Back to all jobs
Executive Ford & Stanley logo

Ford & Stanley Executive

Group Supply Chain Director: Opportunity Brief

Ford & Stanley Executive Search (Part of the Ford & Stanley Group) are specialists in Executive Interim and Permanent appointments to the UK, European & North American Engineering, General Manufacturing, Transport & Digital Industries.

We have been exclusively entrusted and appointed by SCX Special Projects on a retained search for a Group Supply Chain Director.

Below you will find an ‘opportunity brief’ developed from notes taken during the scoping meetings (Situational Discovery) held between the F&S Business Manager, Research Manager and the SCX Special Projects C-Suite. This brief is designed to give candidates deeper insight into the opportunity inherent within the role, the challenges the role presents and provide access to the detail that sits behind the job specification.

Client Opportunity Statement:

“SCX Special projects are a specialist engineering business with an impressive track record of exciting engineering projects. Previously family owned, we have recently been acquired by a PE House and are now presented with the opportunity to utilise investment to take the business from ‘good’ to ‘great’.”

“Imperative to our journey is the hiring of a Group Supply Chain Director, someone who is going to upscale and, in some cases, modernise the supply chain / procurement function by adding sound process, procedures and governance.”

“The business needs someone who is excited by the opportunity to ‘roll their sleeves up’ and ensure their visibility is prominent throughout the business and supply chain. The role will involve you upskilling stakeholders throughout the organisation, partnering closely with the supply chain, setting the foundations for a successful supply chain / procurement function, negotiating, dealing with disputes, and managing prices. A real opportunity for someone to ‘put their stamp’ on the function.”

The Business:

SCX Special Projects  

SCX Special Projects is a £28m turnover business providing bespoke engineering solutions for lifting and mechanical handling challenges. Our customers range from the nuclear and defence sectors, to aerospace and manufacturing, stadia and kinetic architecture, and energy and utilities.

What makes SCX Special Projects, special?

  • Our can-do attitude and relentlessness allows us to deliver, even when the odds are stacked against us.
  • We adapt to changes and find safe solutions within cost and time constraints, meeting customer expectations.
  • We protect our commercial position AND look after our customers.

Our Vision & Mission

  • A world in motion, where engineering innovation creates safer, more productive, more engaging spaces.
  • To be the leading engineering solutions innovator in Kenetic architecture, moving structures and advanced mechanical handling.

We are:

  • Brave – We deliver on our promises and never back away from a challenge, asking for help early if we think there’s a problem. We speak up if we see something unsafe or if someone’s acting inappropriately.
  • Adaptable – We’re open to change, we think out of the box and always find a way to deliver.
  • Respectful – We embrace diversity, give everyone the chance to contribute and value everyone’s opinion.

We always:

  • Work as one team – We work together to get the job done and assist our colleagues to help meet business priorities.
  • Communicate Proactively – We are forward thinking and always respond promptly, raising challenges and opportunities as soon as they are identified.
  • Simplify the complex – We seek simple solutions that meet the contracted requirement and manage contracted scope closely.
  • Deliver on Time – We make commitments and stick to them in everything we do, both internally and externally.

The Opportunity

Main Challenges the role presents:

  • The role will require you to establish a strong supply chain / procurement function from the ground up. Although the function currently has 3 buyers within it (With budget for a fourth), there is some work to be done in the context of processes, procedures and governance. You will be tasked with implementing this foundation alongside communicating the outcome to the wider business and Supply Chain stakeholders.
  • In addition to implementing the foundations, processes, procedures and governance within the function you will need to invest significant time into the negotiation of large sub-contracts. The business is currently experiencing some difficulties with resolving disputes and negotiating prices.
  • Along with fundamental changes to the function the business is undergoing a cultural change. There hasn’t been much in the way of change to processes for 30 years and although there is significant appetite within the teams for improvement and progression they lack direction and understanding at times. Essentially, you will need to bring internal stakeholders along ‘on the journey’ as you modernise the function and it’s processes, educating and upskilling other team members as you go.
  • There needs to be a fundamental change in the way that the business collects it’s data and utilises it to aid future commercial decision making. As it stands, the business struggles to collect, quantify and utilise it’s data to drive positive improvement.

Top three deliverables in 1st year

  • Achieved or on target for 20% saving on Procurement spend. (Current spend £15 Million).
  • Implementing processes, procedures and governance for the supply chain function along with training and upskilling the wider business in correct Supply Chain Procedures.
  • Sales / Bid focus – ensuring the development of strategic processes and ensuring the supply chain function is involved at bid stage (Not currently happening).

