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Operations Finance Manager

About the role

Gordon & MacPhail – At A Glance

Since the founding of the business in 1895, Gordon & MacPhail has sent casks to Scotch whisky distilleries throughout Scotland to be filled with new-make spirit, before being left to mature for many years either at the distillery or in their bonded warehouses in Elgin. The Gordon & MacPhail portfolio offers some of the world’s rarest and most sought-after Single Malt Scotch Whiskies to discerning whisky drinkers globally.

In 1998, the company restarted production at Benromach distillery and has developed the brand into a multi-award winning whisky, with a 5 Star Visitor Experience. In 2020, Gordon and MacPhail is now recognised as not only one of the most prestigious brands but one of the most entrepreneurial, with work starting on the construction of a second distillery, The Cairn, on the outskirts of Grantown on Spey in the Cairngorm National Park. Their whisky portfolio has also recently been complemented by the addition of Red Door Gin and the company is investing heavily in improved technology and systems.

Gordon & MacPhail brands are now exported to over forty countries. In the UK, the company operates its own wholesale business representing its owned brands, a number of exclusive ‘distributor’ brands and a range of premium whiskies and spirits.

The retail shop in Elgin remains the ‘spiritual home’ of the business, 125 years after it was first established in 1895. The shop is home to a large selection of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies and is a destination for many whisky aficionados from around the world.

Operations Finance Manager – Job Purpose:

The Operations Finance Manager will be a key partner to, and link between, Operations and Finance functions for the business’ production, warehousing and distribution functions, increasing the financial and commercial literacy and insight to and from these functions and becoming a real enabling business partner to them also.

The successful candidate will support the business in the development of improved operational reporting and will play a key role in personally and assisting in the monitoring, review, challenge and analysis of operational performance. This will involve reporting and analysis regarding production levels and costs, distillation recovery, distillation efficiency maturation costs, production and shipping activity, labour utilisation, overheads v budget, bottling recovery, production variances, order fulfilment metrics, warehousing costs, stock availability and working capital metrics and therefore an individual with experience of cost accounting and operational financial analysis would be highly advantageous.

Experience from a manufacturing or production environment in the role as finance analyst, cost accounting or business partnering type role would be of real interest, however experience in this sector would not be required.

We would also be keen to speak with ambitious and motivated individuals from Private Practice who have experience of partnering either in audit, accounting or corporate with manufacturing or operations focussed clients.

Main Accountabilities

Reporting to the Head of Finance, the Operations Finance Manager will deliver objectives in the following areas:

  • Control of Stock
  • Monitoring Operational Performance
  • Develop Operational Reporting
  • Governance and Control

Control of Stock

  • Taking ownership for implementing adequate procedures around the business to ensure the accurate valuation and existence of stock.
  • Work with the Operations team to maintain effective processes for the valuation of stock:
    • Identify any slow moving or obsolete stock, and ensure that a plan of action is implemented to deal with this stock
    • Ensure appropriate stock provisions are in place
    • Monitor operational variances to identify any indicators of stock being valued incorrectly
  • Work with the Operations team to maintain effective processes for the accuracy of stock holdings:
    • Develop and implement a plan to ensure all types of stock are routinely counted to a high level of accuracy
    • Work with Operations to identify and remedy stock control issues identified
    • Support Operations with annual or one-off stock counts

Monitoring Operational Performance

  • Maintain the standard costing system within the business, to include the annual revaluation process.
  • Ensure that Bills of Material and product routings are up to date and relevant.
  • Ensure that product costings are accurate
  • Develop an understanding of the postings in IFS throughout the manufacturing process and ensure that these are well documented.
  • On a monthly basis, ensure that all significant postings to operational P&L and Balance Sheet nominal codes are reconciled and understood.
  • Support the operational team in assessing business improvement, investment or cost-saving opportunities.
  • Assist with the setting of annual recovery rates for the following areas based on budget, and ensure that actual performance versus the budgeted rates is reported on a periodic basis:
    • Distillation recovery
    • Bottling hall recovery
    • Capitalisation of warehousing costs into stock
  • As a key finance user, support the continued development of IFS
  • Assist the Operational team with any IFS queries

Develop Operational Reporting

  • Support the business in the development of a monthly KPI framework to manage operational performance:
    • Spirit Supply: Production levels and costs, distillation recovery, distillation efficiency maturation costs
    • Bottling & Supply Chain: Production and shipping activity, labour utilisation, overheads v budget, bottling recovery, production variances, order fulfilment metrics, warehousing costs, stock availability, working capital metrics
    • Procurement: Spend v budget, management of PPV, spend efficiency
  • Effectively communicate this information to Operations personnel in a manner that is understandable to non-Finance personnel
  • Support the senior Operations team members with ad-hoc requests from Finance

Governance & Control

  • Identify and implement improvements in the financial control environment focussing on:
    • Procurement processes
    • Goods receipting/GRNI accrual
    • Compliance with HMRC requirements
  • Perform balance sheet reconciliations for the operational related accounts as part of the month end close process
  • Ensure any unusual transactions in the month are fully understood and investigated
  • Undertake approvals in line with the company’s Delegation of Authority
  • Take the lead in working with statutory auditors in all areas noted above

Planning & Organising

  • Planning horizons span from the daily management of transactional finance, through to the monthly reporting cycle, the annual budgeting and statutory accounting cycles.
  • As such, the skillset required for this role embodies both tactical and strategic planning and management.

Communication & Relationships

  • Within the Finance Team, this role will have regular interaction with the Finance Director and Head of Finance as the leadership team for the department.
  • This role will require to build a close relationship with the Operations team, in order to support them (specifically the Operations Director and the Head of Supply Chain).

Autonomy and Decision Making

  • The Operations Finance Manager will be responsible for the approval of financial transactions within the limits of the company’s delegated authority. The manager role is empowered to make decisions based on judgement of what is best for the company.
  • The Operations Finance Manager will refer to the Head of Finance, Head of Supply Chain or other senior team members where consultation is required.

What We Are Looking For

To request the candidate brochure, for further information on the role or location flexibility, to assess your fit as a potential candidate or a general and confidential discussion, please contact Michael Dickson from FWB Park Brown on +44 131 539 7087 or