Continuous Improvement Design Manager

Brompton Bicycle
Greenford, UK
Closing date
8 Oct 2020

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Contract Type
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Our purpose is to change the way people live in cities. By providing the means to commute or explore with a bike that you can take anywhere and store anywhere, we can make cities happier places to live. We want to increase people's freedom, improve their health and reduce society's impact on the environment. We make more than just a bicycle, and we are more than just a bicycle company.
We continue to make the Brompton in West London, where we started in 1975. Brompton now offers 16.5 million combinations on the bike, every one of which is still made by hand in London. It is now estimated that there are over 80,000 Brompton bikes in London. Three-time winner of the Queen's Award for Enterprise, the company sells over 45,000 bikes in 44 countries around the world every year. Sales have been growing at a fast rate with the help of Brompton Junction retail stores in London, Barcelona, Munich, Beijing, Milan, Hamburg, Shanghai, Chengdu, Amsterdam, Tokyo and Kobe and we don't plan on stopping there.

This role will manage a growing team of design engineers. The team will sit within the Tooling and Equipment department and will be responsible for the design, manufacture and sourcing of tooling and equipment for use in production. As the company grows, we are splitting departments and separating the responsibilities for the current products and new products, of which we have several in the pipeline. This role will be responsible for the tooling and equipment relating to current products where the focus is more on continuous improvement and engineering refinement.
Main Responsibilities
Technical duties - you and your team
  • Design tooling and equipment to maintain and improve the production of all products within the Brompton factory consisting of both frame manufacture and bicycle assembly.
  • Where appropriate, provide solutions that are based on the latest manufacturing technology; research new technologies, assess their suitability and ensure effective adoption at Brompton.
  • Implement engineering changes and new solutions and help develop the engineering change process. Ensure that realistic timelines are planned and kept to by your team, communicate progress and KPIs.
  • Review and approve your team's engineering drawings and technical documents for release. Instil BS8888 and uphold strict drawing control practices.
  • Conduct basic R&D and prototyping whilst maintaining meticulous records and issuing technical reports as necessary.
  • Identify and liaise with suitable suppliers, produce CAPEX budgets and business cases, produce requirement specifications, negotiate new machinery purchases and manage their delivery.
  • Assist with process FMEAs and risk management within the production environment.
  • Work closely with Production Engineering teams to ensure that new equipment is effectively handed over; assist with validation trials and general production ramp up.
  • Prepare technical resources for training and maintenance purposes.
  • Ensure that new equipment meets the latest Health and Safety requirements and best practices such as PUWER and the machinery directive.
Managerial duties
  • Define roles and responsibilities within your team and delegate effectively.
  • Identify new roles required within the team and undertake succession planning.
  • Recruitment of new team members.
  • Management of appraisals, performance, disciplinaries, training and career development of team members.
  • Mentor and coach your team to increase the team's skill level.
  • Define the design projects for your team and oversee their project management.
  • Weekly workload monitoring, adjusting and prioritising using SQDC criteria.
Wider duties
  • Work with the Production Engineering Continuous Improvement team to agree priorities for new equipment.
  • Offer technical support and problem-solving skills to Production and the shop floor teams.
  • Work with the Design team to provide feedback regarding Design for Manufacture principles.
  • Maintain working relationships and strengthen feedback loops between your department and the Quality Assurance and Customer Service departments to safeguard new products from known issues.
  • Report departmental progress and KPI's in monthly reports.
Job requirementsSkills and requirements
  • Experience in applying lean principles and other manufacturing theories.
  • Experience in mechanical design and engineering, especially in implementing jigs, fixtures and tooling solutions.
  • Practiced at procuring cut and machined parts from various suppliers and sourcing new suppliers. Work closely with the in-house tool room and suppliers to assist in the realisation of new production worthy solutions.
  • Proficient in 3D CAD software, especially SolidWorks, to produce intelligently modelled parts, assemblies and engineering drawings.
  • A practical understanding of modern manufacturing processes such as automation, CNC, digitally controlled equipment, CMM or robotics.
  • A natural and intuitive feel for engineering with a gift for pre-empting and avoiding technical difficulties.
  • Ability to coach, mentor and transfer your own technical skills to your team. Leadership qualities and the desire to provide strategic guidance to your team.
  • Excellent emotional intelligence and communication skills; the ability to work effectively with a wide range of characters and departments.
  • A hands-on practical approach.
  • An understanding of Health and Safety requirements and best practice.
  • Project management skills and the ability to influence projects across different departments. Run projects to good project management principals. Incorporate timelines and deadlines into your team's daily life. Ensure that all stages of the project are given the correct attention, particularly problem definition, concept selection, validation, handover and lessons learnt.
  • Experience managing a team.
  • Excellent self-motivation and the desire to pro-actively identify and undertake new projects.
  • A degree in Engineering or a similar related field is essential.
  • An engineering background in a relevant working environment is essential.
  • At least 3 years' managerial experience in design and manufacturing.
  • Able to demonstrate successful design projects that have been implemented in industry
The Person
The person in this role will be able to provide the best possible solutions to problem solving by examining facts and trying different alternatives and thinking things through. They will be able to identify and develop practical solutions, communicate the findings and implement action to achieve their objectives. The successful candidate will create monitoring systems that identify whether the team are achieving the organizational objectives within the given timescales.

The ideal candidate will be systematic and logical in their approach to decision making and ensuring all necessary facts and information are available for review. They will be able to motivate people to work to the highest standards and produce the best results and providing recognition for a job well done and providing them with areas for improvement. The successful person will be expected to mentor, coach and support those in need of assistance and direction while building morale and encouraging others.

The individual will continually seek out opportunities to drive a culture of strategic excellence and continuous improvement. They must be alerted to changing situations, show flexibility in approach when difficult circumstances arise and still strive to achieve a result.

The person in this role will take a perfectionist approach to situations and enjoy researching facts and information. They will able to communicate with others in an analytical manner within a technical area of expertise. The achievement of results and the need to be involved in a variety of tasks call for accuracy and the attention to detail are vital aspects of this role. Standard operating procedures and adhering to policy and processes and maintain quality and standards are also important. The successful person should be precise, adaptable, alert, self-starting, inquisitive, friendly and confident within a specific area of expertise.

Job Profile

Brompton uses a Thomas Personality Profile Assessment (PPA) as part of the recruitment process. You will be invited to undertake a test as part of the second stage interview. The following sections give an indication to the type of personality profile we believe fits the role, in terms of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance.

Compliance (High C)
  • A disciplined and rational approach to problem solving is important for the role.
  • The possession of and recognition for specialist or technical competences are factors which are needed for the person fulfilling this role.
  • The successful candidate must conform closely with policies, procedures and precedent in place.
  • On occasion the person in this role may need to take quick decisions with only a limited supporting data and information.

Influence (High I)
  • The possession of leadership and motivational skills will be vital to the function of this role.
  • Able to establish and cultivate relationships with others will be advantageous.
  • Be able to create a positive and friendly atmosphere to work in will be expected of the person in this role.
  • Able to work as a team with others.
  • Influencing and motivational skills are critical requirements for this role.

Dominance (Marginally High D)
  • A degree of an assertive and direct working behavioural style will be needed where necessary in this role.
  • The successful candidate will be able to drive for results, this is vital for this function.

Steadiness (Low S)
  • Being self-critical and fault-finding will play an important part of the role.
  • The successful candidate will be able to maintain a high work rate.
  • The candidate will be able to seek new and better ways of doing things in this role.
  • Adaptability and alertness will be required from the person occulting this role.
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