Head of Operations - Mackie’s of Scotland

Head of Operations

  • Job Title

    Head of Operations

  • Department


  • Location


Main Duties and Responsibilities


  • Provide leadership to foster effective collaboration, autonomy, and devolved decision-making.
  • Embed a continuous improvement culture and maintain high operational standards.
  • Encourage a program of learning and development, ensuring every team member is trained and competent.
  • Develop and mentor Managers, Supervisors and Team Leaders for high performance.
  • Manage and coordinate department operations, including Production, Health & Safety, Hygiene, Quality, Planning, Engineering, and Stores.


  • Ensure the efficient functioning of production processes to meet targets, including production, quality, OEE, and staffing control.
  • Collaborate with the relevant team to achieve improvements in Downtime, Efficiency, Yield, Quality, Health & Safety, and Absence, meeting budget targets.
  • Drive improvements in productivity, efficiency, and environmental impact while maintaining product quality.
  • Implement new systems, processes, and infrastructure changes for increased efficiency.
  • Develop and control budgets, ensuring efficient resource allocation.
  • Minimize costs through effective utilization of manpower, materials, and equipment.
  • Lead department projects and initiatives within a continuous improvement cycle.
  • Ensure relevance, currency, and usage of all Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s).
  • Report daily via the Site Daily Work Order Report (DWOR) on performance and implement action plans where targets are missed.
  • Direct and maintain lean, efficient, and relevant operational reporting, communication, and planning systems, meeting budget and Key Performance Indicators.
  • Utilize and develop the in-house ERP system.

Health and safety

  • Manage health and safety in the operation, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, legislation, BRC requirements, and client QHSE procedures.
  • Improve safety performance by addressing physical issues and promoting a positive safety culture among staff, driving incident reporting at target levels.

Food safety

  • Ensure food safety, legality, and quality requirements are consistently met.
  • Maintain and improve hygiene, food safety, and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) within the department.
  • Achieve and uphold product Quality standards consistently.
  • Meet customer scorecard expectations, maintaining a high level of product quality.
  • Support and drive root cause problem-solving and Continuous Improvement activities (5s, Six Sigma, SMED).

Strategic Management

  • Develop and control budget and spend, maximizing business margin.
  • Act as a key stakeholder in operational capital projects.
  • Ensure the business has appropriate crisis management and business continuity plans in place.
  • Build effective relationships with suppliers to ensure timely product and service delivery.
  • Assist in formulating and executing the company strategy.

Person Specification

  • Be a champion of Mackie’s supporting the aims and direction of the business.
  • Strong leadership, influencing, and negotiating skills.
  • Strategic thinker and confident decision-maker.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Project management skills with a results-oriented mindset.
  • Commercial acumen and financial understanding.
  • Analytical skills with a logical approach to problem-solving.
  • Proven team-working ability.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to motivate others.
  • Highly organized with good problem-solving skills.
  • IT skills and recruitment/interview skills.
  • Proven track record in skills development, training, and competency management.
  • Cost management and budgeting skills.
  • Proficiency in production planning, scheduling, and process control.
  • Expertise in root cause problem-solving and Continuous Improvement methodologies.
  • Ability to collaborate and drive improvements within a team.

Experience and Qualifications

  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in a similar operations management role.
  • A proven track record in a senior management position within an FMCG food or drinks processing environment.
  • Experience in driving cultural change and developing teams.
  • Proven experience in people and performance management.
  • Experience in maintaining hygiene, food safety, and GMP standards.
  • Experience in production planning and forecasting.
  • Familiarity with Key Performance Indicators and performance management.
  • Good technical and IT skills, with experience in integrated operating systems like SAP.
  • Experience in project management.
  • Lean Practitioner – Yellow/Green/Black belt (desirable).
  • High degree of technical and product knowledge.
  • Knowledge of continuous improvement, 5S, Lean, etc.
  • Knowledge of quality systems and standards.
  • Knowledge of health and safety standards and compliance.
  • Knowledge of process improvement techniques.
  • Knowledge of business, finance, and management principles.