Chief Operating Officer
Ultralight Outdoor Gear
Chief Operating Officer
North East, Wynyard (Stockton-on-Tees)
Mark Richardson started Ultralight Outdoor Gear (UOG) in 2006. The company evolved out of Mark’s passion for backpacking and love of the outdoors, however truly lightweight gear was and is difficult to find in the mainstream outdoor retailers, which led to his idea to bring the best lightweight kit together under one virtual ‘roof’, then provide an industry leading level of detail on each product to help likeminded individuals to buy the best gear for their intended use.
Ultralight Outdoor gear has grown consistently since its formation and is looking to grow further, not through gimmicks or promotional based sales but by providing quality products, advice and industry leading customer service.
Although currently growing in the trekking, adventure racing and adventure travel markets there is also scope to grow in new categories and new territories carrying forward the lightweight ethos.
Mark will continue to carry out the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) role but on a part time basis, the new Chief Operating Officer (COO) will report directly to Mark and will not only manage the day to day operation of Ultralight Outdoor Gear Limited but will also take a key role in determining and implementing strategy to ensure its continued growth.
At the operational level the COO will have a high degree of autonomy ensuring agreed performance targets are met, customers and suppliers experience a high degree of satisfaction when dealing with the company and staff are managed in an effective way. At a strategic level decision making will be a joint process involving both the CEO and COO. Strategy implementation will be the preserve of the COO.
This person will be the champion of the customer experience and will have the power to influence how the business is presented to its customers, new product selection and all aspects of the retail offer.
In respect of back office operations, the COO will be expected to work with the senior management team (SMT) to expand and modernise marketing, warehousing, finance and other functions to efficiently meet the needs of our growing company.
The COO will have the sound leadership and man-management skills to get the best out of the SMT, be adept at dealing with suppliers and understand the needs of the on-line customer.
Accountability and Responsibilities
- Overseeing operations of the company and the work of the senior management team
- Design and implement business strategies, plans and procedures
- Identify continuous improvement opportunities relating to the customer experience
- Identify and establish best practice back office systems
- Design and agree budget with CEO
- Set comprehensive goals for performance and growth within and beyond the budgetary framework
- Manage the Marketing function
- Evaluate performance by analysing and interpreting data and metrics
- Liaise with CEO on a monthly basis in detail providing written reports etc.
- Establish policies that promote the company culture and vision
- Lead employees to encourage maximum performance and dedication
- Manage relationships with partners/suppliers, attend range presentations and Trade shows
- Co-ordinate product selection bringing together various aspects such as current range, sales information and market intelligence
- Keep abreast of online retail best practice, testing this against the company ethos
- Manage the working environment
- Liaise with CEO for exceptional issues
Skills and Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in business administration, or related field
- Knowledge of the outdoor industry ideally in a related field
- An interest in the outdoors, ideally participating in a related outdoor pursuit
- Experience in executive leadership positions
- A solid grasp of spreadsheets, data analysis and performance metrics
- Master’s degree in business or related field
- Good understanding principles of Retail and competitive landscape
Ultralight Outdoor gear is a unique business and prides itself on the cohesive and collaborative working environment that it promotes.
The individual that we are looking to recruit will have a keen passion for the outdoors and have a real connection with the ethos and vision of the business. Will be able to embrace the culture and take the business on a journey to achieve its true potential via growing profitable sales in both a Retail and Ecommerce arena and building on what Mark has achieved to date.
They must be a true leader, inspirational, who performs well under pressure, calm and succinct. An ability to make the right decision in difficult situations that will not be detrimental to the business.
A comprehensive understanding of all business functions (HR, Finance, Marketing and Operations) is required as well as confidence in dealing with difficult issues should they arise.
Owing to the nature and size of the business, the successful candidate must demonstrate that they can operate as easily at a detailed operational level as they can at a strategic level and be comfortable in a hands on role, which means that duties and responsibilities outlined above are to be regarded as broad areas of responsibility and do not detail all tasks which the post holder may be required to perform.
To ensure that we appoint the right candidate based on cultural fit and experience, the job description may be subject to change in the light of experience and circumstance after discussion with the post holder.
To apply please click here