Supply Chain Role

Production Director

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The Role

At RHEON LABS, a materials technology business serving the sports-clothing sector, we have an opportunity for a Production Director to join our Management Team: as a “Manufacturer without Factories”, this is a pivotal role. RHEON LABS specialises in developing and producing innovative, high-performance ‘energy control’ materials that enable sports apparel to enhance the wearer’s experience. This performance improvement can be – for example – a result of the active control of body movement or by offering class-leading impact protection in a thin, flexible coating. We are working with many of the global sporting brands and the first RHEON branded products are already on sale. See for a recent product launch (the RG1X helmet) by a current customer.

The Production Director’s primary responsibilities will be to:

  • Take on project responsibility from the Development Manager once a project has moved into the production phase
  • Develop a clear summary of all delivery commitments made by RHEON LABS to its customers both for projects in the production phase and those that will transfer from development in the future
  • Set up and run weekly “Production review” meetings to ensure all activities are on schedule to meet deadline commitments
  • Work closely with the Development Manager to identify and raise critical issues that will impact delivery success and reconcile these in discussion with the CEO, CTO or at regular Management Team meetings
  • Develop and maintain simple, visual status summaries for all production phase project activity that is accessible to all
  • Help to define and run product-proving trials where novel mouldings using RHEON materials are “proven” to work both in production and in testing
  • Work with the Development Manager to define and set up appropriate design control to cover issues ranging from the version of CAD files to the recording and actioning of Engineering Change Notes (ECNs) in response to problem rectification and/or improvements
  • Manage the “transfer to volume production” phase when a signed-off component design is introduced to one of RHEON LABS’ contract manufacturing partners (CMPs)
  • Define and set up appropriate QA systems that support early prototypes made in-house but also carry the “voice of the customer” (RHEON LABS’ end (B2B) customer) when production shifts to RHEON LABS’ CMPs.
  • Provide management interface to key suppliers – injection moulders; garment producers; material suppliers and compounders – where their work forms part of RHEON LABS’ project commitments
  • Work closely with finance on business forecasting including responsibility for the prediction of volumes and timing of finished goods despatch and raw material orders (all ingredients)
  • Work closely with finance to balance the optimisation of production costs and working capital (e.g. inventory levels) with the management of production risks (e.g. low inventories, sub-standard supplier performance)
  • Provide management reports suitable for Management Team reviews and monthly board meetings
  • Ensure that all the required systems are designed to deliver results without unnecessary bureaucracy or overhead
  • Assist in identifying and developing new strategic relationships with supply-chain partners
  • Assist in defining, acquiring and commissioning new and innovative prototyping and production equipment to advance the applications of RHEON LABS’ materials portfolio

This role will report to the CEO and will be part of the Management Team. The Production Director will however need to work closely with both the CTO and the Development Manager. The working relationship with the Development Manager will be critical as the responsibility for new projects will initially reside with the Development Manager but will transfer to the Production Director once the new product/component is on a clear trajectory to production reality. Establishing clear and effective “ways of working” in this relationship – including the criteria that determine the point of this transfer – will be essential. The successful candidate will however enjoy a high level of independence to deliver quality solutions and quality output, and to demonstrate both initiative and a clear sense of purpose. The role will grow as the business does.

JOB ROLE: Production Director
LOCATION: Battersea, London
SALARY: Competitive (based on experience)

  • Our Offer to you

    You will be:

    • Playing a pivotal role in an organisation with great potential for expansion and growth with significant influence over how this role develops;
    • Working on exciting, ground-breaking product developments with global sports brands;
    • Enjoying a great office atmosphere of collective endeavour, exploration and mutual support;
    • Involved in the decision-making processes, bringing experience, energy and excellence to the challenges we face;
    • Immersed in a range of leading-edge prototyping and production solutions at the interface between the plastics-processing and fabric/garment industries;
    • Developing not just new products but new, ground-breaking processes, capabilities and knowledge;
    • Engaging in a role that will require formal, and informal communications with our high-profile customers and commercial partners;
    • Working in a fast-paced, interesting, and very current sector;
    • Working alongside highly experienced senior staff.
  • who we are looking for

    We are looking for someone who:

    • Has a good and relevant degree in engineering or technology from a top university/college;
    • Has deep production experience of injection moulding that spans component design, tool design and shop-floor production techniques and processes
    • Understands and has experience of a wide range of other processing techniques such as extrusion, die-cutting, heat-pressing etc.
    • Has experience of rapid-prototyping techniques and how these can be used to accelerate the time-to-production for a moulded component
    • Experience of robotic handling and assembly would be a significant advantage
    • Understands the challenges of packaging, shipping and cross-border logistics into Asia and the US
    • Has project management experience in a manufacturing environment serving B2B customers, preferably in the sports sector
    • Is very organised, has excellent attention to detail as well as seeing the ‘big-picture’, and can be relied upon to deliver
    • Understands the approaches used to establish and maintain required quality standards at different stages of the design and production process and can set these systems up such that they achieve results without unnecessary overhead
    • Has experience of design control both pre- and post-production release
    • Is proactive, flexible and adaptable as demands and priorities change
    • Remains good humoured under pressure
    • Can manage colleagues as well as themselves to deliver key tasks against deadlines
    • Is genuinely excited by the high-performance sports apparel sector
    • Can think critically and creatively;
    • Has excellent written and verbal communication skills;
    • Is highly proficient in using Microsoft Office
    • Is available to travel to meet with customers and development partners – most likely in North America, Canada, mainland Europe and Asia.
  • about RHEON LABS

    RHEON LABS has developed a revolutionary material that is capable of absorbing high levels of energy in impact, tension and vibration. It uses a property known as “strain-rate dependency” to allow this material to be flexible in normal use, but to “stiffen” instantaneously and temporarily when subject to an acute energy input. This material can be moulded directly onto clothing, incorporated into the fabric as a thread or coating, or laminated into/onto the material and is both breathable and washable. The technology is patent protected and emerged from research work carried out at Imperial College, London. See www.rheonlabs.comfor further insight into this sports-focused proposition.

    RHEON LABS uses leading-edge, in house, rapid prototyping techniques, at all stages of its design and development process from the printing of initial concept parts to the metal printing of full production tooling. Company culture is defined by this advanced and flexible approach with design iterations being measured in hours where the industry norm is often weeks. Although not a manufacturer as such, RHEON LABS is capable of making production quality parts in its Battersea facilities and does so in order to prove its innovative ideas and components before these are scaled by volume manufacturers around the world.

    Poised now for rapid growth, RHEON LABS is building a team to widen the commercialisation of this exciting technology. Whilst the initial focus is on the sports-apparel sector, there are significant opportunities in several other sectors such as electronics, healthcare and defence. As part of its sports strategy, RHEON LABS is building the RHEON “ingredient brand” which will be carried by its key customers on their product labels.

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