Senior Manager Prototype Operations

Salary: £50,000 to £60,000 pa + Benefits

Industry: Automotive

Job Type: Permanent

Location: West Midlands

Reference: 28788-sw

Expiration date: 10 April 2018

Job Purpose: Responsible for definition, implementation and delivery of Prototype Operations objectives covering three main areas, pre-VP prototype builds, DVP fleet support and supply of prototype parts to builds. Provide leadership and motivation to the Prototype Operations function to ensure achievement of departmental objectives.

Key Relationships:          

  • Liaise with program, PD and production to define the appropriate build strategy for each particular program build.
  • Co-ordinate with program and PD to monitor and enhance the prototype organisation to facilitate the DVP plan, ensuring adequate support to for DVP testing and maintenance of an effective and efficient PD vehicle fleet.
  • Monitor and report prototype parts supply status across all programs and pre-production build phases. Where supply issues are identified liaise with program, PD, launch and purchasing to develop and implement robust recovery plans.


  • Work with external design partners and PD to design and deliver robust prototype X1 & M1 properties.
  • Liaise with external facility owners and land lords to evaluate additional capacity and capabilities to support the prototype operations plan.
  • Communicate with parts suppliers to monitor prototype parts delivery status and resolve issues as they arise.
  • Lead and support preparation for external audits and the resolution of any non-conformances.

Key Responsibilities and Tasks:

  • Collate the build requirements across all programs and develop fully costed options for the production of prototypes for each program by build phase.  To include consideration of labour, facility requirements and potential donor vehicles verses ground up builds.
  • Establish a strategy for the execution of prototype builds with both a short term (1 year) and a medium term (3-5 year) plan. Continuously review and update the strategy to reflect the latest approved programs.
  • Review and evaluate internal and external capacity and capabilities against future plans and ensure the facilities and equipment are available to execute Prototype Operations future plans.
  • Develop labour utilisation plans across all areas that minimise the head count while protecting the core skills and knowledge of the teams. Reduce cost by increasing the work forces skill levels to allow flexible deployment across all functions.
  • Ensure appropriate data and presentations are provided to support the Prototype Operations deliverables at each gateway.
  • Ensure the team develops effective, cost efficient tooling, facilities and process to assemble robust prototypes, with particular emphasis on continues improvement.
  • Lead the work with external design partners to deliver robust, representative and repeatable prototype properties at X1 & M1.
  • Longer term develop the engineering design capability of Prototype Operations to insource the core engineering design of X1 & M1 properties and the control of specialist external resource.
  • Ensure the prototype parts supply operation maintains robust but flexible processes that can accommodate prototype parts supply across all programs and build phases.
  • Make sure that the prototype parts status for each program build phase is effectively communicated to the appropriate team, with sufficient detail to be an effective tool for monitoring and improving status.
  • Ensure the instrumentation team provide a quality measurement service to support all areas of vehicle development sign-off.
  • Regularly review Prototype Operations performance against agreed targets, where issues are identified provide support and assistance in resolving those issues.
  • Lead the Prototype Operations team encourage a success and delivery driven approach, while creating and foster a positive team spirit across the whole department.  Inspire the team to work more effectively towards a common set of objectives.
  • Review and develop the individuals within the build teams to ensure they have the appropriate skills to achieve the departmental objectives.  Use coaching and appraisals to grow the individuals and strengthen the team.
  • Lead the preparation for internal and external audits and the resolution of any non-conformances.
  • Continuously monitor and review the process, procedures and all working practices used in the prototype build operation and actively seek opportunities to improve efficiency, speed of delivery, constancy and robustness of the prototypes.
  • Responsibility for health and safety standards in all prototype operations areas across all site, ensuring that all areas strive to exceed the required standards.
  • Responsible for implementing and maintaining ISO 14001 & ISO 1900 within the prototype build area.    
  • The post holder will undertake other duties as may be required to achieve the Company’s objectives, commensurate with the grading of the post.


  • Degree level in an engineering discipline preferably a higher degree.
  • Business related degree.
  • Full driving licences as post covers several sites.

Relevant Experience: 

  • Extensive experience of assembly processes and vehicle builds across all areas BIW, Paint and Trim & Final.
  • Extensive experience of jig, fixture and tooling design across all build areas.
  • Specific in-depth understanding of BIW tooling principles.
  • Experience of both high volume and low volume would be a distinct advantage.
  • Experience of managing and coaching a team of people carrying out a diverse range of operational roles.
  • Experience of controlling operations on multiple sites.
  • Experience of facility development and management would be an advantage
  • Proven delivery of project within time, cost and quality constrains.  

Skills & Abilities:

  • Must be able to lead and motivate team to achieve challenging targets.
  • Accomplished planner able to plan at both the strategic and the detailed operational level.
  • Able to setup operations from scratch.
  • Presentation skills both verbal and written
  • Attention to detail.

Personal Attributes:

  • Self-starter capable of operating with little supervision.
  • Calm under pressure.
  • Able to identify the priorities and categorise key tasks and then address then appropriately.
  • Must have a positive approach to work, determined to get the job done.
  • Must be driven by desire to produce physical properties.