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We are working with Essilor in their search for a Sr. Operations Manager for FramesDirect based in Austin, Texas.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: FramesDirect is a pure play. Remember those? They’re the online retailers with no brick-and-mortar stores and no omnichannel component. Like Amazon. Despite the incessant buzz about omnichannel, there are smart people out there who question the merits of an omnichannel strategy, and I can see their point. If you don’t have stores, then you have nothing weighing you down. If you do have stores, you’ll have to reinvent yourself.

Makes sense to me.

Searches like this are my favorite because pure play online retailers usually have a very strong “sense of self.” They know what their business is about, who their business is for, and why — exactly — their target customer should choose to do business with them versus every available option, including doing nothing.

Such is the case with FramesDirect, online purveyor of the world’s finest prescription eyewear. Founded by two optometrists, Dr. Guy Hodgson and Dr. Dhavid (yep, Dhavid with an “h”) Cooper, who ran a chain of successful optometry practices in Houston Texas, FramesDirect was founded on the premise that patients want a broader selection of better eyewear at lower prices than could be offered in brick-and-mortar stores.

Their timing was perfect.

FramesDirect launched in 1996 and was the first company to sell eyewear online. Later, the firm became the first company to sell progressive lenses online as a result of the groundbreaking innovation its founders were introducing. Today, FramesDirect is committed to using only the highest quality lenses, providing world-class customer service, offering the best selection of premium brand eyewear, and selling their merchandise at the lowest possible price without sacrificing quality.

As you can imagine, the market for eyewear is massive.

While I can’t give you the exact size of the US market for prescription eyewear, I can offer some proxies. In the United States there are roughly 20,000 optometrist offices with a combined revenue of $12 billion. I’ve recruited for Luxottica, and I’ve heard eyewear market size estimates as high as $20 billion. That’s $63 for every person in America (including babies!).

Demand for eyeglasses is driven by demographics, and the aging of the US population increases demand for eye exams and eyeglasses every year. Consider this: Boomers number nearly 80 million and make up 26% of the US population. Roughly one in 4 consumers is a Boomer, and every day for the next 18 years, 8,000 Boomers will reach age 65. Most of ’em will need prescription eyewear.

It gets better: Nearly 40% of Boomers are affluent and can afford to maintain a trend-right appearance. And while Boomers are by no means the only demographic to which FramesDirect sells, it’s nice to know that there’s an extraordinary volume of business to be done with the Boomer cohort, where the opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell frames and lenses is enormous.

About the Role

FramesDirect.com is seeking a Senior Operations Manager to join the Operations team. This person will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of FramesDirect.com including: Receiving, Distribution, Customer Service, and Customer Returns. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, this position will manage some departments directly while managing a manager/supervisor for other departments, including the Call Center, Customer Returns, Vendor Returns, and Lab Operations (4PL).

Any way you slice it, this is “working” manager role.

In the last five years, FramesDirect.com has more than doubled in size. And despite the quality of its team, the firm would definitely benefit from the deeper bench that would come from cross training many of its team members. You’ll be involved in that. You will have two operations managers reporting to you, and the the whole point of this role is for you to bring world-class operations best practices to FramesDirect.com.

For example, in your first 100 days, we’d expect you to benchmark industry-specific KPI’s for routine tasks like answering phones in the call center. Worst case, how many rings should it take for a customer service rep to answer the phone? What about best case? Now then: Based on your statistical analysis of those best / worst case scenarios, what’s the ideal number of rings – and how many reps should be assigned to the call center given the expected call volume? And HOW should they be trained?

You won’t be able to “hip shoot” these issues!

You will be expected to know, show, and leverage basic operations management math, as well as bring industry best practices to FramesDirect’s backend during its off- and peak seasons. We are looking to you to help FramesDirect maximize its throughput while reducing the firm’s inventory and operational expense. And we will expect you to work with the firm’s COO to identify and manage risk to avoid supply chain breakdowns.

This is a pretty important job!

There’s a limit to what I can disclose here about FramesDirect’s strategies, tactics, and KPI’s – all of which I am happy to share with qualified candidates. What I can tell you is that we need a Senior Ops Manager who knows what s/he’s doing. Moreover, you MUST be a team player. FramesDirect has a smallish team, and you must shift gears easily from one task to another — across multiple departments, up and down the company.

Having said all that, this is a phenomenal gig working for a great guy in a growth oriented company. We have placed a number of people with FramesDirect.com and we’ve never had a bad experience with them. Ever. They’re highly intelligent straight shooters, and they know how to run on high-quality business. For more information, please apply below.

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Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Monitor productivity and quality of responsible departments and adjust headcount levels accordingly.
  • Improve operational metrics in the areas of productivity, quality, customer ratings, and cost efficiency.
  • Manage all customer service metrics including call answer rate, call quality, sales conversion rate, online chat, contact us email, shipping cost per order, etc.
  • Manage and improve operational processes, policies, and systems in support of the organization’s mission and to improve efficiency and quality.
  • Supervise overall financial and operational management systems, controls and planning for their assigned departments.
  • Maintain effective inventory control processes which includes inspecting and maintaining quality and standards of goods and supplies.
  • Create reports, metrics, and budget plans for the organization, as assigned.
  • Build and maintain high-performance teams.
  • Contribute to long- and short-term organizational planning which includes planning for initiatives geared toward operational excellence.
  • Work closely with other departments within FramesDirect.com to ensure effective execution of new programs and offers
  • Negotiate and coordinate with vendors and suppliers, as needed.
  • This position has managers and supervisors reporting to it, but candidate must be willing to “roll up sleeves” when needed.

Required Skills and Competencies:

  • Demonstrated skills and accomplishments in process design, process improvement and continuous improvement. Certifications such as PMP, six sigma belts, 5S, etc. are preferred.
  • Advanced leadership skills including motivation, accountability, optimizing org structures and performance improvement.
  • Experience leading very high performance levels in quality, accuracy, productivity, call center metrics, and customer satisfaction.
  • Experience in B2C customer service and call center operations.
  • Experience with online retail a plus but not required.
  • Experience with parcel shipping and distribution.
  • Demonstrated ability to build high-performance teams.
  • Excellent computer skills and proficient in Excel, Word, PowerPoint.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Demonstrated leadership in managing people and projects across depts.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a collaborative management style.
  • Budget development and oversight experience.
  • A demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards and a diverse workplace.
  • Ability to look at situations from several points of view and make good judgment calls.
  • Persuasive/influential regarding details and facts.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Delegates responsibilities effectively

Qualifications:

  • College degree required in business, operations, engineering, or related field. MBA preferred.
  • At least 8-10 years of experience in operations management in a back-office environment with financial controls.

Applications for this position are being coordinated by Allan Seibert. To apply, CLICK HERE.  Candidates, please be sure to email Allan for additional information that will differentiate you in your candidacy. Due to the intensely competitive nature of this search, thorough preparation for these interviews with this proprietary material is strongly recommended.

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Harry Joiner

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