Candidate Essentials:

  • A proven supply chain professional with proven experience working in an engineering business similar/with synergy to SCX Special Projects.
  • The successful candidate will have a proven track record operating in an industry that is highly regulated such as the nuclear industry or similar.
  • We are looking for someone ideally with more than 15 years experience. Preferably a supply chain professional who can bring some ambition and ‘energy’ to the business, someone who has been there and done that but nevertheless eager to progress.
  • The Group Supply Chain Director will be able to demonstrate a considerable track record in the context of Supply Chain Transformation, able to showcase their ability of implementing effective processes and procedures and critically, an ability to influence the added value throughout the business and empower colleagues.
  • Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate strong commercial understanding, with an ability to build relationships, influence commercial decisions and strongly consider ROI in decision making.   
  • We are looking for someone with strong communication skills, able to communicate across the group and mentor colleagues in best supply chain practices.

Good to know:

  • SCX Special Projects is £28m t/o with a headcount of 110 (Roughly).
  • Role reports to the COO and will have 3 buyers (budget for an additional buyer once the candidate has landed).
  • The Main goal of the incoming Group Supply Chain Director is to deliver the margin as agreed in the P.E exit plan (up to 5 years in timeline).
  • Group is formed of two main businesses: SCX Special Projects and Denley Hydraulics.
  • SCX was previously a family-run business before being bought out by a Private Equity company, who are now looking to grow the business to deliver new work, upscale the company and professionalise the processes in order to increase profitability.
  • There is significant appetite within the business for change and improvement, however at times the teams lack direction and an understanding of how to implement positive change.
  • It’s important to note that there are a large proportion of the team that are undergoing significant change to their responsibilities and the processes that they use. As such, it’s important that they are ‘brought along the journey’ and upskilled where necessary in order to keep retention high.
  • It has been commented that the business is fully of ‘exceptionally talented’ people eager to develop and as such, it’s imperative that guidance is consistently provided.
  • There is work to be done on how data is collected within the business and then utilised to aid commercial decision making.
  • There is currently no dedicated resource in this position – an opportunity for the right candidate to implement ‘best-in-practice’ processes and procedures.
  • Strong list of high-profile projects and achievements, which include:
    • The retractable concertina roofs at Wimbledon over Centre Court and No.1 Court.
    • The world-first dividing retractable pitch at Tottenham Hotspur’s new London stadium.
    • sea-going cranes for the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class carriers
    • The semi-automated overhead cranes for nuclear power station decommissioning.
    • The installation rigs for the platform screen doors on London’s new Crossrail network.
    • The retractable crossing at the world-famous Ascot racecourse.
  • Strong pipeline of work in the UK and Internationally, this includes:
    • Tier 1 supply to MOD for Defence Infrastructure.
    • ‘Plug and Play’ accessibility lift for the rail industry – assembled offsite and can be installed in 12 hours – conventional way involves weeks of construction.
    • Work in the nuclear industry.
    • Working with a number of international stadiums – including the world’s 1st soundproofed retractable roof.  


  • Base Salary Banding: Low of £85k, Mid of £90k and top end of £95k
  • Annual Salary Reviews
  • Car Allowance of £7,200 (Paid Monthly)
  • Bonus 10-20% of base, based on project enhancing procurement savings realised in year.
  • Westfield Health Cash Plan Level 3
  • 2 x salary life insurance
  • 25 days Holiday + 8 Statutory
  • Holiday purchase scheme
  • 5% Pension matched contributions – Salary Sacrifice Scheme

Likely Job Titles:

Head of Supply Chain, Supply chain Director, Head of Procurement or Procurement Director

Executive Search Delivery Team:

  • Oliver Nunn – Research Manager
  • Tom Norton – Business Manager
  • Cat Lane – Executive Research Assistant 

About Ford & Stanley Executive Search:

At Ford & Stanley Executive Search we go beyond a recruiting transaction with our core mission being that of every interaction we have with clients and candidates is best in class. We are select in the opportunities we represent, as such, work under strict exclusivity or retained agreements with forward thinking and proactive Rail companies that place their trust in our ability to deliver a winning shortlist at the first time of asking.

Our Search Directors (who are themselves members of the F&S Group Board) and in-house research team invest time at the front end of process with our client’s leadership team or stakeholders to consult, understand the opportunity inherent within the role, business need, map and agree timescales with supporting delivery plan well in advance of conducting the search.

All candidates both active and passive (head-hunted) can expect full and professional engagement from the Executive Search team in addition a timely, thorough and engaging recruitment process from a committed employer that seeks to secure ‘cream of the crop’ from a busy and noisy Global Rail candidate market.

Ford & Stanley Group Ltd is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all opportunity seekers and approach all opportunity with a mindset of who is right for the job irrespective sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief or political beliefs and we place an obligation upon all staff to respect and act in accordance with the policy. We shall adhere to such a policy at all times and will review on an on-going basis all aspects of recruitment to avoid unlawful or undesirable discrimination.

    • Job type: Permanent
    • Location: Sheffield
    • Date posted:
    • Salary:£85000 - £95000