Supply Chain/Operations Director (HIRED)
Are you smart as hell and able to solve nearly any problem thrown at you? Do you enjoy learning new things basically all the time? Do you thrive in a high-stress environment filled with political infighting, bureaucracy, and corporate BS?
If so, then we are the place for you, except you might hate how nice of a company we have – filled with happy, generally competent people that don’t put up with BS. We have very flexible hours, people are judged by their output, not by how much they suck up to the boss, and turnover is super low because the company believes that happy employees equals happy customers, equals happy bank account. Learn more about our company here.
What we do:
Our business involves taking random products and then marketing the hell out of them, primarily on Amazon. We have hundreds of SKUs at the moment and are launching around 10-20 new products every single month. Products like Bad Parking Cards, Cable Tie Mounts and K2-D3 Capsules.
We want to launch as many products as we can. Our business is just about doubling every year, and it’s our intention to continue that for as long as possible. As you might imagine, this creates a lot of logistical work, which is where you come in.
• Flexible work hours. We don’t exactly have fixed work hours, so long as you get your work done. In general, you can anticipate this job requiring 45-50 hours per week. We don’t care if start at 10 a.m. or 6 a.m., if you work 10 hour days, or if you want to catch up on the weekend so long as you put your hours in and get your work done.
• Relaxed environment. It is pretty rare that anyone is stressed out here, except when it’s self-imposed. We are low-key people. Everyone works hard, but there isn’t outside or unreasonable top-down pressure.
• No dress code. I suppose you technically have to wear clothes, but I can’t say that anyone has tested this rule yet, so it may not officially exist.
• No micro-management. Once you’re trained and have demonstrated you know your stuff, we are pretty hands off. In fact, if you need external management to stay on-task and motivated, we probably aren’t the place for you.
• Strongly anti-BS. Anybody in the company can (and is expected to) tell the owner when he is wrong. There is no bureaucracy or BS rules getting in the way of getting work done. You can tell the owner he is wrong to his face, and he doesn’t get mad (he does cry himself to sleep after, but no big deal).
• No a-holes allowed. We try very hard to screen them out before they get in, but in case they slip through, we fire them quickly.
• Unlimited vacation. If you need a personal day or anything like that, make sure your work is covered as much as reasonable, but otherwise, you do you.
• Lots of growth ahead. We are not trying to just be a small business. We will sell around $10 million this year and want to be doing $50 million annually within a few years. We have 18 people right now, but there are LOTS of growth opportunities ahead which means new and better opportunities for you.
What you will be doing:
Keeping inventory flowing through our system so we never run out of stock nor do we stock too much. In basic terms, our supply chains looks like this; supplier sends us raw material > we assemble/process the raw material to create finished units > we send them to a Amazon FBA warehouse for fulfillment to the customer.
Your goal is to make sure that inventory flows through these stages at the correct times and in the correct quantities. We have scores of suppliers (including ones in China that you’ll need to deal with) and hundreds of SKUs, all that sell at widely variable rates, so this isn’t an easy problem. We will of course train you on our systems.
There is also some management to do with our manufacturing staff (this will be longer term if we think you’ve got the management chops we’re looking for), but you’ll definitely be working with people to answer questions and solve problems. We have a lot of relatively simple machines that require troubleshooting from time to time, that you would ideally help to be able to figure out. It is challenging and exciting work that’s going to require a lot of time and task management, problem-solving, and people skills.
• Make reordering decisions.
• Decide how much inventory to send to Amazon.
• Monitor issues with our spreadsheet-based Inventory Management System.
• Manage random warehouse projects.
• Handle vendor relations/negotiations.
• Deal with our Chinese suppliers and importing logistics.
• Improve our systems and efficiency (goal is a six sigma defect rate).
• Eventually manage our warehouse/manufacturing personnel.
What we are looking for:
• No college degree is OK. You will have to prove that you’re smart and dedicated. If you think you fit what we want, then we’ll definitely give you a shot at the interview process regardless of your background.
• No supply chain/warehousing/logistic experience is OK. Some experience will help you, but we are looking for someone with a high base-rate of competency that can learn very, very quickly.
• Have you managed a complex operation before and made decisions in an ambiguous environment while constantly improving things? If so, this could be a great fit.
What traits do I need to kick-ass?
• Be smart as hell. You will experience a lot of pain if you can’t keep up intellectually. It’s not like we’re geniuses or anything, but we definitely don’t have time to be arguing with not-so-smart people.
• Be able to sniff out problems and figure out how to solve them. Not all problems are obvious on the surface, and it takes a keen mind to recognize when there could be an issue. And it takes a keener mind to recognize that some problems are actually symptoms of other problems which need to be addressed first if that makes sense.
• Be very coachable. If you don’t like getting blunt, honest feedback (we’re always nice about it FWIW) and improving, we probably aren’t a fit for each other.
• Willingness to do whatever. We’re still more or less a startup, so everyone has to wear multiple hats. Sometimes everyone has to chip in to help get orders shipped out, you know?
• Have a fun attitude. We like people with a great sense of attitude and overall happy outlook on life.
• We use Excel/Google Sheets, like, all the time, so if you don’t know it now, you’ll have to learn rapidly.
• You need to be good at working in an ambiguous environment where it’s not super clear what to prioritize or how to solve the problem. You won’t have a manager on your back all day, so being self-directed is a must.
• You should be able to figure things out on your own rapidly. We will absolutely train you on how things work and so forth, but you need to be comfortable working in the unknown, where decisions are ambiguous, and just figuring it out.
• You need to be able to articulate yourself well and engage in vociferous but friendly debate to arrive at truth. We “argue/truth seek” A LOT, but it’s really positive because we trust each other, know we all want the same thing, and are only arguing over facts and conclusions, not whether someone is a good/competent person, if that makes sense.
• You need the people skills and emotional intelligence to keep your coworkers happy and to negotiate with our suppliers to get us better rates while not pissing them off.
Right now, we want awesome people that can grow with us – not people who are just gonna put in their required hours and call it a day. We know that people like that don’t work for free, but we also have a somewhat limited budget compared to the Amazons of the world.
For this role, expect a ballpark of $50,000-$100,000 annually. The big range is because we honestly don’t know the market value of the person we’re looking for. We’ll probably need to discuss more in-person to work something out that feels good for both parties. I promise we’re reasonable and won’t try to take advantage of you.
Will I be trained?
We will absolutely give you lots of training. You’re going to be expected to pick things up quickly, start executing, and then eventually to start innovating how we do things vs just running through your routine (this applies to everyone at the company for what it’s worth).
Can this be a remote position?
No, but open to people willing to relocate.
JLS Trading Co. provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, JLS Trading Co. complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.
JLS Trading Co. expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of JLS Trading Co.’s employees to perform their job duties may result in discipline up to and including discharge.