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Operations Director

About the role

International Beverage is the spirits arm of one of the world’s top 10 drinks producers, ThaiBev. Its UK head office sits alongside an extensive bottling and warehousing facility in Airdrie, plus it has five historic distilleries scattered across the north of Scotland – Pulteney, Speyburn, Balblair, Knockdhu and Balmenach.

The company is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of a multiaward-winning portfolio of premium brands in over 85 international markets, leading a network of offices across Hong Kong, India, Poland, Mexico and the USA. International Beverage’s spirits are amongst the finest available on the market today, and include single malt Scotch whiskies Old Pulteney, Balblair, anCnoc and Speyburn; the blended Scotch Hankey Bannister; and Caorunn, the pioneering super premium Scottish gin.

ThaiBev has identified the international spirits business as a key area for growth in the coming decade and is investing heavily to realise International Beverage’s full potential. In addition to investment in its operations and systems there is a significant investment being made in its people development and growth strategy and the business is currently going through a complete review of its organisation design a structure and the business plans to implement a number of changes in 2023 that will enable the organisation able to scale up rapidly and create an even stronger employer brand for the future.

As a result of this, four rewarding senior positions within the business have been identified including an exciting opportunity as Operations Director to lead all of their Production and Supply Chain Operations as a member of the executive team.

About the opportunity:

The Operations Director has overall leadership accountability for distillation, maturation and blending, bottling operations and logistics & supply chain for International Beverage.

Working with the Managing Director and with the Leadership Team, this role will support the medium and long-term growth ambitions for Scotch and gin, through cost effective production, liquid and packaging innovation and World Class customer service.

The Operations Director is responsible for developing and executing the agreed strategies for safety, quality, environmental sustainability, manufacturing, continuous improvement (Lean manufacturing & ISO certifications), engineering, procurement, liquid innovation & commercialization, planning/logistics and warehousing (maturing inventory) – delivering upon P&L commitments whilst partnering with key stakeholders.

Main Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement an Operational Strategy across all areas of responsibility to support the business in achieving ambitious growth aspirations.
  • Working closely with the FD, to ensure stocks profile supports the opportunities and ambitions of the company across Brands, intercompany spirit supply & 3rd party bulk sales.
  • Lead a Safety First culture across the company, ensuring safety is a continued priority across all functions within the business.
  • Lead a robust Sales & Operations Planning process, balancing supply with demand in new and existing markets. Support the Head of Supply Chain in delivering agreed supply chain KPI’s.
  • Lead the Environmental Sustainability Strategy for Operations ensuring delivery of the company sustainability targets and supporting relevant accreditation including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
  • Ensure all sites are compliant with Health & Safety, Environment and HM Revenue & Customs legislation to maintain all relevant certifications/accreditations.
  • Take ownership for the financial performance of Operations, tracking variances and trends. Champion a culture of transparent reporting & decision-making.
  • Lead a continuous improvement culture across Operations using agreed continuous improvement principles and tools. Ensure systems and processes are suitable for scaling to meet future growth aspirations.
  • Maintain a knowledge of new technologies and trends in Operations and in conjunction with IT develop an agenda that drives efficiency, effectiveness and automation where possible.
  • Develop and implement Key Performance Indicators across Operations.
  • Accountable for procurement of strategic raw materials, strategic utilities and core packaging materials
  • Work closely with Marketing Team & Master Blender to deliver new product development requirements.
  • Represent the business within the Industry and both local and regional authorities where required, attending key committee meetings and building commercial relationships.
  • Build and deliver a strategic capex plan.
  • Work closely with the commercial business ensuring a level of flexibility is provided by Operational processes enabling a customer focused offering (?)
  • Lead, motivate and develop the Operations team to drive a culture of high performance and develop talent and succession pipelines.
  • Support the Managing Director with other business projects such as Mergers & Acquisitions.

Requirements (include):

  • Proven experience in Production (ideally distilling) and Manufacturing roles, leading multidisciplinary teams and having accountability for P&L performance.
  • Engineering, Science or Operations/ Supply Chain related degree. MBA preferable.
  • Broader Supply Chain experience would be an advantage, particularly S&OP, planning and procurement.
  • Experienced in Operational Excellence programs (Lean Manufacturing, 6 Sigma)
  • A confident, passionate and focused leader, who can engage with multiple Senior Stakeholders across levels, functions, brands, countries & cultures.
  • Understanding of ISO certifications and legislation within the alcohol industry
  • Highly commercial individual with a track record of managing P&L’s, with a particular focus on controllable costs and inflation.
  • An experienced people manager, who can lead and grow a team of individuals through a period of ongoing change and provide the drive, motivation and leadership for growth.
  • A resilient, can-do mindset will be required.
  • A visionary that can conceptualise long term strategy and translate that into an actionable business plan, gaining the necessary buy in to deliver on the vision.
  • Capable of providing direction, a strong influencer and can communicate the advantages and disadvantages of available options.


How to apply / contact us:

To apply, please send your CV to Michael Dickson, Director at FWB Park Brown at For an initial confidential conversation please contact 0131 539 7087.