment; ensure the company is compliant with all OSHA, environmental and other regulatory items
• Develop the infrastructure for a world-class supply chain, quality and product service organization, including the acquisition and development of top talent. Determine staffing requirements for the operation; implement appropriate training and employee development. Ensure that duties, responsibilities, and authority and accountability of all subordinates are defined and understood.
• Develop manufacturing strategies for improving operations while maintaining the appropriate flexibility to meet the needs of customers and the sales and marketing strategies of the company
• Work with the executive team in the development and creation of short and long term planning; develop specific short and long term operational goals and follow up to ensure progress
• Establish process and appropriate metrics, dashboards and reports to monitor performance against key success factors
• Responsible for capital project management, including capital expenditures. Participate in planning, design, and coordination of improvements to existing facilities. Effectively manage existing capacity and plan for expected growth.
Education and Experience
• Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Operations Management, Engineering or other related field required; advanced degree and/or appropriate operations certification preferred
• Minimum 10 years of career experience in manufacturing or product service leadership
• Operating experience within the aviation industry or an MRO company
• Prior positions at world class middle-market companies with revenues of at least $50 million
• Mix of large- and small-company experience, ideally in leading manufacturing or product service in a rapid-growth environment
• Experience in implementing ERP and MRP systems with the ability to develop and track operational activities
• Demonstrated history of delivering projects on time and within budget
• Experience in materials management, from planning through purchasing, and negotiation and administration
• Deep technical knowledge of Lean manufacturing, Six Sigma quality, and continuous improvement concepts
• Demonstrated experience with Lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, and industry-specific quality systems
• Proven ability to recruit, develop and mentor top talent, as well as balance staffing needs against profitability and growth
• Solid business acumen, bottom-line orientation, and ability to strategically calculate how operations impacts financial results
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Strong PC skills required, including working experience with MS Office suite
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