Director of Manufacturing & Service

AML Oceanographic

May 06, 2014

Original postings on the Viatec site are removed after the position is closed, but the posting will be archived here. The original posting was at

Job Category: 
Management and Operations
Job Specialization: 
Manufacturing and Production
Company Overview: 

Based in Sidney, British Columbia, AML Oceanographic designs, manufactures, sells, and services instrumentation for the ocean sensing market. Our customers are located in more than 100 countries and include military, commercial, and academic organizations in the fields of hydrography, scientific research, environmental monitoring, and offshore construction.

As the only provider of field-swappable sensor-heads in our industry, AML is in a unique position to simplify recalibration, maximize system redundancy, and increase customer return on investment. Established in 1974, over the past two years we have grown by 50%; we believe that our focus on product differentiation is one of the keys to our success.

Job Summary: 


Our Manufacturing & Service team consists of 8 people – a Production Supervisor, a Quality Supervisor, and a supporting staff of 6 technicians and technologists. You will be responsible for managing the department and ensuring that departmental goals are achieved. You will implement strategies, processes, procedures, and tools that enable your team to achieve more in the areas of:

  • Financial results
  • Speed of delivery
  • Product and service quality
  • Customer satisfaction

You are also the voice of Manufacturing & Service on AML’s management team and you will ensure that departmental direction is fully aligned with the goals of the organization.

Key Metrics:

At AML, we believe strongly in the power of metrics to guide priorities and daily activities. Key metrics for the Manufacturing & Service team include:

  Focus Balancing Metric
Financial Gross Margin

Total Inventory Value

Inventory Turns

Speed of Delivery

Percentage of instruments delivered to shipping dock by customer requested date

Average number of business days to complete diagnostics on repair & service orders

Returns / customer issues / non-conformances due to workmanship and / or supplier quality
Product / Service Quality Returns / customer issues / non-conformances due to workmanship and / or supplier quality Percentage of instruments delivered to shipping dock by customer requested date
Customer Satisfaction Net promoter score amongst various communities: end-user, agent and distributor, etc.  


Key Responsibilities:

As departmental leader, you must work through your team to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Departmental results: Achieve goal numbers & KPIs; Manage budgets; Maximize team efficiency and effectiveness
  • Order management and delivery: Extend AML’s competitive advantage in speed of delivery; Accelerate speed of diagnostics & repair; Ensure accurate, quality delivery of individual sales orders
  • Inventory management: Forecast demand; Optimize inventory levels with respect to demand and cash flow; Minimize work-in-progress; Trouble-shoot supply chain issues; Institute and manage cycle counts; Assure inventory accuracy
  • Process management: Establish / tune factory routing procedures and workflow to maximize output; Ensure aliveness of chosen processes; Assess viability of Lean and Six Sigma techniques; Select and implement tool upgrades, where appropriate
  • Quality management: Formalize our quality vision, strategy and management system; Assure compliance with quality procedures; Minimize warranty costs; Eliminate product returns due to workmanship or supplier quality
  • Knowledge management: Assure that key procedures (SOPs) are documented; Assess and increase aliveness of same SOPs; Institute internal training and cross-training programs
  • People management: Culture management; Consensus building; Resource allocation; HR reviews; Personnel development, training and career path
  • Technical support: Assurance of timely, effective support

As a member of AML’s management team, you will also be expected to:

  • Participate in the creation of AML’s business strategy, based on a clear, detailed understanding of the market that AML works in
  • Understand and support the growth challenges experienced by other departmental leaders on the management team
  • Ensure smoothness of Manufacturing touch points with the rest of organization and troubleshoot in a clear, decisive manner as required
  • Together with other team members, own and manage organizational culture throughout the organization
  • Together with other team members, own the annual plan and profit results stemming from that plan

Required Knowledge & Skills:

To be successful in this role, you will require the following experience, skills and knowledge:

  • Experience with the manufacture of commercial or scientific instrumentation
  • Demonstrated success fine-tuning / improving the efficiency and effectiveness of manufacturing processes
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate, engage, and excite a manufacturing team
  • Outstanding communication skills, both written and oral, and experience building consensus and brokering complex trade-offs
  • Demonstrated capacity to connect Manufacturing strategies and decisions to business outcome and results
  • Experience with the challenges related to ERP / MRP success and traction in a small organization
  • Clear ability to connect electronic process (ERP, MRP, PLM, PDM) with day-to-day operations in a way that maximizes success
  • Ability to achieve objectives through direct reports
  • Bachelor’s degree in a technical discipline, preferably Engineering
  • Theoretical and practical understanding of manufacturing improvement techniques such as Lean Management Principles / Six Sigma

Preferred Knowledge & Skills:

In addition to the required skills listed above, the following experience, skills and knowledge are deemed advantageous:

  • Professional work experience in a customer facing role
  • Education or experience in oceanography or hydrography
  • Professional Engineer / member of IEEE or Marine Technology Society
  • Proven project management skills and a demonstrated ability to deliver project outcomes on-time and on-budget
  • Work experience in an environment with instrumentation, sensors, and calibration processes and procedures
  • Extensive knowledge of electronics
  • Experience using Netsuite ERP
  • MBA

Other Requirements:

You are a dedicated team player who builds real consensus. You are entrepreneurial in mind-set and recognize that pragmatism is important in a small company. You can connect technical decisions to business outcomes. Finally, you clearly display the six behaviours that our culture values:

  • Delights the Customer: Finds solutions. Exhausts all options before giving up. Cares. Goes the extra mile. Builds rapport. Listens. Wears the customer’s shoes.
  • Honest & Open: Speaks what he thinks. Does what she says. Listens to what he doesn’t want to hear. Distinguishes fact from belief.
  • Builds & Strengthens Process: Documents and improves process. Questions: Is it repeatable? Scalable? Reliable? Reconciles electronic process with real world. Avoids work-arounds. Removes barriers.
  • Innovates & Initiates: Demonstrates inventiveness. Improves product, process, service, team and self. Develops new ideas. Believes in the value of change. Forward thinking.
  • Hungers for the Team Win: Supports the team. Inspires and encourages others. Offers the best of him / herself. Displays energy and commitment. Demonstrates the desire to win.
  • Focuses on Execution: Remains focused. Shows discipline. Commits, completes, and communicates. Strives for clarity: What? By who? For when? Identifies next steps. Acts with speed.
How To Apply: 

To apply, please send your application, with salary expectations, to We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.