Our Vacancies

Early careers

Head of Operations

  • Role Type
  • Permanent

  • Location
  • Cambridge, Leicester, Leamington Spa, Shoreham-by-Sea

  • Closing Date
  • 30/06/2019

Job Description

The Company

Ricardo is a global world-class, multi-industry consultancy for engineering, technology, project innovation and strategy.  With a century of delivering value, we employ over 3000 professional consultants, engineers and staff world-wide.

The company has a Performance Products division specialising in delivering niche products to a number of premium brand clients.

Our people are committed to providing outstanding value through quality engineering solutions focused on high efficiency, low emission, class-leading products innovation and robust strategic implementation.

Our client list includes the world’s major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s), supply chain organizations, energy companies, financial institutions & governments.

Guided by our corporate values of respect, integrity, innovation and passion we enable our customers to achieve sustainable growth and commercial success.

Job Purpose:

The role of Head of Operations is to lead the operation of our High Performance Engine Assembly Facility – supplying over 5000 supercar engines/yr to our prestigious and class leading customer. 

This role will focus upon:

Financial performance of the business unit, to meet/exceed targets
Leadership of a team of over 90 direct/indirect staff, operating a 5x2 shift pattern
Delivery of warranted product to schedule, building upon a track record of quality-driven success
Operational responsibility for the production facility, including a logistic centre, assembly line and two end of line engine test cells
Communication with a demanding customer, including commercial discussions
Management of a diverse, global supply chain (>60 suppliers)
Driving operational improvement and adaptation against a backdrop of ambitious product development and change
Management of product warranty, service and spares supply and resolution of any in-service issues
Supporting the wider management team of Ricardo Performance Products in driving their business streams and securing new products and customers
Achievement (implementation project in progress) and maintenance of IATF 16949 compliant quality system

Duties and Responsibilities:

Operational Management of our High Performance Engine Facility, through a management team, currently structured as follows:


Supply Chain (Purchasing & Logistics)
Warranty & Engineering Support to Production
Supplier Quality
Process Engineering


Resolution of production, quality and supplier issues escalated by management team
Recruitment, retention and development of entire facility team
Development, monitoring & achievement of operational budget
Translation of customer schedule into a build plan and supplier schedule
Stock control and management of working capital
Maintaining positive supplier relationships at a senior level
Product pricing and resolution/negotiation of commercial issues with customer and supply chain
Ensuring that quality systems, build processes and problem resolution procedures are fit for purpose, followed and developed, including passing regular scrutiny by Ricardo and customer
Management of change (part, product, process, volume) to production
Safety of team members and visitors to facility
Regular reporting to customer and Ricardo on facility performance, against key KPIs
Regular attendance at Ricardo Performance Products management reviews
Support to development of new business streams, including input to selling process & proposals



Experience of manufacturing leadership in a niche assembly sector
Preference for previous responsibility in an engine assembly operation
Experience of automotive quality systems and standards (APQP/PPAP, etc.)
Familiarity with ERP/MRP business systems (e.g. Baan/SAP) and Excel
Aware of and committed to best practice manufacturing practice and process
Proven approach to structured problem solving, internally and within the supply chain
Proven ability to identify, recruit and retain a high performance manufacturing team


Proven ability to lead a diverse manufacturing team to deliver excellence and strive for continuous improvement
Excellent customer relationship skills, and ability to create value in the relationship
Able to communicate at all management levels and to wide-ranging geographic cultures
Ability to lead over a broad range of timeframes – from minutes of process to year long projects
Ability to prioritise in a fast paced environment
Executive maturity – ability to manage self as well as others
Used to working with and influencing high technology/engineering led organisations


Business Acumen – excellent at analysing performance drivers and develop strong business cases and negotiation strategies
Systems thinking – actively incorporates multiple variables and levers for success into solution and considers the effects and consequences across the whole system/process/organisation
Ethics/integrity – demonstrates the highest integrity and ethical values in dealing with people, customer and supply chain
Resilience and robustness – in approach and towards achieving goals and targets