Plant Director – Telford

Role Purpose:        

The Plant Director will be responsible for the strategic development of the business in Telford and achievement of annual budgets for sales, profit, margin and cash flow targets as well as ensuring the success of the new line, bringing in new business and ensuring that we have a truly engaged workforce. The role will have P&L responsibility for the site with all the resources required to achieve this.

There are a number of significant strategic plans that are being implemented and essential to the success of the site and ultimately Wheels & Structures:

  • Implementation of a new £15m Wheels manufacturing facility due to come on line early-2019 – which will be market leading, and potentially “The Best Wheels Manufacturing Facility In The World”
  • Expansion of the automotive structures business into new markets and development of composite capability leveraging GKN expertise
  • Significant development of the site and business at Telford to truly operate as one integrated business – taking the business to £100m in turnover
  • Transforming the management team into a high performing team with the rigour of a strong management system


Key Responsibilities:


  • Develop and deliver an operations strategy that is aligned with Wheels & Structures on:
  • Safety transformation
  • Quality
  • On time customer delivery
  • Capital investment
  • Increased productivity
  • Cash
  • People development



  • Drive innovation, technology and adaptability within the Manufacturing operations that delivers accelerated new production development introduction
  • Optimise the structure and talent base to enable growth, profitability and facilitates integrated services and solutions



  • Direct performance and productivity improvement initiatives within Telford manufacturing to deliver on commitments in safety (EHS), quality, on time customer delivery, productivity & cash management
  • Develop and implement strategies to maximise sustainable competitive position, productivity gains, free cash flow, meet customer growth objectives and deliver world class operational metrics
  • Implement Manufacturing Systems to enable generation and prioritisation of change initiatives
  • Modeling of processes as a means of identifying key problem areas and proposing change initiatives/change programs
  • Define what is value added and what activities and manufacturing processes can be joined and what activities can be discarded



  • Leverage materials management process to optimise direct, indirect and finished product sourcing, focusing on supplier quality development, low cost country sourcing opportunities and strategic supply development


People management

  • Uphold the GKN way and drive engagement
  • Provide development for the function, including specific learning and development programmes and talent identification with personal development plans
  • Define which manufacturing capabilities/skills/talent to develop


Budget management

  • Prepare a consolidated budget for approval
  • Manage costs to the budget, identifying exceptions in advance and avoiding surprises
  • Adhere to the authorisation requirements outlined in The Management Rules


Safety and Environment

  • Ensure all Environmental and Health and Safety requirement are met in our products, processes, materials and impact on the environment
  • A transformational programme is required to change the culture related to Health & Safety


Leadership / Functional Success Profile:

  • Leadership: the candidate must be credible, technically competent and capable of leading people to reach the goals, by demonstrating their skills and by arguing convincingly. A decision maker, tough, determined, capable of defending their own opinion with standing and authority. They should demonstrate the ability to manage through influence and lead cross functional teams. The candidate should also demonstrate the ability to work in a matrix structure where influencing skills are important. They must have the ability to coach and develop young talent.


  • Strategic vision: the candidate must have a good balance between a strong result oriented approach and a good strategic mind-set in order to shape the strategy to develop GKN business in the future.


  • Excellent communication skills; trustworthy, the manager gains respect in a natural way, convincing through clear communication and by example. They should be able to work across the organisation and habit to face also international interlocutors and demanding clients. S/he has experience or the ability to manage in a multi-cultural environment.


  • Results oriented, capable of motivating people, hands on, the candidate must be a doer, a strong performer with a high level of orientation to quality and results (quantitative and qualitative).


Formal Qualifications and Experience:          

  • Bachelors degree in Engineering or relevant experience with preference for MBA further qualification
  • Solid knowledge of lean manufacturing, organisation, planning, and people skills required
  • Min 10 years’ experience working in a manufacturing environment of which 5 years minimum leading multi sites
  • Fluent in English
  • Demonstrated experience of running complex site(s)
  • Experience of P&L responsibility
  • Experience of site transformation programmes with particular demonstration of improving safety, culture and overall site performance


Reports to: Global Operations Director, Wheels & Structures

Total Number of Direct Reports: 7

Total Number of Matrix Reports: 3       


Key Stats

Current sales circa £63M Sales

Strategic Plan (2020) circa £100m

Current employees circa 350



To apply please send a copy of your CV and a covering letter to : recruitment.telford@gknwheels.com


We treat all our employees fairly and are committed to ensuring that there is no discrimination or harassment against any employee or prospective employee on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, colour, race or national or ethnic origin.

Note that your application details will be stored on our recruitment system, if you do not wish for us to retain these details for future opportunities you should inform us at the time of application.


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Location: Telford

Expiry Date: 15/02/2019

Role Summary: The Plant Director will be responsible for the strategic development of the business in Telford and achievement of annual budgets for sales, profit, margin and cash flow targets as well as ensuring the success of the new line, bringing in new business and ensuring that we have a truly engaged workforce.

Date Posted: 04/02/2019

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