Director of Manufacturing and Engineering Services

Aerospace/Defence Manufacturing


Located in Illinois, our client is a renowned machine tool company that provides large-format advanced additive and subtractive low volume manufacturing solutions. They create complex cutting-edge products for the aerospace, space, defense, energy, and heavy industrial trades.


The Director of Manufacturing will lead operations and manufacturing engineering. They will provide overall executive leadership and have responsibility and accountability for staff, programs, and services with direct control and management of day-to-day operations. They will plan and execute strategy in support of corporate goals and objectives. This leader will partner with sales to provide technical expertise as a subject matter expert, relationship builder, and project “closer.” Our client is seeking a strategic and hands-on, relationship-driven operations leader with strong low-volume manufacturing experience. The ideal candidate will be open, transparent, and engaging. This position will work closely with other members of the leadership team across the business. This is an opportunity to have a considerable impact on a successful company and its people.

This position reports to the Chief Executive Officer and has twelve (12) direct reports.


The Director of Manufacturing will be a strategic member of the leadership team, have a “roll-up-their-sleeves” work ethic, and aid in the development and elevation of the team’s overall performance. This will require excellent people skills, commitment, and the ability to wear multiple hats. The Director of Manufacturing will be diligent in assessing current operations, systems, processes and procedures. They will implement 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 cohesive culture of safety, quality, continuous improvement, collaborative problem solving, and accountability. This position will help to grow, coach, and mentor a team to maximize everyone’s potential within the organization. With extraordinary customer focus, this position will be responsible for managing metrics, service, and safety.


Leadership and Management:

  • Lead by example with a figure-it-out and take-ownership mentality.
  • Nurture an atmosphere of cooperation, open communication, accountability, and collaboration.
  • Promote and provide structure and discipline to optimize productivity.
  • Establish operations standards of excellence for cost control, waste reduction, quality, safety, and complete and on-time delivery.
  • Actively participate in leadership meetings to enhance communication, control, and planning activities.
  • Meet and communicate with customers to understand and improve current and future manufacturing needs.
  • Coordinate with various corporate functions to improve performance and customer satisfaction. Minimize and resolve external business-related concerns and resolve customer issues.
  • Lead administration of hiring, recommend pay increases, perform performance reviews, training, and development of staff, resource management and assign work.
  • Develop a succession plan for engineering and operations to identify successors in all roles and ensure there is a match between the company’s needs and the aspirations and abilities of individual engineers and operators to improve retention.
  • Create and document a technical training program for employee education, growth, and advancement.
  • Develop and implement an efficient and systematic knowledge transfer plan to address the retirement of long-term employees.
  • Delegate responsibility to subordinates for the various functions and define their goals, objectives, and span of control.
  • Perform operational reviews to monitor production costs and product quality and implement appropriate changes.
  • Develop short- and long-term strategies and investment proposals that will allow the company to achieve competitive advantages and cost reductions through efficient lean manufacturing methods.
  • Meet completion dates, and define and ensure consistent application of organizational policies.

Summary of Key Responsibilities:
The Director of Manufacturing will plan, direct, implement, and oversee operations and engineering activities in the organization ensuring the development and completion of efficient operations and cost-effective systems to meet the current and future needs of the organization.

  • Define, schedule, and allocate labor, material, machine, and facility resources in accordance with scheduled customer requirements and corporate goals.
  • Report on project status to customers and leadership.
  • Create, communicate and fulfill effective growth operational strategies, technology, organizational development, and standard operating procedures to maximize output and reduce cost.
  • Create an effective preventative maintenance plan and schedule to reduce downtime, control costs, and ensure all the assets of the company are in peak operating condition.
  • Implement and manage continuous improvement initiatives to improve products, services, and processes.
  • Manage the monthly and annual budgeting process.
  • Manage production efficiencies through capacity planning.
  • Ensure efficient operation of all manufacturing by evaluating cost, quality, and service level performance.
  • Drive overall improvement and growth strategies.
  • Monitor the financial reports, direct changes, and process improvements to ensure the profitability of the business.
  • Prepare and manage capital project budgets for cost reduction, quality improvement, and production expansion at existing facilities as may be required to support business objectives.
  • Direct the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations. Ensure that the facility follows ITAR and ISO requirements.
  • Ensure overall accountability for a safe and injury-free work environment through the enforcement of HSE (Health, Safety, Environmental) regulations and compliance with applicable internal and external regulations.
  • Direct regular safety audits and review the effectiveness of programs and processes while providing thorough training for all employees.
  • Optimize and fully utilize the company’s ERP system.


  • 10+ years of manufacturing experience; complex, low-volume large-scale production environment required.
  • 7+ years of responsibility managing operations and engineering functions.
  • ITAR, ISO knowledge is desired.
  • Experience with Catia or related software is a plus.
  • Strongly demonstrated leadership and communication skills involving employees, customers, and peers.
  • Relationship driven with excellent communication skills; internally and externally.
  • Experience applying continuous improvement, Lean, Six Sigma, and/or 5S principles in manufacturing and plant operations.
  • Strong production systems knowledge and expertise.
  • Calm demeanor with a “roll-up-your-sleeves” management style.
  • Solutions-oriented with a figure-it-out and own-it mentality to resolve complex issues.
  • Working knowledge of ERP operating systems and optimization.
  • Detail-oriented with the ability to prioritize and act with a sense of urgency.
  • Value-add, customer-driven manager who is disciplined, loyal, and reliable.
  • A collaborative, team spirit is an essential requirement of this role.
  • Travel required is 10%.



  • Bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing, Engineering, and/or related field preferred but not required.
  • MBA is 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