Vice President of Operations

Low Volume Manufacturing


Our client is the world’s leading manufacturer and pioneer of crash test dummy and other related crash test devices, safety equipment, software solutions, and sensor technology. Headquartered in the metropolitan Detroit area, our client’s company has over 600 employees in 8 facilities across the US, Europe, India, and Asia. They are part of a global high-tech manufacturing group with 24 facilities in 14 markets with 900 employees. Their mission is to save lives through the application of safety technology that is used by 100% of global OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers in the automotive industry. They have also been instrumental in designing safety for space exploration, aerospace, military, and autonomous vehicles. They are passionate about what they do and value innovation, agility, openness, and creating a progressive learning environment that inspires continuous improvement and teamwork.


The Vice President of Operations will oversee and manage global manufacturing operations and will work closely with other members of the leadership team across the business. They are seeking a dynamic, proactive, hard-working professional with a successful background in low-volume / high-complexity manufacturing operations. This is an opportunity to have a significant impact on an already successful and profitable company.

This position reports to the President / CEO and has one direct report with a team of six.


The Vice President of Operations will perform a full review of current operations, processes, technology implementation, and customer focus while implementing programs that improve quality, production speed, accountability, and efficiency by leveraging agile methodology, lean manufacturing, and data-driven business systems. They will be responsible for driving a culture of safety, quality, continuous improvement, collaborative problem solving, and accountability. They will oversee department efforts to hire and retain the best talent, manage the team and create mentoring opportunities. This position is accountable for managing metrics, service, inventory management, safety, and ultimately for understanding how to deliver an extraordinary customer experience. This person will need to have both strong analytical and communication skills, with a desire to work for a fast-paced, customer-focused organization. In addition to exceptional leadership, they must have a strong work ethic, a “roll-up your sleeves” attitude, strong attention to detail, and the ability to wear multiple hats.

Leadership and Management:

  • Create, communicate and deploy effective growth strategies, technology, organizational development, and standard operating procedures through operational excellence.
  • Direct all activities across facilities by coordinating requirements with leadership, sales, engineering, procurement, production, shipping/receiving, maintenance, quality functions, and technology centers.
  • Lead engagement with manufacturing, R&D, marketing/sales, customer service, purchasing, and distribution to ensure new products, processes, plans, promotions, and service requirements are translated into manufacturing operational plans.
  • Meet customer requirements by directing operations according to established company policies.
  • Minimize and resolve external business-related concerns by maintaining liaison with local and divisional quality, R&D, marketing, and facility staff to investigate and resolve customer issues.
  • Develop short- and long-term strategies and investment proposals that will allow the company to achieve competitive advantages, service leadership, and cost reductions through efficient lean manufacturing methods including automation, systems, software, and hardware.
  • Ensure that quality, cost, and production targets and metrics are identified and delivered.
  • Provide expertise to executives in the development and implementation of an overall manufacturing and related business strategy, including acquisitions, in order to support business objectives.
  • Implement current and new business activities by developing plans and strategies to meet customer requirements; support internal, regulatory, or customer audits.
  • Lead administration of hiring staff, recommend pay increases, perform performance reviews, training, and development of staff, resource management, assign work, meet completion dates, define and ensure consistent application of organizational policies.


The Vice President of Operations will plan, direct, coordinate, and oversee operations activities in the organization, ensuring the development and implementation of efficient operations and cost-effective systems to meet the current and future needs of the organization.

  • Manage production efficiencies through cost-effective management of procurement, production planning, inventory management, labor and resources.
  • Ensure efficient operation of all manufacturing facilities by evaluating each facility’s cost, quality, and service level performance. Provide engineering and technical guidance for all facilities to meet or exceed business goals. Drive overall improvement and growth strategies at each facility.
  • Monitor the financial reports, direct changes, and process improvements to ensure business unit profitability.
  • Prepare and manage capital project budgets for cost reduction, quality improvement, and production expansion at existing facilities, or at new facilities as may be required to support business objectives.
  • Develop necessary capital programs for sites to maintain manufacturing competitiveness in the respective market.
  • Understand health and safety standards and local regulatory requirements to ensure all processes comply; also provides thorough training to all employees on these topics.
  • Direct the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations. Ensure that the facility follows ISO requirements.
  • Ensure overall accountability for a safe and injury-free work environment through reinforcement of HSE (Health, Safety, Environmental standards) policy in the plant. Ensure compliance with applicable internal and external health, safety, and environmental (HSE) regulations. Direct regular safety audits and review the effectiveness of programs and processes.
  • Develop an ESG strategy to establish annual and long-term targets, programs to support incremental and continuous improvement, and bi-annual reporting.


  • At least 15 years of experience to include accountability for operations strategy, development, and execution within a high-tech engineering environment.
  • Extensive experience in a low-volume, high-complexity manufacturing organization with responsibility spanning quality, manufacturing, and engineering.
  • Extensive knowledge of the principles, procedures, and best practices in the industry.
  • Management experience in one of the following industries: automotive, aerospace, custom industrial, or other niche manufacturing.
  • Experience managing or overseeing multiple facilities.
  • Experience applying lean/Six Sigma principles in manufacturing, plant operations, ERP implementation, on and offshoring, and engineering.
  • Demonstrated skill diagnosing, isolating, and resolving complex issues.
  • A sense of humor.
  • Position requires travel at least 30% of the time for business purposes (within US and international).
  • Education:
    • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, logistics, engineering, or another industry-related field required; MBA preferred.
If you have these qualifications and are looking for a challenging career, please submit your Resume using the button below.
Todd Hohauser
CEO and Lead Consultant
Kate Scott
Director, Executive Recruitment