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Director of Operational Excellence

Job Details

Kentwood (GR1) - Kentwood, MI
Full Time
4 Year Degree
Up to 25%


Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Belding, Michigan, Flat River Group, LLC is a leading end-to-end ecommerce partner that works with vendors to take their businesses to the next level by accelerating eCommerce sales growth. We sell a variety of product categories as a 1st Party Seller, including toys & games, pets, baby, outdoor sporting goods, housewares, and more. Flat River Group has experienced incredible growth over the last 11 years, and we now have five US-based distribution facilities.


Flat River Group is seeking a Director of Operational Excellence that will report directly to the Chief Operating Officer (COO). This position will oversee all employee development, lean principles implementation, and team building across North America (NA) for Flat River Group. This position will be responsible for developing an operations strategy which supports and aligns with the overall corporate strategic direction and company objectives. The Director of Operational Excellence is responsible for planning, leading, and assisting in the execution of various Kaizen events, targeted toward elimination of waste at all locations. They will campaign the efforts to optimize flow through all distribution centers and translate performance into expected vs. actual throughout production and management systems.


The Director of Operational Excellence will lead the operational excellence team to deliver world-class performance and scale the operations to enable business priorities, including growth, productivity, and cost improvements. They will manage a safe but cost effective and quality-focused DC network, ensuring OSHA compliance and developing innovative and novel methods to increase productivity. This Director will evaluate processes to identify opportunities for improving efficiency and reducing waste in all DCs. This position will act as a key driver of change within the division, supporting distribution staff and functional leaders by communicating the company changes to employees and helping them to learn, understand, adjust and grow with the Lean transformation.


The ideal candidate will have 10 years’ experience leading high-velocity eCommerce DCs and must be experienced leading in a Matrix environment for a high volume, multi-shift DC and also have at least 3 years in leading Lean implementation and transformation. This individual will have the ability to utilize their extensive and proven interpersonal, employee development and team building skills. This Director must display a servant-based leadership style and create an environment for others to do the same. Critical success factors in this position are the ability to work and build coalitions within the organization at all levels and with all functions, creating value and buy-in.


Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Lead process reengineering and Best Practice Implementation.
    • Partner with functional leaders and DC management staff to assess current processes and identify process improvement opportunities. Manage a robust review process for selecting, scoping and prioritizing Lean initiatives.
    • Knowledge of Lean principles and tools (cycle-time reduction, line balancing, corrective action, PDCA, set-up reduction, pull product support, Kanban implementation, material handling techniques, and just-in-time delivery).
    • Maintain leader standard work, visual controls, and daily accountability process
      • Periodically assess status of the lean implementation.
      • Clarify goals, compare expected vs. actual performance in converting systems, ID areas to improve.
      • Make assessment process straight-forward and as easy as possible
      • Focus on the process and how to improve it.
      • Manage Lean reporting activities for the organization internally and to corporate.
  • Perform workforce management for network distribution centers:
    • Act as a visible champion for LMS principles and practices while establishing and cultivating an environment that encourages problem solving, critical thinking, and innovation.
    • Lead and oversee LMS activities, which may include coaching/mentoring, process mapping, value stream mapping, data analysis, problem solving, measurement and/or sustainability.
  • Drives the operation and supports teams to achieve targeted performance, including growth expectations.
  • Leads a high performing team towards achieving both personal & professional success. Enables the success of their team through a commitment to development.
  • Provide leadership, mentoring and training to all levels and functions of the division on the use and practice of leadership principles and work processes within the company’s various DCs.
  • Partners with functional experts to accelerate operational performance, set performance targets and ensure effective product flow through the DCs to optimize overall fulfillment.
  • Sets performance standards for all areas of operations to ensure performance targets are achieved while continually looking for ways to enhance service and reduce costs.
  • Builds and implements tactical operating plans and longer-term strategic plans to achieve targeted performance now and in the future, including service, financial, and delivery quality.
  • With DC management, build and implement the tactical operating plan to achieve targeted performance and ensure overall planning remains aligned.
  • Act as a key driver of change within the organization, promoting morale, performance, and efficiency.
  • Build the DC network strategy into a multi-year initiative roadmap and collaborate with key partners to drive the initiatives to achieve targeted results.
  • In partnership with Operations and IT, identify and implement strategic plans for improving operational efficiency and drive continuous improvement.
  • Analyze warehouse processes, design, configuration, mechanization, and automation, making recommendations for improvements that create a more effective and efficient fulfillment operation.
  • Champion Flat River Group’s culture and core values.
  • Identifies and leads Operational Excellence Managers in the execution of process reengineering to implement Lean principles and tools (cycle-time reduction, line balancing, corrective action, PDCA, set-up reduction, pull product support, kanban implementation, etc).
  • Responsible for all aspects of Talent Management within the DC network and makes the appropriate partnership with Human Resources to drive successful and compliant outcomes.
  • Daily Accountability Process including but not limited to helping set a direction for leaders for improvement in processes and goal tracking.


Flat River Group Offers You…

  • Competitive compensation package (salary commensurate with experience).
  • Comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, and vision plans upon hire with flex spending/health savings account options.
  • Company-paid group life insurance policy.
  • Company-paid short-term disability insurance.
  • Paid maternity leave.
  • Unlimited paid time off.
  • Paid holidays.
  • 401(k) with Company match, immediately vested upon hire.
  • A challenging yet rewarding career with opportunities for growth within the organization.


Required Skills and Abilities:

  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, with various audiences (non-exempt associates, exempt supervisors and managers, leaders of other departments, and the executive team).
  • Experience with Materials Handling Equipment (MHE), conveyance, automation and robotics.
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to use computer software to support them. Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite required.
  • Ability to understand and solve complex issues related to operations and safety.
  • Strong leadership skills with the proven ability to manage change, develop, mentor and coach personnel, including experience with cross-functional teams.
  • Strong verbal, written, and presentation skills.
  • Ability to work and deliver in changing environments, under limited guidance while adhering to specified deadlines and budgets.
  • Possess an entrepreneurial spirit and continuously innovate to achieve great results.
  • Communicate with honesty and kindness and create the space for others to do the same.
  • Lead with courage, knowing the possibility of greatness is bigger than the fear of failure.
  • Foster connection by putting people first and building trusting relationships.
  • Ability to occasionally travel to other Distribution Centers, field locations, and the corporate office.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, Industrial Engineering, Logistics & Supply chain or related field preferred or equivalent applicable career experience.
  • Master’s Degree in relevant fields preferred.
  • 7+ years of leadership experience leading multiple teams in established, fast-paced, high-growth DC environments with focus on eCommerce required.
  • 3+ years experience leading Lean implementation/transformation in Distribution Center setting.
  • Lean Six Sigma certification (green belt or above) a plus.