Vice President of Operations

Learning Resources

About our family of companies:On a mission to bring learning to life, Learning Resources, Educational Insights and hand2mind are the trio of brands that are trusted by teachers and loved by families. We are a 300-person strong, family-owned organization dedicated to helping kids succeed in school and develop a love of learning. In addition to high-quality, hands-on products like VersaTiles and Cuisenaire Rods, we make Toy of the Year winners Tumble Trax, Botley the Coding Robot, and Coding Critters as well as Kanoodle, GeoSafari Jr. , and Circuit Explorer.

We pride ourselves on having a thriving culture and a diverse, creative atmosphere. Come join our award-winning team today. This Executive Team role is the leader of a large Shared Services operations group serving two operating companies located in Vernon Hills, Illinois. The Operations Group is comprised of (a) Supply Chain operation sourcing and manufacturing 3000+ products globally in a range of manufacturing settings, (b) Quality Control and Compliance, (c) Warehouse Operations in five Vernon Hills facilities, (d) Engineering and Continuous Improvement, (e) Facilities Management and (f) Customer Service at hand2mind, Inc.

This role directly serves the operational needs of two educational companies based in Vernon Hills, IL with satellite offices in Torrance, CA and Buffalo, NY, and indirectly supports our UK operation located in Kings Lynn, England. The company has heavily invested in material handling automation technology, modern supply chain and compliance practices and manufacturing management and planning. The company also recently installed the Microsoft D365 ERP/WMS platform and utilizes an Azure Data Lake analytics platform. The company is looking for a dynamic, performance based leader/manager interested in further developing operational excellence.

Modern open office environment, family business values and strong culture have been recognized as a Top Workplace in Chicago for three years running by the Chicago Tribune and is the recent subject of a Harvard Business School case study. Performance Objectives:* Within six months of hiring, prepare an assessment of key process improvement and capital allocation opportunities within Operations to increase productivity and production capacity, improve customer experience and service. and control costs. Prepare an implementation plan and budget for top opportunities for inclusion in the companies’ 2024 Operating Plan.

* Leverage the newly created Engineering/Continuous Improvement Department to address company needs and productivity opportunities, while also assisting in the development of departmental infrastructure and processes. Mentor the new department manager.
* Within six months of hiring, evaluate talent and create a development plan for each manager in the department. Make recommendations to HR and CEO.

* Within 120 days, develop an analytical framework (PowerBI dashboard(s)) to oversee the financial flows, KPIs and spend to budget for the Operations group.
* Within six months of hiring, complete a listening tour and SWOT analysis of our companies’ supply chain, including a visit to key vendors and a review of the current project to diversify our supply chain into new manufacturing markets. Prepare a multi year strategic plan for the continued evolution of a supply chain finely tuned to our evolving needs.
* Review the current utilization of our buildings by hand2mind, and prepare a strategic vision document for a future state of great efficiency, either via better use of our current space, innovation in processes and use of technology, or the development of a new building in the future.

* With the assistance of FP&A, HR and your warehouse leadership team, review the use of overtime and temp labor in our facilities and make recommendations for efficiency and better utilization of human resources in our fulfillment operations. Requirements/Preferences:* Minimum of 10 15 years management experience in a fast paced, high volume distribution environment in manufacturing or consumer products; familiarity with global Supply Chain execution from forecast to fulfillment* Experience with Microsoft D365 or similar Tier 1 ERP platforms a plus* Experience with analytics and PowerBI a plus. Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, strong Excel knowledge* Proven track record in distribution center optimization and continuous improvement* Bachelor’s Degree required* Proven track record of cross functional collaboration, team building and persuasive leadership* Excellent communication skillsIdeal attributes:* Strong demonstrated leadership in all functional areas* Strong engagement and effective leadership in continuous improvement, productivity, efficiency and operational throughput* Highly customer centric.
* Data driven and analytical with strong technical abilities* Champion of change; adaptable, flexible* Ability to effectively multi taskPhysical Demands:* Standing – up to 70% of the time* Sitting – up to 50% of the time* Lifting – 0* Computer usage – 25%* Travel – InfrequentWe are a drug-free workplace and an EEO employer.

Please note: This role will be filled by our internal recruitment team, so no assistance is needed from any outside staffing agency at this time. #LI-Onsite


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