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We are working with CRISTEL USA in their search fo an Operations Manager to be based in Atlanta, GA. CRISTEL makes the world’s finest cookware, flat out.
Featuring interchangeable handles, Cristel cookware allows fanatical fans (like my wife!) to fry on the stove top, cook in the oven and serve guests all in the same pan. The pans are stackable and the lids are flat for easy storage. Check it out …
A history of Excellence
In 1826, the plant in Fesches-le-Châtel in Franche-Comté in France was built by the industrial group Japy for the purpose of manufacturing household utensils made of beaten iron as well as cooking utensils. And it was on this site steeped in history that the very first French beaten tinplate saucepan was made in 1849. CRISTEL therefore rose from Japy’s ashes in 1983.
Nearly one century later, in 1987, under the management of the Dodane family, Cristel launched its “Cook & Serve” concept, a collection of top-of-the-range frying pans and saucepans with removable handles, an original concept designed by Paul Dodane.
CRISTEL is now a brand acknowledged throughout the International culinary world, and the reference thanks to its clever balance between quality, functionality and aesthetics.
Beauty and Greatness go hand in hand
CRISTEL is a family company constantly investing to develop its industrial facilities. This association between intelligence, human know-how and the high performance of its machines is a tremendous guarantee of quality, each article being hand-tooled prior to being subjected to stringent controls.
CRISTEL’s success has extended far beyond its borders. Its clever combination of quality and concept, design and functionality, and know-how and excellence appeals to the most exacting international markets.
Thanks to its innovative policy and high quality standards CRISTEL has become a reference in the Art of Living from Tokyo to Sao Paulo, Hong Kong to London and from Saint Barthelemy to Taipei, where CRISTEL’s qualities delight in complementing the flavors of the world.
CRISTEL exports its products to some thirty countries throughout the globe. Present in most of the most prestigious department stores in Asia, CRISTEL is also sold by the greatest Culinary and Tableware specialists, which means that a thousand customers are busy disseminating our philosophy and culture throughout all continents. No doubt about it: This is one of the coolest Atlanta Ops jobs around.
OPERATIONS MANAGER: POSITION OVERVIEW
The Operations Manager will be responsible for accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, managing the organizations customer service team and outsourced accounting company, managing the 3rd Party Logistics warehouse, financial reporting as a subsidiary to headquarters in France and helping and creating organizational and program budgets in collaboration with the General Manager and French Financial Team, and other misc. tasks.
Reporting to the General Manager and serving as a member of the Management Team this position’s primary responsibility is ensuring organizational effectiveness by providing leadership for the organization’s financial and operational functions.
Working with the management team, the position also contributes to the development and implementation of organizational strategies, policies and practices. This position will also interact with Senior Management in France, specifically the Group Controller.
HARRY’S COMMENTS: This role will pay a base salary of $60,000. I don’t usually put that in a job posting, but it’s worth noting here. This is a big job for that amount of money. That’s not a tragic flaw in the position: This is a high visibility, growth oriented position for a bright up-and-comer, and if you can make the numbers work, then Cristel USA would provide a very fertile proving ground for a future General Manager.
The client recently hired Alex Campbell as their US General Manager. Alex has a rich background of success growing brands like Le Creuset, and frankly, I would want my own child to work for him. Great guy. Very business-oriented. Wonderful mentor. Seems like this would be reason enough to take the position.
Prior to Alex’s arrival, Cristel had outsourced its accounting function to a firm with offices in New York and Miami, and it had also outsourced its warehouse function – much as many small online retailers and branded manufacturers do. After Alex got settled in his new role, he realized the firm needed a customer service person. In short order, Alex hired and placed a bright young customer service person at a 3PL in Cumming, GA. To date, this solution has worked reasonably well given that Cristel’s sales volumes are modest yet growing rapidly.
However, recently Alex has been pulled into a number of logistics and supply chain issues which are hindering his ability to market the business. Usually, these issues are costing Alex 1 to 2 hours per day. According to Alex, “It’s not heavy lifting, but it is time-consuming.” For example, on a recent visit to a major retailer, Alex received phone calls about late containers, customer service issues, and the like. Basically, it’s a “death by a thousand cuts” type thing to his calendar.
This dynamic will only increase as the business grows.
To whit: Very soon, Cristel will add Bloomingdale’s, Crate & Barrel, Brookstone, and Sur la Table, and he expects operations and customer service issues will be a full-time job. And according to Alex, “If you screw up with a major retailer, it’s over.”
What Alex needs is someone, in concert with the CFO in France, who can provide a monthly close. The new hire will also manage the 3 PL and manage the customer service person. Per Alex, “The new Ops Manager doesn’t need to know anything about tax or anything fancy in terms of the accounting issues. But if the candidate has an MBA in accounting, that’s the kind of person we want.”
Says Alex, “My perfect candidate would be someone who has worked in an accounting office, who may or may not have a CPA, but who knows how to do a monthly close. They need to know how to manage order replenishment, incoming containers, etc. And they’ll need to be high energy. They don’t have to deal with customers directly, but s/he will need to direct the customer service person. Some questions I might ask them during the interviews include …”
- How have you dealt with multiple priorities in your current job?
- Have you dealt with both accounting and operations before?
- Have you managed a Third Party Logistics Warehouse before (3PL).
- Do you have an understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) rules?
