Vice President, Core Operations

New York, NY

VP of Core Operations is a new role for Universal Standard. This role is being established to oversee all inbound and outbound logistics, including our freight forwarding partners, large 3PL warehousing operations, reverse logistics and carrier relationships (UPS, USPS, DHL, FedEx). The VP of Core Operations will plan, direct, coordinate, and oversee logistics operations activities in the organization, ensuring development and implementation of efficient operations and cost-effective systems to meet current and future needs of the organization. This person will have inventory accountability and should have experience working within Shopify and an ERP system with a strong preference for ERP implementation experience.


What You'll Do:

  • Own relationships with key operations partners. This includes warehouse 3PL management and contract negotiations, carrier partnership management and negotiation, freight forwarder/contract trucking relationship management and negotiations. Should have RFP’ed and recruited one of these types of partners in the past and would be comfortable initiating and changing a relationship with a major ops partner for greater efficiency if necessary.
  • Oversee day-to-day warehousing operations (management of 3PL team), including labor planning for special promotions, new capability development, wholesale shipments, overall process review and control with team, sourcing of packaging and management of packaging costs, cost controls and cost negotiations for new functionality. In addition, work with our warehouse and integration team to solve special projects, typically in support of marketing initiatives. Examples of this would be setting up programs such as our Reset, Recycle, Refresh program, or helping to ensure catalogs are included in the right orders, packaging & packing issues are identified and resolved or that gift wrapping programs are properly executed. The Director of Operations supports marketing capability execution, but VP of Ops is responsible for deeply understanding warehouse capabilities and finding paths to execute new programs.
  • Responsible for identifying, implementing and managing the right ERP system for the organization to support in proper data management. Ensure that the implementation of the ERP supports advanced capabilities such as split & ship, back-orders, holding orders, holding inventory for wholesale and combining orders. Also responsible for all field and module creation in the ERP related to warehousing operations and inventory. This person would also support other internal functions, specifically Sourcing, in getting their capabilities set up as well to improve PO issuing and tracking.
  • Partner with Finance to establish and administer the departmental budget through forecasting estimated costs per shipment/cost per unit, as well as warehousing overhead costs to help with planning. In addition, manage to these budgets and be accountable for re-orienting the system when there are misses to budget.
  • Oversee inbound logistics and strategic approvals to manage cost. The VP of Core Operations would manage the Director of Operations in getting products from vendors to our warehouse in the fastest, most cost efficient way. Although this task in normal times is fairly straightforward, during a global logistics crisis this requires creating thinking and partnership with our vendors and freight forwarder to manage risk and ensure product arrives for key promotions like Black Friday/Cyber Monday. This can mean using multi-modal, switching between air and ocean, moving products inside of China to get to better ports for the best pricing. This capability also means anticipating issues before they happen and securing shipments through every means possible.
  • Oversee carrier partners and outbound logistics. As a DTC business, managing our carrier mix and associated costs is critical to hitting our financial plans. This can mean re-orienting our shipping algorithm to support lower costs during the summer and better service during the meeting. This can also be trying multiple different carriers for international or re-weighing all our inventory to get to better cost optimization for our shipments. This function is all about continual improvement of costs within a very dynamic carrier cost landscape. Finally, working with the Manager of Core Operations, this role is accountable for issue resolution of problem orders. For example. making budget decisions on lost products, identifying carrier hub issues and working with the CX team to ensure customer needs are met.
  • Working with the Head of Technology, this role owns all back-end ops integrations to Shopify, including payment gateways, insurance apps, returns processing, shipping software – and of course, anything that goes awry here. This role is not required to be a coder but must understand integration well enough to project manage an integration and identify and issue resolve fast when things go wrong.
  • Works with CX function to avoid issues in advance and manage problems when they happen. Has the maturity to know when CX concerns are valid versus when the business needs trumps.
  • Ability to executive interface on all things operations. Collaborate with executive leadership to develop and meet company goals while supplying expertise and guidance on operations projects and systems. Set expectations on what is and isn’t possible for big revenue pushes, works with CX and collaborates across marketing to ensure customer expectations are clear and service stays top notch even during shipping delays.
  • Present periodic performance reports and metrics to the CEO and other leadership.
  • Maintains knowledge of emerging technologies and trends in operations management.
  • Identify training needs and ensure proper training is developed and provided.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.
  • Recruit, interview, hire, and train management-level staff in the department.
  • Oversee the daily workflow of the department.
  • Provide constructive and timely performance evaluations.
  • Handle discipline and termination of employees in accordance with company policy.


Who You Are:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong supervisory and leadership skills.
  • Extensive knowledge of the principles, procedures, and best practices in the industry.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Must have Shopify “back-end” stack experience – i.e. integrating with warehouse APIs, Shopify Apps, etc. Not required to code but must know how to get systems linked together and manage team and associated workflow changes related to these issues.
  • Problem framer extraordinaire – knows how to breakdown and isolate issues fast to get to root cause.
  • Strong analytical and database capabilities – comfortable with turning messy data into meaning, wizard of v-look-ups, master of portals and uploads/downloads.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or related software.
  • Must have experience with ERP (Netsuite or other). Strong preference for experience implementing an ERP system.
  • Bachelors degree in Business Administration, Logistics, Engineering, or other industry-related field required; MBA preferred.
  • At least 7 years of industry-related experience including 1-2 years in upper management required (Director or above).

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