The RoleHere on Bainbridge Island we manufacture the world's premier fly fishing rods, which are the heart and soul of the Sage brand. Reporting to the Production Manager, you will become one of three production leaders, providing direction to about 35 full time artisans, including some Leads. In addition, you will supervise a team of 13 Home Wrappers who wrap line guides onto rods at home but come in once a week to pick up and deliver rods.
We recently launched a major Lean initiative, and your mission will be to establish and foster an environment that is based on continuous improvement while supporting the production goals of the organization, reducing costs, enhancing craftsmanship, and increasing overall production capacity and agility. This is not a case of fixing something that is broken, but of making a good thing even better. You will achieve this mission by streamlining the product realization process to reduce labor, improving inventory accuracy, promoting individual accountability and reducing lead-time.
We'll expect you to understand the position of the Sage brand as the best fly rods in the world and the implications of that reputation on the manufacturing floor. You will lead a team of craftspeople who are engaged in the process and committed to our industry leading quality standards while driving continuous improvement in all areas. One of your first objectives will be to identify members of your team who will help champion Lean principles.
You will ensure the department key performance indicators are regularly met including ensuring that every effort is made to meet and exceed the consumer's expectations about Sage products. You'll challenge the team to maximize throughput while managing costs at the appropriate level.
Note: this description is intended to give you a general overview of the position and is not an exhaustive listing of duties and responsibilities.
The RequirementsYou don't need to be an avid fly fishing angler, but it would help! To be a good fit for this opportunity you will have:
- A bachelor's degree OR equivalent experience. An academic focus in Engineering, Science or Logistics is preferred.
- Significant hands-on experience as a leader in manufacturing environments, ideally in the fishing industry and/or with rod assembly.
- Experience in operations employing Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma (Operational Excellence) or equivalent business improvement processes; experience implementing such processes is strongly preferred. We also will consider candidates with formal training in this area who have not yet had the opportunity to put their training into practice.
- Exposure to highly crafted, artisan production is preferred; at minimum you will need to demonstrate sensitivity to and appreciation of this type of production, perhaps through hobbies or other interests.
- The ability to lead and train others, including assessing direct reports and then mentoring and developing them to build skills using KPIs; you also will need to be willing to take decisive action when necessary.
- A demonstrated ability to drive change.
- Attention to detail that will enhance the craftsmanship of the product.
- Strong coaching/mentoring skills.
- A team player approach with a demonstrated ability to lead and motivate.
- The ability to:
- Manage multiple tasks and priorities simultaneously.
- Manage a workload that demonstrates high energy, passion and drive.
- Interpret data and make data based business decisions.
- Work under pressure and aggressively and appropriately solve problems.
- Define and document processes.
- Skills in MS Office with particular strength in Excel.
- Strong analytical and management skills with the ability and assertiveness to help establish company policies and service levels.
- Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- High energy and a positive demeanor.
- The ability to work with and lead a highly diverse workforce.
- Specialized training and at least five years of experience related to managerial concepts.
- Five years' experience as a supervisor or manager for 20+ associates.
Why SageThe best of both worlds -- the rod production department is running well and meeting targets. At the same time, the continuous improvement initiatives you'll help drive will enable you to make your mark. In addition, you'll provide input and feedback to help establish the direction of the company's long-term goals.
Quality is king -- most likely our production lines are a little different than those you're used to; it's possible to mass-produce fishing rods, but not a Sage rod. Our dedicated artisans handcraft everything we produce. Cost effectiveness, efficiency and all the other numbers are important, but they all take a back seat to quality, the bedrock of our priceless reputation. If you're the person we're looking for, you relish the challenge of applying Lean Manufacturing principles to the kind of quality that can be achieved only through hand craftsmanship.
Serious business for serious fun -- every Sage rod, reel and line is specifically designed to help our customers make the most of their precious time on the water. Many of us also enjoy angling and other outdoor sports, which means we understand the importance of work/life balance (although we can get very busy and there are longer hours from time to time). You'll find a strong sense of humor here at Sage, along with an equally strong commitment to craftsmanship and quality.
Maximum Fishability -- at Sage, every piece of angling equipment we make is designed, tested and hand built with one goal in mind: Maximum Fishability. It's a term we came up with a few years back to describe the kind of performance that helps our customers cast better, fish more effectively and have more fun. We're also committed to supporting conservation efforts that protect and preserve our favorite waters.
Excellent compensation -- in addition to a competitive salary and bonus incentive program, we offer comprehensive benefits.
Keys to SuccessTo excel in this role you will establish yourself as a leader your team trusts and one who they will follow. Many employees have been with Sage for 20 years or longer, and you'll need to get to know them, appreciate and respect their skills and experience, and listen well to their input. At the same time, in some cases you'll have to help them understand that "that's the way we've always done it" is not a strategic way of thinking. We'll expect you to spend a significant amount of time out on the production floor, working side by side with your team, but without losing sight of your role as manager and leader.
We have established performance criteria and corresponding competencies that we'll share with you so that everyone has clear expectations. They include financial acumen, a results orientation, risk taking, high standards, problem solving and decision making, drive and energy, assertiveness, the ability to identify leaders, talent management, influencing skills and more.
The short version: in order to be an outstanding Production Manager, you will never compromise on product craftsmanship while still achieving KPIs.