Finance Director - Operations/Supply Chain
Our client is a world-leading, US-owned, business services organisation, with a significant presence across Europe. The UK business is the largest operation within the European region, is the domestic market leader and generates annual revenues well in excess of £1bn.
The UK business is undergoing a period of sustained transformation and modernisation, supported by a huge investment from the US parent company. As a result of the ongoing change agenda and the need to deliver a material ROI on the investment, there is an opportunity to appoint a first-class Finance Director (FD) to help improve the efficiency and profitability of the operational side of the business.
Reporting to the UK CFO, whilst also acting as the key business partner to the Operations Director, the FD will enjoy a broad and commercial remit, leading a team and helping to drive cost out of the operation whilst, simultaneously, ensuring that the service proposition delivered by the operation is continually improving.
This agenda will be delivered, in part, through the modernisation programme and the improvements in efficiency and service levels that will come from the implementation of better systems and technology-based solutions.
It is in this context that the FD will be expected to add huge value, providing data and reports that drive better decision-making and managing the change agenda to ensure the expected ROI is actually delivered.
Key Accountabilities & Responsibilities
- To be the finance business partner to the Operations Director and work with them in the formulation and delivery of annual operating plans and strategy and to drive insightful analysis and review of business performance, whilst highlighting any trends and areas of concern the role should provide potential solutions to those issues
- Drive year on year improvements in departmental effectiveness and efficiency in a function with expenditure in excess of £200m. This role effectively ‘owns’ the P&L for this area and is accountable for successful delivery against targets
- Working with the Operations finance team to transform the strategic plan into numbers as well as highlighting any risks and opportunities
- To provide support and challenge to other areas of the business to ensure that plans are aligned with overall objectives of the business
- To drive forward the processes and procedures of the Operations Finance Team to deliver:
- Timely, accurate and insightful business intelligence
- Optimise information, to provide relevant KPIs that are standardised across the whole country
- To develop the Operations Finance team into a highly effective group
- Present the Monthly Performance reviews with the Operations Director and outline the key activities to deliver the annual plan and strategy
- Highlight key areas of business performance, regional variations and volume mix
- Liaison with external and internal auditors, ensuring all information is available for the external audit of all costs, including those classified within certain items/exceptionals.
- Deputise in the absence of the Operations Director and/or UK CFO
- Liaison with other Finance teams, to ensure a joined-up approach towards business planning and forecasting.
- To provide a detailed rolling business plan and forecast that accurately reflects the business unit and ensure adherence with Group policies and procedures
- Lead implementation of business simplification and continuous improvement and ensure they are the guiding principles for the team through standardisation and simplification of accounting processes
- Manage and lead team to achieve targets as well as development of team
- Create healthy tension within divisions by challenging the status quo, setting time bound actions and holding people to account for delivery
- UK EBIT and operational costs relative to plan and prior year
- Continuous improvement of operational metrics relative to plan and prior year
- Timely and accurate production of financial reports with insight
- Leading role in driving change through the Operations team
- Adherence to Group reporting timetables and requests
This role will suit either an experienced FD or someone in a Controller/FP&A or Business Partner role currently seeking an opportunity to step up into their first FD role.
Exceptional intellectual horsepower is a essential, along with an accounting qualification, first class commercial acumen, high levels of emotional intelligence and proven leadership and influencing skills.
Furthermore, this role will only suit someone who has either worked in 'cost centre' role, within an Operations or Supply Chain finance role or has worked for a logistics/distribution business.
Sales & Marketing related experience is not relevant as the commercial agenda for this role involves managing a cost reduction programme across a Distribution/Operational business. A passion for this type of activity and possession of directly transferable skills are prerequisitres.
Previous experience of systems implementation will be advantageous as will previous experience gained within a 'best in class' distribution business, such as Ocado or Amazon.