Operations Leader

Standard Beverage Corporation

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Background & Company Description

This is an exciting opportunity with an expanding company in Kansas.  Standard Beverage Corporation (SBC, Standard Beverage or Company) is a family-owned spirits, wine, and beer distributor with major offices in Wichita, Lawrence and Lenexa, Kansas.  We employ more than 300 dedicated people and provide the most diverse portfolio of the industry’s top brands.  Standard Beverage has been delivering world class service to customers throughout the state of Kansas since 1949 and has since become the largest Kansas-owned alcohol distributor.  Our mission is very simple: to provide the best possible service to both our customers and supplier partners, while also providing an excellent working environment for our team members.  We’re a modern, dynamic, progressive beverage company, yet grounded with old-fashioned values including working hard, loyalty, and a genuine commitment to excellence.

During the past year, the Kansas legislature has implemented significant changes that will allow us to begin selling our strong beer portfolio to grocery and convenience stores around the state beginning April 1, 2019.  This legislative change has led us to re-evaluate our strategy, current organization and plans.  We are committed to moving forward to serve this new customer base, and are excited to expand our presence in a customer channel we have not historically served.  We understand the effort to get ready by April 1, 2019 will be a major commitment of both resources and dollars, and we are moving forward in an aggressive manner to recruit a number of important positions including this one.

Role Description

We are currently searching for an additional experienced, results-driven, Operations Leader for our operations team based in our Lawrence, Kansas distribution center.  This individual will be an integral thought and execution leader/point-person as we develop, challenge, and implement our plan to expand into grocery and convenience stores in Kansas, with the operational effort associated with this project expected to be monumental, including an overall re-evaluation of our existing warehouse facilities, layouts, automation inside our facilities, as well as our transportation fleet and routing.  In addition to mobilizing internal resources, we expect this individual to be actively involved in managing external consultants to provide supplemental expertise as appropriate.

The specific title, responsibilities and reporting relationships for this new Operations Leader role will vary depending on the chosen candidate’s experience, background, capability, and leadership potential.  We have an existing Vice President – Operations who is a knowledgeable, experienced and loyal executive, but who lacks background/experience working with the grocery/convenience store channel.  As a result, we expect the existing Vice President – Operations and the candidate who fills this new Operations leadership role to work closely together as operations “partners” over the next year.  The primary focus of our existing Vice President – Operations will be to ensure that we continue to run and optimize our current system with our existing customers, while the new Operations Leader will focus on building and executing the plan to take us into the future with our broader customer base (including grocery and convenience stores) beginning April 1, 2019.   

The ideal candidate will have a strong background in overall operations in the beverage (or food) industry, and will have worked in a company which served grocery and convenience store customers.  The individual will have demonstrated leadership skills as well as specific experiences in the warehouse and transportation management areas.  We expect the candidate will have the aptitude and desire to provide both strategic insight and tactical direction to drive continuous improvement and achieve organizational objectives.  The candidate will have a proven track record of delivering results, working closely with team members with different backgrounds and communication styles, and desire to be “hands on” where appropriate in “getting stuff done”.  He/she must also have the ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects, meet deadlines, and make appropriate decisions using common sense as well as critical thinking/analytical skills.  Above all, we require this individual to be an active leader who exhibits the cultural characteristics and passion to help us improve in all dimensions of SBC as we head into a new, important customer channel while continuing to serve our existing customer base.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Evaluate existing operations framework (warehouses, layouts, transportation, automation, processes, people, technology, etc.) to understand how we can improve and build on today’s overall system.
  • Develop operations plan to take us into the future, as we enter into a new customer segment (grocery, convenience, drug/dollar, etc.), while still providing service to our existing customer base.
  • Drive initiatives, programs, and processes to enable the organization to ensure the operations plan is executed in advance of the launch/expansion date of April 1, 2019.
  • Work closely with outside parties (vendors, consultants, etc.) to actively manage them to ensure we have the appropriate knowledge, expertise and best-practices of them as well as other distributors included in our existing operations framework and processes, as well as our expansion plan.
  • Drive and actively manage the operations talent management effort to successfully accomplish our plan, working closely with our human resources leader/team to ensure we have the necessary people on-boarded and trained in order to be successful (e.g. warehouse employees, drivers, etc.).
  • Collaborate with the Vice President of Operations to ensure our existing execution efforts focused on our current customer base, and our future expansion execution plan (and work being undertaken) are synchronized and coordinated.
  • Work closely with Vice President of Operations and existing team to ensure we are continuously improving on all operations fronts, including, but not limited to:
    • Evaluate existing KPI’s and revise these to incorporate additional ones we move to the future, including those related to cost management, capital expenditures, safety, productivity, inventory, efficiency, internal controls, and customer service.
    • Re-evaluate and implement appropriate processes and controls for receiving, loading, picking, rotating and delivering inventory to ensure a minimal amount of load errors, shrinkage, and out of code products in the warehouses.
    • Re-evaluate and implement appropriate processes and controls for our transportation network, including routing, re-routing, maintenance, service and safety standards.
  • Actively lead from the front, including directly managing and mentoring direct reports and team members, as well as influencing others when not part of direct reporting organization.  Utilize interpersonal and communication skills to motivate, challenge, improve and celebrate.

Position Requirements

  • A Bachelor’s degree in business or operations management, or related field
  • 10+ years minimum experience in various operations roles of increasing influence and complexity, with some of this in the beverage/food distribution industry serving either/both grocery and convenience store customers
    • Demonstrated skills and experience in managing and leading project/work teams
  • Strong background in process improvement and capturing efficiencies
  • Demonstrated planning, problem solving and analytical skills; able to partner and communicate with all levels of organization from hourly associates to senior management, as well as customers.
  • Working knowledge/experience with WMS, AS400, or other relevant warehouse management systems
  • Working knowledge/experience with RoadNet or other relevant transportation management systems
  • Experience managing a P&L / basic understanding of financial statements, cost drivers, capital expenditures, etc.
  • Results oriented attitude with a proven project management track record of ensuring key deadlines are met
  • Demonstrated integrity and honesty in all aspects
  • Highly effective written and verbal communications
  • Ability to multi-task and effectively prioritize competing demands
  • Ability to travel as needed, primarily within Kansas but also with occasional trips out of state
  • DOT/FMCSA/ OSHA experience preferred

Compensation and Benefits

Market-based compensation package will be provided, including competitive base salary plus annual bonus based on performance.  Company benefits include comprehensive medical, dental, 401k plan with Company match, and others.  Relocation assistance will be tailored to the candidate and based on his/her qualifications, experience, and specific circumstances/situation.


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