- In this role how would you prioritize key day to day items (order management, shipping and logistics, reorder (from France), debt collection, monthly close etc.).
- What skills would you bring to this role that might differentiate you from other candidates?
- Do you consider yourself as a “generalist” or a “specialist”?
- Have you managed people before?
Candidates: Alex will be flying to Atlanta on Sunday, May 10. His French team will be arriving next week. He will do a warehouse review on the 12th and possibly the 13th. The rest of the 13th of 14th is devoted to seeing candidates for this job. He wants his French colleagues to be able to be personally involved in this decision. If you’d like to discuss this role with me, please apply below.
- Improve the operational systems, processes and policies in support of organizations mission — specifically, support better management reporting, information flow and management, business process and organizational planning.
- Manage and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of Support Services (Customer Service, 3PL and Accounting Firm), through improvements to each function as well as coordination and communication between support and business functions.
- Play a significant role in long-term planning, including an initiative geared toward operational excellence.
- Oversee overall financial management, planning, systems and controls.
- Management of PR Firm budget in coordination with the General Manager.
- Development of individual program budgets for initiatives as agreed by the General Manager and Senior Management in France.
- Invoicing and collection for all wholesale accounts.
- Payroll management, including tabulation of accrued employee benefits.
- Disbursement of checks for expenses as agreed by the General Manager and Senior Management in France.
- Organization of fiscal documents.
- Regular meetings with the General Manager around fiscal planning and financial updates.
- Supervise and coach support staff on a weekly basis (or more frequently as required).
Responsibilities by Function
- Direct annual budgeting and planning process for the organization’s annual budget in conjunction with the General Manager and Senior Management in France.
- Develop and manage annual budget, and re-forecasts as necessary.
- Oversee monthly and quarterly assessments and forecasts of organization’s financial performance against budget, financial and operational goals. Oversee short and long-term financial and managerial reporting.
- Managing day to day processing of accounts receivable and payable using QuickBooks, producing reports as requested.
- Managing the relationship with the company’s bank(s) to manage the corporate account in conjunction with the Group Controller in France.
- Reconciling monthly activity, generating year-end reports, and fulfilling tax related requirements.
- Assisting the General Manager and Senior Management in France in creating annual organizational budget and monitoring cash flow.
- Managing all contracts with major wholesale accounts including a constant liaison with their financial management.
- Maintaining Intersection’s archival and administrative files.
- Administering payroll and employee benefits and organizational insurance.
- Ensure that Accounting Company’s requests are resolved and communicated in a timely manner to internal and external parties.
- Develop long-range forecasts and maintain long-range financial plans.
- Prepare annual audit and be a liaison with all outside vendor.
Management of Order Process and Billing:
- Purchase order management
- Shipping and billing (using QuickBooks)
- Retailer and Rep acknowledgements (and management of rep commissions based on payables less any charge backs from wholesale accounts).
- Management of DSO (day’s sales outstanding) with all accounts.
- Information trading with non-competing accounts on accounts payment history to facilitate good business practices in establishing credit limits for wholesale accounts.
Management of 3rd Party Logistics Capability:
- Physical inventory and periodic Cycle counts (ABC or Pareto Method)
- Assessment of on time order fulfillment and shipping performance (within pre-defined window like 72 hour response for drop ship orders)
- Reconciliation of their fees against deductions due to shipping errors.
- Negotiation of contract rates for future years.
- EDI implementation as required by national accounts.
- Liaison with France on replenishment based on consolidated wholesale account demand forecasts.
- Management of customs brokerage (with customs broker), carrier to receipt.
- Physical inventory and periodic Cycle counts (ABC or Pareto Method)
- Reconciliation of returns and damaged stock.
- Increase the long term effectiveness and efficiency of support services through improvements to each function (Customer Service (in conjunction with the 3PL warehouse), IT (liaison with the IT Manager in France), Finance (through the outsourced accounting firm) and liaison with Group Controller as well as coordination and communication between functions.
- Drive initiatives in the management team and organizationally that contribute to long-term operational excellence.
- Providing consulting services on matters related to financial matters, tax and insurance questions, and business structure and growth.
- Contribute to short and long-term organizational planning and strategy as a member of the management team
- In conjunction with the General Manager be a liaison to legal counsel in addressing legal issues e.g. copyright, antitrust, governing instruments, partnerships, licensing etc.
- Oversee organizational insurance policies.
- Commitment to social justice and the mission
- At least 3 years’ experience in Financial Management
- Strong background and work experience in Finance
- Excellent computer skills and proficient in excel, word, outlook, and access
- Excellent communication skills both verbal and written
- 3 plus years’ experience in bookkeeping
- Knowledge of contract management and + Knowledge and experience in organizational effectiveness and operations management implementing best practices.
- Demonstrated leadership and vision in managing subordinates and major projects or initiatives.
- 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
- Knowledge of tax and other compliance elements required (both state and federal)
- Excels at operating in an fast pace, community environment
- Excellent people manager, open to direction and + Collaborative work style and commitment to get the job done
- Ability to challenge and debate issues of importance to the organization
- Ability to look at situations from several points of view
- Persuasive with details and facts
- Delegate responsibilities effectively
UPDATE: THIS SEARCH IS CLOSED.
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PS – If you’re thinking about changing jobs this year (though us or anyone else), you might want to check out this post on why even TOP candidates get rejected.